After more than a decade of advocacy by industry stakeholders, the FAA has promulgated a new part 147. The regulation will usher in a new approach to aviation technical training, one that provides more freedom and flexibility for educators and their industry partners.
The new Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147 goes into effect in 120 days and will continue to govern aviation maintenance technician schools that hold an FAA certificate.
The new rule is in line with congressional mandate originating on Dec. 12, 2019 with introduction of the Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427). The bill was industry-supported, bipartisan and bicameral, and championed by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), the late Don Young (R-Alaska), and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). On Dec. 27, 2020, the PARTT 147 Act was signed into law as part of the massive coronavirus relief package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R.133/Public Law 116-260).
The new rule introduces a performance-based regulation that will massively change the way FAA approves and oversees aviation technical programs.
Under the new rule, for nationally accredited programs, the FAA will defer to Department of Education accreditors in all areas concerning quality of education, meaning the agency will no longer approve curriculums, methods of instructional delivery (i.e., no more FAA distance learning authorizations required), how and where educational content is consumed (i.e., schools will have the opportunity to provide training at an additional fixed location, such as a high school), grading systems, testing schedules, or class sizes. And under the watchful eye of national accrediting bodies, AMTS will assess educational outcomes in lieu of meeting seat time mandates—aligning aviation maintenance education with common practice in other technical-related programs.
As part of the part 147 certification requirements, the FAA will continue to oversee a program's facilities, equipment, and instructor qualifications, control the certification standards (i.e., mechanic airman certification standards) that drive school curriculums, and continually assess AMTS performance through analysis of student passage rates. And most importantly for aviation safety, the FAA will retain the ultimate decision-making authority when it comes to issuing mechanic certificates, which it only does after through assessment of an individual’s skill and knowledge.
In preparation for the upcoming effective date, ATEC has put together a host of resources and events to support the transition. Visit the The New Part 147 landing page for more information.
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.