ATEC's foundational arm, Choose Aerospace, is proud to announce its slate of 2021 scholarship and award recipients including two students, hailing from Liberty University and the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA), who claimed the top cash award.
Angelo Cosentino of Liberty University and Julio Lorenti of PIA were each granted $2,500 to pursue their aviation careers. Lorenti is in the third of four semesters toward completing his Aviation Maintenance studies while Cosentino, from Pittsburgh, PA, is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology: Flight and Maintenance.
“Funding the education of deserving aviation students and leaders is one of the most important missions for this organization,” said Choose Aerospace President Ryan Goertzen. “The industry has a daunting task to meet workforce demand projections, and it is our privilege to encourage students to choose aerospace careers through our scholarship program.”
“I’ve been drawn to mechanics since I was young since my father is a diesel mechanic,” Cosentino said. “After 15 years working in the accounting world, I decided to take my love for mechanics and passion for nuances and explore the world of aviation. My ambition is to maintain my relentless pursuit of perfection and strive to make aviation and my community a better place. I want to give my daughter an example to follow and opportunities to do better and achieve more.”
Cosentino joined the aviation industry in middle school when he became a member of Civil Air Patrol inspired by his first commercial flight. “I gained a desire to serve others with aviation through the Civil Air Patrol which ultimately led me to pursue both pilot and mechanic certificates. My career path, which includes aerial survey or public safety sectors of aviation, provide a unique opportunity to accomplish by goals of helping others.”
He expects his studies to help him develop as a mechanic and an aviator. He is a student ambassador for the school’s aeronautics program where he worked with a fellow aviator and Associate Dean Dr. Mitchell Morrison, to develop future leaders in all aspects of aviation and sharing aviation with those in our community. He assists the student-led High Flight Mentoring Program as a Lead Mentor, counseling mentors as they tutor and coach underclassmen and new students. Cosentino is also a Safety Officer for our National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) flight team and a student representative on the Safety Committee.
Lorenti is pursuing an Aviation Maintenance Technology degree and is driven to success by his small daughter who inspires him to be the best he can including becoming class president despite only joining PIA in January. He also formed a collaborative study group which he credits for his 3.85 GPA and his place on the directors list.
“Since being class president, I have been invited to sit in on additional meetings such as the accreditation meeting,” he wrote of his experiences and how they helped his success. “I always take advantage of these opportunities as they give me the chance to get to know people in the field of aviation and hopefully put me in a good place when searching for my career path in the future. I became an ambassador for PIA through their Instagram page, which is helping to promote the school through social media. Most recently, I got a part-time job with Ryder Jet at the Hagerstown Regional Airport helping refuel and park planes. Between work and school, I am fully committed to the field of aviation.”
This year, a host of partner organizations sponsored $37,000 worth of scholarships, textbooks, tool sets, training systems, and testing fee credits for educators and future aviators. Scholarship donors include the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), Snap-On, Nida Corporation, AVOTEK, Aircraft Technical Book Company (ATBC) and CertTEC.
The entire slate of award winners are as follows:
Choose Aerospace $2500 Scholarship
Julio Lorenti, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Hagerstown
Angelo Cosentino, Liberty University
ARSA $1000 Scholarship
Fawn Carrington, Tulsa Technology Center
ASA $1000 Scholarship
Jared Vigar, Purdue University
Daniel Kicinski, Liberty University
Snap-On Tool Set
Temitayo Afolayan, Connecticut Aero Tech School
Avotek AMT Series Textbooks
Nicholas Alatis, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Eric Zamora, George T. Baker Aviation Technical College
Abigail Carreiro, Cape Cod Community College
Ethan Sprague, Northland Community and Technical College
Tanner Empey, Southern Utah University
ATBC EASA Part 66 Study Set
Amber VanEvera, Liberty University
Ahmed Assoul, Aviation Institute of Maintenance – Fremont
Gardenia Davis Lopez, Honolulu Community College
Makana Mai Kalani Smith, Honolulu Community College
ASA A&P Textbook & eBook Set
Kelly Quillman, Tulsa Technology Center
Avotek Avionics Textbook Set
Oluwaseun Ajayi, Broward College
Robert Delghiaccio, Teterboro School of Aeronautics
Reminton Prentice, Lansing Community College
Kyla Wilson, Eastern Florida State College
Caleb Scott, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
CertTEC AET Certification Exam Testing Scholarship
Lillia Farr, Letourneau University
Sebastian Parker, Aviation Institute of Maintenance – Freemont
Vinicius Ribeiro, Teterboro School of Aeronautics
ATBC A&P Textbook Set
David White Jr., Honolulu Community College
Kayla Klopman, Broward College
Brin Barnett, Southern Utah University
Nida Training System
Des Moines Public Schools
Avotek Dale Hurst Memorial Instructor Scholarship
David Ortiz, Central New Mexico Community College
Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to our generous sponsors.
Look for the 2022 Choose Aerospace scholarship applications to open in December!
At long last, after a multi-year application process, Blue Ridge Community College received FAA approval to offer its Light Sport Repairman Maintenance Course through distance learning.
BRCC has for years sought FAA authorization to provide the course—approved through the FAA's Specialty Aircraft Examiner Branch—to students remotely. FAA officials were hesitant to allow the remote offering given the lack of inspector guidance specific to Light Sport Repairman Training online delivery.
In a Sept. 29 letter to FAA, ATEC advocated for a stream-lined approach to distance learning approvals for aviation maintenance technician schools that provide FAA-approved curriculum outside of part 147. ATEC argued that part 147 programs already go through rigorous approval processes to obtain distance learning authorization and that duplicative review is inefficient and unnecessary.
While (unfortunately) the FAA did not approve the online delivery based on BRCC’s current part 147 distance learning authorization, the school did use its part 147 distance learning procedures as the basis for its application.
Kenosha, Wis., September 8, 2021 – The Aerospace Maintenance Competition Presented by Snap-on is back on for 2022!
“We’re very happy to be back hosting the AMC and hope that teams from around the world can join us in showcasing their maintenance and troubleshooting skills next April in Dallas,” said Ken MacTiernan, Chairman, Aerospace Maintenance Competition.
The AMC coincides with the MRO Americas 2022 Convention, April 25-28, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. The annual competition for aircraft maintenance professionals and aspiring students has been cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Team registration opens Oct. 1 at https://www.aerospacecompetition.com/.
MacTiernan said excitement of the AMC’s return is growing within the maintenance community, as several airlines, MROs and schools have already verbally committed to fielding a team in next year’s competition.
“The AMC is a great venue for everyone to reconnect and stand proud again for our craft,” MacTiernan said. “Although the travel industry certainly slumped over the past year, we’ve never really left. Mechanics were still fixing airplanes. Students were still in school. Manufacturers were still building aircraft.
“The AMC is back, but collectively as a maintenance community, we never really left.”
Over the past several years, the Aerospace Maintenance Competition Presented by Snap-on has grown to become a widely attended international aviation experience for both technicians and fans. The venue provides certified AMTs from major airlines, MROs and OEMs, as well as military personnel and students in FAA Part 147 schools, the chance to test their skills against their peers.
Participants compete in more than 20 events, including challenges such as airframe damage inspection, cable rigging, fiber optics, engine fan blade removal and many others that test their knowledge, skill and team work.
The team earning the overall best score takes home the grand prize in aviation maintenance – the William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance. Presented by Snap-on, the coveted award signifies the highest standard of excellence in aviation maintenance. The O’Brien Award is a traveling trophy that debuted at the 2013 competition. The winning team receives the honor of displaying the 5-foot-tall trophy in their facility for a year. In addition to the trophy, Snap-on is awarding more than $75,000 in tools and equipment as prizes to the top finishers in the competition. In 2019, the five-member team from United Airlines Team Cleveland won the O’Brien Award for the third straight year.
For more information about Snap-on, call 877.740.1900, or visit https://www.snapon.com/Aviation; for information on the 2022 Aerospace Maintenance Competition Presented by Snap-on, visit https://www.aerospacecompetition.com/.
About Snap-on Industrial
Snap-on Industrial is a division of Snap-on Incorporated, a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and service solutions for professional users. Products and services include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostics software, information and management systems, shop equipment and other solutions for vehicle dealerships and repair centers, as well as customers in industry, government, agriculture, aviation and natural resources. Products and services are sold through the company’s franchisee, company-direct, distribution and Web-based channels. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $3.7 billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to Secretary Buttigieg and Administrator Dickson, encouraging the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to swiftly implement congressionally-mandated interim final regulations in support of aviation maintenance training schools.
On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Section 135 of the law directs the FAA to remove the current regulation and replace it with community-drafted language that would modernize long-outdated training requirements.
The Act directed FAA to issue the new rule by March 27, 2021. While the rulemaking is scheduled for publication in November, Congress warned against further delays:
"As original sponsors of the language, we encourage and request swift implementation of the directive in support of aviation maintenance training schools, which have a large part to play in the aviation industry’s recovery from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," said the letter. "Given the immediate and increased need for expanding aviation workforce programs, it is imperative the part 147 rulemaking remains a top priority for the FAA."
The letter also called for immediate publication of the long-overdue Mechanic Airman Certification Standard (ACS). The ACS is an important piece of the new part 147, which will require schools to align curriculum with the standard. Congress reiterated its intent that the standard be published in a way that would not disrupt FAA's ability to regularly revise the ACS to align with industry standards, as is the current practice with other certification standards.
Led by Sen. James Inhofe (OK), the letter was signed by several original co-sponsors of the PART 147 Act, including Sens. Tammy Duckworth (IL), Jerry Moran (KS), Shelly Capito (WV), John Howeven (ND), Deb Fischer (NE), and Richard Burr (NC).
For more information about the part 147 interim final rule, download the executive summary or visit the part 147 issue page.
NORFOLK, Va. (August 24, 2021) – Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) and Piedmont Airlines are proud to announce an expanded partnership to provide Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) students with necessary training and a conditional offer of employment through a beta test tuition payment program. Through this new Tuition Payment Program, a limited number of students will receive a conditional offer of employment with Piedmont Airlines and full payment of tuition and fees as they work toward their AMT certificate
Upon successful completion of the 12- month program and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airframe and Powerplant examination and licensing, students will have the opportunity to work for American Airline’s premier east-coast regional carrier, Piedmont Airlines at one their six maintenance base locations.
Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s AMT program will be condensed to allow for students to complete the program and become employed in about a year. In addition, AIM will provide an employer grant match of 20 percent of its standard tuition cost and grants can be utilized to cover remaining program costs.
“We are excited to be able to continue to expand and enhance our partnership with the Aviation Institute of Maintenance,” said Jessica Weney, Senior Maintenance Recruiter for Piedmont Airlines. “This partnership will provide a more accessible opportunity for students wishing to pursue a career in aviation maintenance while creating a talent pipeline for Piedmont well into the future.”
Said Ashley Oden, Campus Executive Director, “We are thrilled to be working with Piedmont Airlines to bring this incredible opportunity to those who seek a future in aircraft maintenance. With the overwhelming demand for aircraft mechanics now and in future years, it’s impressive to see an employer investing in the training of their future workforce. We look forward to working with them to produce well trained and highly qualified team members.”
With two maintenance bases and Piedmont’s Corporate Headquarters less than 150 miles away, AIM’s Norfolk campus is centrally located to recruit new AMT’s to Piedmont while staying close to home. AIM and Piedmont will be hosting an open house on Saturday, August 28, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm to interview potential candidates at AIM’s Norfolk campus. Interested applicants can call Ashley Oden at 757-363-2121 for more information or stop by the Open House at 2329 E. Little Creek Road, Norfolk, VA 23518 on August 28.
About Aviation Institute of Maintenance
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast in the United States and headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demand of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the Federal Aviation Administration exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, San Francisco Bay, Orlando, and Norfolk. Learn more at www.AviationMaintenance.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AIM.edu.
About Piedmont Airlines
Piedmont Airlines, Inc. is a premier regional carrier of American Airlines, providing service both on the ground and in the air across the United States. Every day, nearly 9,000 aviation professionals foster a mission of caring, compliance and communication on and off the airfield. Piedmont is headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland, and operates a fleet of Embraer 145 regional jets. Piedmont Airlines’ ground handling team can be found in more than 80 airports across the United States providing award winning ground service to passengers of American Airlines. Learn more about what’s happening at Piedmont by visiting https://piedmont-airlines.com/and connect with Piedmont on Twitter @piedmontair and atFacebook.com/workforpiedmont/.
The FAA recently released revised versions of the FAA mechanic test sample exams (dated Aug. 12, 2021), for general, airframe, and powerplant. The sample exams are intended to provide a representative sample of the types of questions that a mechanic applicant will see on the actual knowledge tests. They are suitable for study material, but are not necessarily actual test questions.
This latest series of sample mechanic exams are still keyed to Learning Statement Codes (LCSs), unlike their pilot test counterparts which key each question to published airman certification standards. The Mechanic Airman Certification Standard is still in draft form, and is expected to be published by the FAA this fall. Until then, students will continue to reference the legacy Learning Statement Reference Guide, when evaluating subject areas shown to be deficient on the knowledge test.
ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire participated in Aviation Week Network's MRO Podcast, Back To School, highlighting the shift to digital learning for aviation technical schools in response to the pandemic. Listen here, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Subscribe to Aviation Week's MRO podcast in Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
The board supports ATEC’s mission and provides leadership and strategic governance. Each fall, the ATEC nominating committee undergoes a selection process to fill vacating directorships, this fall several school representative slots are available. New directors will be elected at the October board meeting. Learn more and submit a nomination here.
On Aug. 5, ATEC and its sister organization, Choose Aerospace, joined AMFA, ARSA, AAR Corp., the Teamsters, the STEM Education Coalition, and the Universal Technical Institute, calling on President Biden to take specific action in support of aviation technical workforce development.
In its plea, the group cited the long-standing workforce crises that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, and asked the administration to take the following actions:
(1) Increase funding for the FAA workforce grant programs
(2) Better facilitate military-to-civilian career transitions
(3) Support establishment of National Center for Advancement of Aviation (see S. 1752 and H.R. 3482)
(4) Support positive messaging about transportation careers (see S. 1681 and H.R. 3310)
The letter acts as a roadmap for the coalition's advocacy efforts moving forward, many of which align with ATEC's legislative priorities. Read the entire letter here.
The Journal is currently accepting submissions of scholarly, research, application, or opinion articles. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to--
In addition to these, submissions discussing the current situation in classrooms or industry regarding the effects of COVID restrictions or the implementation of the new FAR 147 are welcome.
Professionals from all segments of the aviation maintenance industry, members and non-members alike, are invited to submit a paper for publication. The submission deadline for the fall issue is October 1.
Authors may be offered the opportunity to present their research via an ATEC webinar and thereafter be considered for live presentations at the next annual ATEC conference.
For more information and to submit a paper, visit http://www.atec-amt.org/the-journal.html.
In response to the pandemic and education's immediate need to deploy online learning in the midst of school closures, on March 12, 2020, the FAA published a memo directing its inspector workforce to provide regulatory relief for part 147 schools electing to provide A&P program content to students online (see related story).
Since the deviation memo and a subsequent revision (see M330-8000.1-G-2003-0718, dated April 1, 2020) were published, the number of certificated aviation maintenance training schools that received permanent and/or temporary authorization to provide provide content online has grown to 61 percent. (Before COVID, less than 5 percent of the 184 certificated schools had permanent distance learning authorization from the FAA.)
FAA officials have stated that the agency does not intend to terminate the deviation memo anytime soon, and that barring any unforeseeable circumstances, it will remain in force through the 2021-2022 academic year. As a reminder, the memo alone does not provide schools the authority to provide FAA-approved curriculum online, but instead directs the FAA inspector workforce to approve distance learning programs using less stringent guidelines than what is currently directed in the 8900.1 guidance.
While the deviation memo was welcome news for schools last spring, the part 147 interim direct rule (expected to publish in November 2021) will provide further relief. If promulgated as directed, distance learning programs will no longer require FAA approval. That is, schools will have the freedom to deliver content in whatever manner deemed most appropriate, and in line with their accredited programs. The FAA will check the quality of the education through assessment of the school's mechanic test passing rates, and by ensuring that the A&P curriculum aligns with airman certification standards. Get the latest information on the The New Part 147 landing page.
This year at EAA's 2021 Air Venture at OshKosh, AFS-600 Division Manager Robert Reckert and the Branch Manager Kieran O'Farrell will be on site and look forward to hearing from attendees. Details are as follows:
Rob and Kieran will be hosting listening sessions at EAA’s Heritage Gallery. The Heritage Gallery is outside and just south of the main gate, along Forest Home and across from the T-33 mounted on a pole. Follow signs to the “PHP Center” and continue up the driveway until you see a brown building with a Heritage Gallery sign in front.
The schedule for the listening sessions is as follows:
Monday, July 26, 2021:
• 9:00-12:00 DPE’s and SAE’s (3) 1 hour sessions
• 1:00-3:00 DAR’s (2) 1 hour sessions
• 3:00-4:00 DME’s/ DPRE’s (1) session
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
• 9:00-11:00 Open make-up session for anyone who was unable to attend on the 26th.
Unfortunately the Heritage Gallery has a maximum occupancy of 20. Therefore if the room is full, please come back for the next session that begins at the top of the hour, or please attend the make-up session on the 27th. If you would like to discuss anything with them next week, please reach out via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Kieran.OFarrell@faa.gov
Due to venue capacity limits, EAA was unable to list the meeting information on their public website.
MU/MCTC Aviation Maintenance Technology Program will be first to Incorporate Virtual Reality Painting
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The soon-to-launch Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program operated jointly by Marshall University and Mountwest Community & Technical College in Huntington, W.Va., will be the first Part 147 school in the United States to use a virtual reality system to meet FAA training requirements for aviation paint and coating labs.
In early July, the program received the go-ahead from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deploy the new system that simulates an aviation paint shop environment and allows instructors greater ability to simulate diverse painting scenarios and precisely measure students’ abilities.
As with all instructional aides and equipment for aviation training, the virtual 3D paint system will be evaluated during the FAA design performance phase of Marshall’s certification to ensure it meets federal requirements.
The 3D system provides a versatile platform for instructors to measure student performance, including such metrics as millimeters of paint thickness, cost of materials used, gun distance, overspray and angle in relation to the parts being painted. Manufactured by VirtualPaint Products of Cedar Falls, Iowa, it is the same training system used by the U.S. Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command at facilities including Hill Air Force Base in Utah as well as the U.S. Coast Guard's Aviation Technical Training Center in North Carolina.
“This innovative, virtual-reality system will save our program considerable money by eliminating the need for consumables such as paint and personal protective gear while reducing setup and cleanup time,” said Jim Smith, interim director of the Marshall/Mountwest AMT program.
"The VirtualPaint team is excited for the opportunity to partner with Marshall and Mountwest to implement virtual reality spray finishing simulation technology into their aviation educational programs,” said Jeremiah Treloar, CEO of VirtualPaint Products. “Through this collaboration between software developers and educators, we will deliver an engaging, hands-on learning experience that prepares students to advance into successful careers in the aerospace industry."
Located at Huntington Tri-State Airport, the AMT program’s inaugural class is scheduled to begin in January 2022. The program is administered by Marshall’s Robert C. Byrd Institute and is branch of the university’s Division of Aviation, which also includes the Bill Noe Flight School at Yeager Airport in Charleston, W.Va., which will launch this August.
PSI and the FAA have completed contractual negotiations and established mechanic certification applicant pricing for the next three years. Effective July 1, 2021, the price for all FAA Airman Knowledge Tests (AKT), regardless of location, will be one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175).
The shared revenue for third-party testing facilities will be one hundred ten dollars ($110) to PSI, and sixty-five dollars ($65) to the testing site.
For questions or comments, contact Paul Clark at email@example.com or Ed Herrera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NBAA Charities scholarship program, generously supported by NBAA member donors, offers nearly $100,000 annually in cash awards as tuition reimbursement for enrolled students and nearly the same amount in monetary and training awards for working professionals in business aviation, including pilots, maintenance professionals, schedulers, dispatchers, flight attendants and flight technicians.
Individuals who have received NBAA Charities scholarships have gone on to even more successful careers in business aviation. “It’s very rewarding to see where these professionals have started and where they are today,” says NBAA Manager, Professional Development Molly Hitch, who coordinates the scholarships. “Helping one another in this industry is what a career in business aviation is all about.”
To take advantage of these offerings to ascend in your aviation career; please visit https://nbaa.org/professional-development/scholarships/ to apply for an NBAA Charities scholarship today.
SPI to Manage the Donation of Multiple Jet Engines from Cadence Business Finance to Aircraft Mechanic Training Programs
Valparaiso, IN – June 1, 2021 – On behalf of Cadence Business Finance (CBF), Sage-Popovich, Inc. (SPI) will be coordinating the donation of multiple CF34 and ALF 502 engines to aviation mechanic schools. Nick Popovich, the company Chairman, has always supported the aviation learning community. When it came time to clear these engines out of storage, the CBF team generously offered them up for donation to any aircraft mechanic school for training purposes.
The General Electric CF34 is a turbofan jet engine used on a number of business and regional jets, including the Bombardier Challenger and CRJ series, the Embraer E-Jets, and the Comac ARJ21. First manufactured in 1982, the engine family is in greater demand today than ever before. The engines are currently used around the globe on both military and civilian aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines, United Airlines, Republic Airlines, Uganda National Airlines Company and more.
The ALF 502 engines were first produced in 1980 by Lycoming Engines, then AlliedSignal, and then Honeywell Aerospace. They are geared turbofan engines used on early Bombardier Challenger 600 (1A11) series and on Northrop YA-9 and British Aerospace 146 aircraft.
If interested in acquiring any of these engines for your aircraft maintenance education program, please call SPI at 219-464-8320 or contact Nick Popovich (at email@example.com) or Brian Bolin (at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last year, ATEC member dues funded the creation of a new foundation, Choose Aerospace, with the mission of promoting aviation technical careers.
Council leadership immediately began implementing an aggressive initiative to support the expansion and development of high school aviation technical programs. Over the last year the foundation managed a procurement process to identify aviation technical curriculum development partners and will soon roll out an ambitious plan to reach 10,000 users of the content by 2027.
Choose Aerospace is currently soliciting applications for high school programs that will pilot the program during the 2021-2022 academic year. For more information about the curriculum, including the previously-recorded informational briefing, visit chooseaerospace.org/curriculum.
While the deadline to apply is June 15, Choose Aerospace will continue to accept applications until twenty pilot schools are selected.
ATEC recently joined a coalition of more than 30 organizations representing U.S. aviation, trucking, rail, and maritime interests to express support for legislation promoting career opportunities available throughout the nation’s transportation sector.
The Promoting Service in Transportation Act (H.R. 3310 and S. 1681) calls on lawmakers to authorize funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a series of broadcast, digital and print public service announcements highlighting available careers in transportation as all sectors of the industry regain strength in the aftermath of COVID-19.
“The pandemic has reminded all of us how vital transportation is to our economy and our lives,” reads the coalition’s letter to leaders of the House and Senate transportation committees. Although COVID-19 temporarily impacted hiring of new workers across the industry, “as recovery continues the demand for qualified workers will return, and the workforce shortage will yet again destabilize transportation operations.”
The coalition further noted the DOT campaign would also promote greater diversity throughout the next-generation transportation workforce. “H.R. 3310 and S. 1681 are an opportunity to highlight for young people of all races, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses that transportation careers are good, high paying jobs that embrace technology and offer a bright future,” the letter continued.
The coalition, led by the National Business Aviation Association, is currently seeking additional co-sponsors for the legislation with the ultimate goal to see the Promoting Service in Transportation Act included as part of a larger infrastructure measure.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen (D-2-WA), Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and Rep. Angie Craig (D-2-MN) reintroduced the legislation from the previous Congress, with Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) sponsoring the Senate bill.
Senators and representatives recently introduced a bill to establish the National Center for Advancement of Aviation (S.1752/H.R. 3482). The legislative text funds the creation a nationally-chartered, independent private entity to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between all sectors of aviation to coordinate, promote, and support the future of aviation. The National Center would focus on four key areas: aviation and aerospace STEM curriculum, workforce development, economic and safety data and research sharing, and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
ATEC joined a long list of organizations supporting the initiative, applauding lawmakers for creating a venue to "support education efforts and provide resources to curriculum developers so educators at all levels have the tools and training to educate the next generation of aviation professionals." The bill would also serve as a collaborative forum to leverage and share expertise among industry sectors and empower the dissemination of existing high school education curriculum in aviation and aerospace programs (such as AOPA's STEM curriculum, and Choose Aerospace's developing aviation maintenance curriculum).
The bicameral, bipartisan bill is awaiting committee action in both the House and the Senate.
An instructor at Kansas State University Polytechnic and a student from Lansing Community College have been named the 2021 recipients of ATEC's most prestigious awards. The annual awards are made possible through partnership with the Northrop Rice Foundation and JSfirm.com, who provide cash prizes to recipients.
KSUP educator Steven Locklear was named the Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year Award for 2021, while LCC Student JuliAnne Miller was named the James Rardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year for 2021.
Miller, the first Lansing student to receive the award, was cited for academic achievement, involvement in activities that showcase leadership, and other contributions to the school and/or community.
Miller currently holds a 3.99 GPA and has made the President’s Honor Roll every semester while simultaneously pursuing a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University. She is actively involved in many aviation organizations outside of the classroom and brings acquired knowledge and insight back to her fellow classmates and instructors.
“One of our best students in the 60+ year history of the program,” said Lansing’s Aviation Maintenance Director Mark Bathurst. She has set a very high bar for her fellow classmates to emulate. She is clearly deserving of consideration of the Rardon Student of the Year Award.”
Nominations for educator of the year come from across the country to recognize AMT instructors who, either through a single event or over the span of a career, have a direct impact on aviation maintenance students. Locklear is the second educator from Kansas State Polytechnic to receive the award since 1990.
Locklear is an achieved AMT, great educator, holds a Private Pilot license, has a Masters degree in Aviation Safety and is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he came up with innovative solutions to virtually deliver coursework to students that will forever impact the aviation maintenance program.
“Steven is not only a professional, he cares for students, their success, and the future of aviation maintenance,” said Department of Aviation Director Terry Hunt.
Both Miller and Locklear received a cash award and was honored at the ATEC virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday May 18th. See the recorded version, below.
In a letter to House and Senate leadership, the aviation community urged Congress to once again fully fund the aviation workforce development grant programs created by the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill.
The grant program, which officially started accepting proposals in January, was authorized at $10 million a year ($5 million for technician programs, and $5 million for pilot programs) through 2023. But for the funds to actually flow, they must also be "appropriated," a process that is just beginning for fiscal year 2022.
"As the industry begins to recover from the worst economic conditions it has ever experienced, the grant programs are more important than ever," said a group of 42 organizations in a letter to transportation and appropriations committee leadership. "Due to pandemic-related economic disruptions, many seasoned pilots and technicians retired early over the past year. This has only exacerbated the shortage of the skilled personnel the industry needs to operate safely and efficiently."
The initial application period for the FAA grant closed in March. FAA officials indicated that a few hundred applications were received for the two programs. To make up for implementation delays, the FAA is expected to solicit another round of applications later this year.
This NSF-funded Advanced Technological Education (ATE) project has opportunities for students to participant in a
STEM-focused internship at Clemson University’s Center for Workforce Development. All research will be conducted remotely. The REU students will spend 12 weeks working to understand the efficacy of virtual and augmented reality-based environments for supporting collaborative work. Upon completion of the 12 weeks the students will have completed the project and prepared a presentation of the research.
PAMA, in coordination with a generous industry partner, has made available award opportunities for current and future aviation maintenance professionals.
Award winners will be announced at a special virtual awards ceremony this summer.
Future AMT Professional Award, provided by PistonPower™ by AEPC™ (AeroEngine Protection Corp.)
This $1,000 award is provided to current or recent aviation maintenance students. Monetary Awards may be used towards the purchase of tools, tuition or other education-related expenses.
ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire recently joined the team at Jet Blast, an aviation podcast, to discuss upcoming changes to regulations governing aviation maintenance technical education. Check out season 2, episode 10, on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Thanks to Lee, Andy, and Nathan for inviting us to tell our story, and for providing such an excellent source of information for the business aviation community.
On April 2, the Dept. of Transportation issued a final rule revoking a Dec. 27, 2019 rulemaking entitled "Administrative Rulemaking, Guidance, and Enforcement Procedures" (84 FR 71714). That rule made changes to 49 CFR part 5, the regulation that sets forth procedures for agency rulemaking and guidance documents, and effectively halted publication of FAA airman certification standards (ACS). (See related story.)
The move received broad praise by aviation groups, who saw the regulatory changes implemented in 2019 as impediments to progress since the aviation industry is perhaps uniquely dependent on routine agency updates to guidance and standards to ensure the safety organization is able to keep up as industry evolves.
In a letter praising the move, industry representatives called for quick implementation of the mandate, which the group cited as an important step forward to reestablish a process for ongoing ACS publication and revision.
..."[T]he Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) process used to create and publish current ACS has proven an efficient, effective, and transparent means to manage these standards," said the industry group. "Methods in place provide opportunity for public comment and stakeholder collaboration and continued systematic alignment between regulations, guidance, and testing. This process also preserves the flexibility needed to ensure that certification standards can be regularly revised in a timely way, to support advances in technology."
Imminent part 147 reforms are dependent on the mechanic ACS publication--the new interim final rule directed by congress will require aviation maintenance technical schools to align curriculums with the new standard. Thus, once published, the ACS will not only direct changes to the written, oral, and practical mechanic tests, but also part 147 curriculums.
Previous ATEC webinars have set forth steps the community can take now as it awaits publication of the new rule and certification standard. Most recently, a slate of school representatives shared the results of their respective "gap analysis," identifying shortcoming between their current curriculums (driven by part 147), and future curriculums (driven by the ACS). Hear about their findings and what changes they intend on implementing once the new rule is promulgated--a recorded version of the March 30 webinar and others are available on the new part 147 issue page.
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.