With the introduction of a bill creating the National Center for the Advancement of Aviation (NCAA), the industry has moved a step closer to addressing the barriers and challenges for increasing the aviation workforce. The bill – S-3860 The National Center for the Advancement of Aviation Act – can be found here.
The bipartisan bill, introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), creates an independent, stakeholder-led national center for aviation, a forum for cross-disciplinary collaboration for supporting aviation and aerospace education and curriculum efforts. It would, said the two legislators, “leverage industry expertise to develop and deploy the needed workforce of trained and qualified pilots, engineers and maintainers. It would also serve as a central repository of economic and safety data and advance a collaborative process to promote aviation in the United States and assist in the development of the next generation of aviation and aerospace workers.”
The legislation, which results from industry recommendations called for by Inhofe last year, comes shortly after the House Aviation Subcommittee held hearings recounting the challenges of students from such education institutions as Queens-based Aviation High School and Vaughn College in pursuing careers in aviation including the lack of educational funding and the need to equip such institutions for the 21st Century technology used in aircraft. ATEC reported on the hearings earlier.
The two legislators have long spearheaded efforts to address industry workforce challenges and this legislation enjoys wide-spread support from stakeholders across the industry.
“The NCAA will advance a collaborative process to promote aviation in the United States and assist in the development of the next generation of aviation and aerospace workers,” said Inhofe in introducing the bill. “I appreciate all the input and support from stakeholders across the aviation community that have made today’s legislation possible.”
Duckworth agreed. “As a pilot, I know that investing in aviation-focused education and workforce development programs helps attract and retain the best talent and keeps our nation at the forefront of global aviation innovation,” she said. “I’m proud to introduce the National Center for the Advancement of Aviation Act with Sen. Inhofe to support the development of next-generation aviators and foster collaboration in the aviation and aerospace industries to help meet the demands and challenges of tomorrow.”
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.