Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21), at ATEC and member Hallmark University's prodding, sent a congressional inquiry asking for an update on the Federal Aviation Administration's rulemaking efforts for part 147, the regulation that governs operations and curriculum requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools.
In his letter, Rep. Smith states: "Part 147 is long overdue for modernization. Schools certificate under the current regulation are mandated by law to teach skills that do not add to the preparation of students pursuing high-tech aviation jobs. Any further delays in modernization will detrimentally affect students and industry." The congressman goes on to request that the agency respond with an expected promulgation date.
This is the second such inquiry made on behalf of the aviation community. Last February, Representatives Tom Rice (S.C.) and Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) sent a letter asking the FAA to make the rulemaking its highest priority. An FAA response stated that was indeed the case, and that the agency is committed to "delivering regulation that encompasses new technology and remains flexible to grow and adapt with the industry."
Update: On Aug. 29, 2017, the FAA responded to Smith's inquiry, stating that "several commentators suggested expanding the scope of [the] proposal to allow for competency-based training and satellite facilities... Because these two topics were not proposed in the NPRM, the FAA is required by law to publish a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) seeking public comment. We expect the SNPRM to be ready for publication later this fall, along with a draft Advisory Circular 147-3... The FAA is aware of the importance of the AMTS rule and will make every effort to expedite its issuance."
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.