A coalition of 23 organizations sent a letter to House committee leadership encouraging support for long-awaited part 147 reform. The PARTT 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427), a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced last December, was included in the Senate Commerce Committee's reported draft of the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act of 2020 (S.3969), but not in the House version of the bill (H.R.8408). The coalition urged committee leaders to retain the language in the final certification reform bill.
Industry has long pushed for a new part 147 through formal FAA rulemaking (see a full summary of our efforts here), and late last year doubled its efforts by calling on Congress for help. The recent Senate commerce committee markup was a big step in the legislative initiative, and provides a path forward for the community-drafted, performance-based part 147 to become law.
"Leading up to the pandemic, part 147 programs were not able to meet industry’s workforce demand; outdated and burdensome regulatory requirements exacerbated an already short supply of aviation technicians," said the coalition in its letter to committee leaders. "Given the mass exodus of qualified personnel due to COVID-19, industry’s post-pandemic recovery is greatly dependent on its ability to efficiently and effectively replace the devastating loss of technical experience. Reform of part 147 is now more important than ever."
For the Act to become law, House and Senate negotiators will need to agree to retain the PARTT 147 Act's language in the final version of the certification reform bill. It would then need the president's signature in early January, before the 117th Congress convenes.
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.