The trade association highly recommends that the community provide feedback on the recent supplemental proposal. Comments are due Monday, June 17.
To aid those efforts, the council has created two templates--one for AMTS and one for industry--to facilitate meaningful feedback.
It is important to note that submission of the "form letters" provided below do not count as a "vote" for or against the proposal. ATEC's intention is for the community to provide real-world examples that support the positions set forth in the council's comment submission.
Instructions for submitting comment:
Submit an abstract to be considered for presentation at the ATEC Annual Conference research roundtable breakout.
The purpose of the research roundtable is to provide a forum for ATEC members to share their research. This roundtable is designed to encourage research collaboration, generate interest in aviation maintenance-related research, and encourage journal submissions to the ATEC Journal. Additionally, educators who require publications and presentations for tenure or promotion can use this as an opportunity to satisfy some of the requirements. Presenters will be selected based on abstract submissions as further outlined below.
Abstract submission requirements
Abstract review and selection
The abstract is due on November 1, 2019. The review committee will select the abstracts for presentation by November 15, 2019.
The one-hour conference breakout session will comprise of multiple presentations from the abstracts selected by the review committee.
For questions and/or comments, contact the roundtable moderator, Daniel H. Siao at Daniel.Siao@mtsu.edu.
To brief the community on the particulars on the recent Federal Aviation Administration Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147 Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), and to assist stakeholders with their own comments (due June 17, 2019), the council held an online webinar on May 30. The recorded version is available for free to all members of the community.
Update: The President has formally acknowledged AMT Day: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/presidential-message-aviation-maintenance-technician-day/
Aviation leaders sent a letter to the president earlier this week, seeking formal recognition of May 24 as Aviation Maintenance Technician Day. The day is already officially recognized by nearly all 50 United States, Commonwealths and Territories, United States Congress, and United States Senate.
The letter, initiated by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association and the Aerospace Maintenance Council, requests that "the White House honor a true American hero that was almost forgotten by history, and recognize the importance of the contributions made by Charles E. Taylor and the men and women who have followed in his footsteps by celebrating Aviation Maintenance Technician Day on May 24 of this year and each year following."
In addition to ATEC, AMFA and AMC, the letter was signed by--
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Airlines for America
Aviation Mechanics Coalition
Helicopter Association International
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association
The council's annual event will take place Sept. 10-13, 2019 in Washington DC. All aviation education stakeholders are invited to Join the community to spread the word about the positive impact of aviation maintenance education.
The event will include a day of roundtable discussions with FAA, Dept. of Ed and Dept. of Labor officials. Attendees will discuss ways to enhance the maintenance technician pipeline and prepare for day two's visits with congressional representatives.
An Aug. 8 webinar will ensure all attendees are properly prepared for their visit. Get more information on our issues, and register for both the webinar and the Fly-in below.
Last month, the agency published the long-awaited supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) for Title 14 CFR part 147, the regulation governing aviation maintenance technician schools.
The proposal "supplements" the agency's 2015 notice of proposed rulemaking, which recommended removal of static curriculum requirements and allowance for a credit-hour system. ATEC and others called for more flexibility that would allow for competency-based programs and expansion of curriculum into high schools. The SNPRM makes additional proposals to address those concerns.
While the community applauds the agency for offering a solution, elements in its proposal miss the mark. The SNPRM layers in a complicated web of requirements and approvals for competency-based programs and satellite locations, many of which duplicate accreditation mandates.
In its comments to the SNPRM, the council will reiterate its plea for FAA deference in all matters concerning the quality of education, an element that falls squarely in the Dept. of Education's purview. It will ask that the agency focus its oversight on items specific to a certificated A&P program, such as facility, equipment, and material requirements, unique instructor qualifications, and assessment based on student performance of the mechanic test.
It is ATEC's position that accredited higher institutions of learning not be subject to duplicative--and sometimes contradictory--government requirements. The Dept. of Ed and its accrediting bodies are the education experts, and work in partnership with our schools to ensure educational outcomes are achieved. The council's comments to the SNPRM will be grounded in that theme, and offer alternative language that gives our schools more flexibility, and puts less burden on our stewards of aviation safety.
ATEC's docket submission will be available to the community in advance of the comment period deadline, so that stakeholders can align with the council's stance in their own comments, if they so choose.
For a full analysis, read an article that ran in the latest edition of Aviation Week's Inside MRO, Proposed Regulation Raises Questions About FAA’s Role In Education.
To brief the community on the particulars, and assist schools and companies with their own comments (due June 17), the council is holding an online webinar on May 30. The online event is free to government employees and ATEC members.
On April 16, the Federal Aviation Administration published its long-awaited part 147 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM). The agency is requesting public comment on three new proposals: competency-based curriculum, satellite locations, and changes to the current "norms report."
On May 30, ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire will provide a membership briefing on the supplement to include an overview of the rulemaking, insight on its potential impact, and step-by-step instructions on how you can actively participate through comment submission.
The webinar is free to government employees and ATEC members. A recorded version will be subsequently available on the ATEC website for those not able to attend the live event.
ATEC delivered a letter to congressional leaders voicing its opposition to The Protect Students Act of 2019 (S.867). Masked rhetorically as a student protection aid, the bill would severely limit proprietary aviation maintenance technician schools from serving students and veterans, and negatively impact aerospace companies looking to hire FAA-certified A&P mechanics and other aviation technical personnel.
"Twenty-three of the 171 FAA-certificated schools are proprietary institutions. While these schools only make up 13% of the AMTS population, they produce 25% of AMTS graduates within the United States—one out of every four aviation maintenance graduates are produced from tax-paying proprietary institutions," said ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire in a letter to the bill's co-sponsors. "If enacted, S.867 would threaten the continued viability of these proprietary schools and negatively impact an estimated 1,000 student veterans currently enrolled in these schools."
Historically, the U.S. Government has required many things of proprietary schools that it does not require of public universities, community colleges, or non-profit institutions. One of these requirements is the 90/10 rule, which mandates that proprietary schools derive no more than 90% of their income from Title IV financial aid funding sources (such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans). The remaining 10% must come from other funding sources such as student payments, family contributions, employer assistance, vocational rehab, Veterans Administration benefits, and the GI Bill.
S.867 seeks to change the 90/10 ratio to 85/15—meaning the 10% of required income from non-Title IV sources would increase to 15%—and recategorize GI Bill benefits as a federal Title IV funding source. If Veterans Benefits were considered Title IV funding, many of our proprietary schools would have to stop taking GI Bill funds to meet the new ratio requirements. Consequently, the military would default on its promise to veterans that they can use their GI Bill at any accredited and approved institution of higher education, and likely school shut downs would cost the aerospace industry a quarter of its mechanic school graduates.
The proposed law comes at a time when the aviation industry is preparing for a massive technical workforce shortage. ATEC’s recent Pipeline Report found that mechanics are retiring faster than they are being replaced; the mechanic population is expected to decrease 5% in the next 15 years. Oliver Wyman, a technical consulting group, forecasts that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association estimates the technician shortage is costing industry $100 million per month. Meanwhile, forecasts by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Boeing, and Airbus project a need for thousands of additional mechanics in the next 10-20 years.
Get more information on this issue and other ATEC legislative priorities in the council's Legislative Tool Kit.
NC3 is hosting its 3rd annual Aviation Training at WSU Tech June 10-14. This will be the only opportunity this year to get certified in Structural Sheet Metal Assembly and Precision Electrical Termination. Instructors who attend this training will:
In addition to the NC3 aviation certifications, there are several certification courses offered at this event for advanced manufacturing, 3D printing, automotive and safety.
Click here to register for the event, or visit www.NC3.net to learn more about NC3 as an organization.
On May 6, a coalition of 16 aviation industry associations jointly submitted comments to the FAA’s Draft Advisory Circular (AC) 65-30B, “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.” Led by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the group continued work begun in 2014 when the agency last released a draft version of the AC – which hasn’t been officially updated since 2001. (See related story.)
“As representatives of persons involved in the design, production, operations and maintenance of civil aviation products and articles, each organization supporting these comments depends on a vibrant pool of talented aviation maintenance professionals to ensure safety worldwide,” the group explained in its submission. Comments focused on illustration of the breadth of opportunities available in aviation maintenance, including noncertificated professionals, certificated repairmen, certificated mechanics, mechanics holding inspection authorization and transitioning military personnel.
“There is no single point of entry or career trajectory for aviation maintenance professionals,” the draft industry submission said. “Depending on knowledge, education, experience, skill and curiosity, individuals with an interest in the kinds of hands-on, intellectually-challenging and technically-skilled work performed in all manner of aviation maintenance facilities may begin or continue a career through any one of the ‘pathways’ described in this AC.”
While the agency deliberates industry comment, schools are encouraged to download the community's work product to help illustrate the career paths available to would-be aviators.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2019
CONTACT: Philip Barbour, 205-939-1700, 205-617-9007
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award, honoring a leader in global aviation safety. The Award will be presented during the 72nd Annual International Air Safety Summit, taking place Nov 4-6 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Presented since 1956, the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award recognizes notable achievement in the field of civil or military aviation safety in method, design, invention, study or other improvement. The Award's recipient is selected for a "significant individual or group effort contributing to improving aviation safety, with emphasis on original contributions," and a "significant individual or group effort performed above and beyond normal responsibilities."
Mechanics, engineers and others outside of top administrative or research positions should be especially considered. The contribution need not be recent, especially if the nominee has not received adequate recognition. Nominations that were not selected as past winners of the Award can be submitted one additional time for consideration. Please note that self-nominations will not be considered.
The Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award's story dates back 74 years. On April 14, 1945, after visiting family in Pittsburgh, Laura Taber Barbour was aboard a Pennsylvania Central Airlines DC-3 when it crashed into the rugged terrain of Cheat Mountain near Morgantown, West Virginia. All passengers and crew were killed. In the years following, her husband, Dr. Clifford E. Barbour and son, Clifford E. Barbour, Jr., established the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award in her honor.
The Award Board, composed of leaders in the field of aviation, meets each year to conduct a final review of nominees and selection of the current year's recipient.
Please help us honor this year's most deserving recipient. Nominations, including a 1-2-page narrative, can be submitted via the Laura Taber Barbour Foundation website at http://ltbaward.org/the-award/nomination-form/.
Nominations will be accepted until May 10, 2019.
For more information, including a complete history of Award recipients, see www.ltbaward.org.
ABOUT THE LAURA TABER BARBOUR AIR SAFETY AWARD: The Award was established in 1956 through early association with the Flight Safety Foundation and from its founding has enjoyed a rich history of Award Board members, nominees and Award recipients. In 2013, the non-profit Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Foundation was formed from members of the Award Board, the aviation community and the Barbour family. As the foundation plans to broaden the scope of its intent, with great purpose, the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award will continue to spotlight those champions who pioneer breakthroughs in flight safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration has published the long-awaited part 147 supplemental proposed rule for public inspection. The official version will publish in the federal register on April 16.
ATEC executive staff, board leadership and committee members will review over the next few days. Stay tuned for a full analysis.
Comments will be due 60 days after publication, which should fall on or about June 15.
The proposal is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/04/16/2019-06399/aviation-maintenance-technician-schools.
On April 11, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) received the FAA’s response to a Feb. 5 letter sent by a coalition of aviation organizations, including ATEC, regarding funding for the new aviation workforce development grant programs created by Sec. 625 of last year’s FAA reauthorization law.
Assistant FAA administrator for human resource management Annie Andrews stated that while the agency was committed to implementing the workforce development initiatives, there were no plans to begin before 2021.
An aviation coalition, led by ARSA, will continue to push for program funding in FY 2020 appropriations bills so the FAA can start making grants in FY 2020. The trade association is calling upon the community to make initiation of the grant programs a near-term priority for Congress and the FAA.
If your organization is in the district of a member of the House or Senate appropriations committees visit ARSA's action center to send a note in support of the initiative: arsa.org/legislative/grant-program-action-center.
Read the FAA's response in its entirety here: faagrantresponse-20190412.pdf
Each year, ATEC recognizes excellence in aviation maintenance training by honoring an outstanding educator and an exemplary student. At it's annual conference awards luncheon on March 18, the council announced the 2019 recipients of the James Rardon AMT Student of the Year and the Ivan D. Livi AMT Educator of the Year awards:
Student, Colorado Northwestern Community College
Teachers describe Ms. Green as a self-disciplined worker, a model for the rest of the class. She maintains a 3.97 GPA while juggling other obligations as a work-study student and mother of a toddler. Ms. Green has also been awarded scholarships from the Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance and the Colorado Association of Business Aviation.
Aviation Department Head and Instructor, Westfield Technical Academy
Mr. Wilson was instrumental in setting up and obtaining certification for the Westfield's grade 9-12 airframe and powerplant program, the only one of its kind in the New England area. According to peers, "Mr. Wilson will grab a mop or a broom and assist with shop cleanup, never asking someone to do something he is not willing to do himself." He has organized and spearheaded several events that bring learning into the classroom, and enhance community awareness of the program. He served in the U.S. Air Force and has been at the helm of the Westfield program for nearly four years.
Ms. Green and Mr. Wilson were presented the award at the conference. Each received an expenses-paid trip to the conference, provided in part by the Northrop Rice Foundation, a plaque, and a $750 cash award courtesy of JSfirm.com.
The ATEC award selection committee is incredibly proud of these two individuals, and the work they have done and will continue to do as aviation maintenance professionals.
This story was reprinted with their permission from Aircraft Maintenance Technology Magazine. Written by ATEC Communications Committee Chair and ATEC Journal Editor Karen Johnson.
Council committee chairs highlighted trade association initiatives including activities in support of FAA reauthorization’s workforce grant and Title 14 Code of Federal Regulation part 147 promulgation directive. Membership reported a 72% aviation maintenance technical school market share with sights set on 85% by 2021. Communications has begun researching opportunities for enhanced member engagement through online tools, and the meeting planning committee announced dates and locations for four regional outreach meetings and plans to hold next year’s annual conference in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Flight Standards Director Tim Shaver updated attendees on on-going management and cultural changes to improve agency processes and the subsequent impact on working relationships between local FAA offices and certificate holders. Other FAA representatives facilitated sessions and breakouts throughout the event including briefings on upcoming changes to mechanic applications and Organization Designation Authorization program elements that would allow schools to administer oral and practical testing. Officials and industry partners also gave an update on imminent airman certification standards and how the new testing standard will impact part 147 program content.
Even with the wide variety of topics discussed during the general and break-out sessions there were two prevalent themes: alleviating the technician workforce shortage and reversing the negative perception of career technical education. These issues took center stage in sessions highlighting ATEC’s Choose Aerospace initiative, results from a recent survey of aviation recruiters regarding candidate shortfalls, and a new Kansas pathway program.
Choose Aerospace is an awareness campaign spearheaded by ATEC to bring together a coalition of industry stakeholders to quantify staffing needs and promote aerospace technical careers. This year’s panel discussed solution-oriented strategies that the aviation maintenance community can implement in a concerted effort to alleviate the workforce shortage. Panelists called for companies to join the effort, and for educational institutions to help spread the word. For more information about that initiative, visit www.ChooseAerospace.org.
Directors from Textron Aviation and representatives from the Wichita Public school system briefed attendees on a new program that provides high school students with immediate technical employment potential. Kansas’ Aviation Pathway illustrated how public-private partnerships can create career paths for students while addressing local employment needs. “Wichita is a great city with dynamic relationships between education, business, and industry,” said WSU Tech Dean of Aviation Technologies Jim Hall during the session. “The program provides local employers with a skilled workforce and gives our students the training they need to begin successful careers.” The purpose of the panel was to share what the city and employers learned, and to expand existing partnerships. “Our goal as a school is to always put students first and we wanted to help other schools learn from us and we from them,” said Hall.
A popular session with attendees was an employer-run panel discussion surrounding knowledge and skill gaps for new technical personnel. Representatives from United Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, AAR Corp., Textron Aviation, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems elaborated on results of a recent survey of industry recruiters. Attendees got direct accounts of what the perceived gaps in critical thinking and soft skills are among graduates and how educators can work to minimize them.
Following a brief message from U.S. Representative Ron Estes (R-KS), the Northrop Rice Foundation announced school and individual recipients of several awards and scholarships supported through the generous contributions of United Airlines, NIDA Corporation, Avotek, Aircraft Technical Book Company, and Snap-on to name a few. ATEC also recognized Westfield Technical Academy’s Galen Wilson as this year’s educator of the year, and Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Mikayla Green as student of the year. The two award recipients received an all-expenses-paid trip to accept the award, and for the first time, a monetary gift, courtesy of JSfirm.com.
For the third year, ATEC facilitated the Employer Link, intended to facilitate education-employer partnerships and to provide networking opportunities for attendees and 16 employer-company sponsors. This year’s event was held at the Kansas Aviation Museum, and incorporated ATEC’s first student career fair, where 100 students attended to learn about career opportunities with participating companies.
A full-day of breakouts guided attendees through various tracks focused on administration, regulatory issues, talent sourcing, instructor needs, and technical training with topics ranging from certification standards to English proficiency in the aviation field to using augmented reality in the classroom.
The conference again showcased an exhibition hall, where 21 companies and education vendors provided information and resources on everything from instructional products to tools. The largest-ever group of vendors included some new to the show, and others that have been involved for over 25 years.
The event concluded with tours highlighting Wichita aerospace. Attendees were ushered to Bombardier and Textron Aviation facilities, and visit Doc, Wichita’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress, in his new home, $6.5 million facility that opened just weeks prior to their visit.
Conference presentations and materials are available online at 2019 Annual Conference.
Stay tuned for 2020 conference dates, which will be announced soon!
More than forty one organizations, including ATEC, sent a letter to transportation committee leadership in both the House and the Senate, asking for full funding of a grant program created by Section 625 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-254).
The grant programs, spearheaded by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and supported by a broad industry coalition, were created and included in the reauthorization bill to help recruit and educate the next generation of aerospace maintenance workers and pilots.
While getting the programs authorized was major victory for the coalition, its work is far from complete. The next step is to convince Congress to appropriate the money necessary to provide the grants.
The March 27 letter furthered those efforts, urging committee leadership to provide full funding for these programs through the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations process.
Read the letter in its entirety by clicking here.
A coalition of 40 stakeholders representing all segments of the aviation and travel industries sent a letter to congressional leaders in support of the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019 (H.R. 1108).
The legislation would provide FAA funding in the event of a government shutdown, enabling the agency to draw from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) in the event of a lapse.
"Jobs and economic growth in the industry were threatened as manufacturers, airlines and other operators, and small businesses faced disruption. The effect on the nation’s air transportation system and the workers charged with keeping the system safe was dramatic," the letter reads.
"We find this situation to be unacceptable and we want to work with Congress and the Administration to prevent this from ever happening again," the letter continues. "The legislation is designed to provide a limited, targeted way of ensuring stability for the aviation system and it does not change congressional direction or oversight in any way."
According to the coalition, the AATF currently has a balance of more than $6 billion.
In a letter to Department of Transportation and Office of Management and Budget leadership, an industry coalition asked the administration to request full funding of the new grant programs signed into law last year. Under the law, Congress can appropriate up to $5 million for each of two new grant programs designed to attract technicians and pilots.
Once implemented, grants may be used for scholarships, apprenticeships, establishing new training programs, purchasing equipment for schools and supporting career transition for members of the armed forces.
Members are urged to reach out to congressional leaders, especially if they have a seat on appropriations committees, in support of the funding the programs. Get information on your elected leaders and their committee assignments at www.govtrack.us/congress/members/map.
On Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 1:00 PM CT, ATEC will present a webinar briefing members on developments in avionics certifications.
Early this year, in response to a petition from the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), the FAA formally recognized ASTM International's National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT) Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) certification as equivalent to formal training when showing eligibility for the issuance of a repairman certificate. Get a briefing on what that means for graduating students leaving with the certification, initiatives underway, and how schools can become ASTM NCATT Approved Training Providers.
Steve Kane, Executive Director, CerTec
Ric Peri, Vice President of Government & Industry Affairs, Aircraft Electronics Association
Michael McDaniel, Director of Aviation Programs, Alabama Community College System
The webinar is free to members. Advance registration is required.
For years, ATEC has partnered with the Northrop Rice Foundation to recognize outstanding educators, and promising aviation maintenance professionals. New this year, JSfirm.com will generously contribute a $750 cash award to each honoree.
The James Reardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year Award and Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year Award recognize individuals who - through academic excellence, community involvement or professional skill - makes a direct, positive impact on their associates, school or community. Honorees will be recognized at the ATEC Annual Conference awards luncheon on Monday, March 18.
In addition to the cash award, winners receive a plaque, complimentary registration, and travel reimbursement to the ATEC annual conference, being held March 17-20 in Wichita.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 1:00 PM CT, ATEC will present a webinar addressing English training for aviation maintenance, and the need for a specialized branch of Workplace English that is customized to job performance.
Speaker Anne E. Lomperis, MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), is a specialist in language planning and language policy for the labor force, serving in 20 countries across a wide range of industry sectors. She spearheaded a nine-year initiative to develop international standards, or best practices, in workplace language training. These best practices provide guidance for customization to job performance. She has been involved in Aviation English since initial discussions to form the Study Group for Proficiency Requirements in Common English (PRICE-SG), under the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). She focuses now on advancing the development of Aviation English for maintenance.
Anne will also present on the subject at the upcoming ATEC Annual Conference in Wichita. The Jan. 29 webinar is free for ATEC members. Advanced registration is required.
ATEC joined industry allies urging the president and congressional leaders to end the U.S. government shutdown.
In its plea, the coalition highlighted the negative impacts created by personnel furloughs, including the degradation of moral for FAA personnel, the halting of certification and regulatory reform activities, hinderance and delays for mechanic testing, and stalls in workforce personnel training.
The letter made specific mention of mechanic testing delays, stating that FAA personnel furloughs are hindering knowledge testing activities, and preventing some designated mechanic examiners from getting requisite approvals from local office personnel to commence oral and practical testing.
"This partial shutdown has already inflicted real damage to our nation’s aviation system and the impacts will only worsen over time,'' the letter says. "We urge you to act quickly to resolve these issues.''
Of the nearly 45,000 FAA personnel, roughly two thirds are currently working without pay, nearly all of those in air traffic control.
Written testing centers have been closed since 12/26 due to the lapse in government funding. The FAA Office of Safety Standards reports that it is in the processes of getting them back up and running. Written testing should resume by Jan. 3.
Military testing, which is done through the FAA’s AKTD System, will remain suspended as long as the furlough is in effect.
If you are having issues with student testing during the shutdown, please email email@example.com.
Contact: Jay Johnson, National Secretary/Treasurer
Phone: (720) 744-6632
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association National Executive Council is accepting applications for two scholarships. Scholarships will be $2500, payable to each recipient’s institution of higher learning. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled as a student in an A&P school, a U.S. citizen, and a demonstrated passion for the craft.
Completed applications must be submitted along with a transcript and 500-word essay entitled “safety in the air begins with quality maintenance on the ground."
Founded in 1962, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union. AMFA represents licensed and unlicensed technicians and related employees actively involved in the aviation industry. These technician and related employees work directly on aircraft and/or components, support equipment, and facilities. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled craftsmen and women it represents. For more information about AMFA visit www.amfanational.org.
Industry Making Progress Filling Aviation Maintenance Technician Gap, But Pace Of Success Must Accelerate To Avoid Shortages, Report Finds
The aviation maintenance industry continues to face both internal and external challenges as it strives to ensure it has enough technicians to keep aircraft flying in the coming years, including excess capacity at technical schools and the perceived attraction of other industries over aviation. But efforts to reverse these trends are gaining traction, a new status report on the report the aviation maintenance technician (AMT) career pipeline concludes.
The report, based on data collected by Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), found that mechanics continue to retire faster than they are being replaced. ATEC’s model projects that, absent a shift in pipeline development and retirement trends, the mechanic population will decrease 5% in the next 15 years.
New entrants make up 2% of the population annually, while 30% of the workforce is at or near retirement age—figures that are similar to findings in the 2017 ATEC Pipeline Report. Meanwhile, forecasts by the U.S. government and Boeing continue to forecast a need for thousands of additional mechanics in the next 10-20 years.
Among the most obvious solutions: increase enrollment at AMT schools. Today, only 1 in 2 seats in technical schools are taken, meaning that an additional 17,000 students can be accommodated immediately without any school expansion. Compounding the issue: a high rate of graduates go on to use their skills in non-aviation jobs, meaning leakage from within the pipeline is also an issue.
The 2018 report offered evidence that efforts to reverse these trends are paying off, however. In 2017, the number of students choosing non-aviation jobs over their aviation counterpart dropped by nearly half over the previous year, to 13%. More good news: seventy percent of A&P students are taking the FAA mechanic exam upon graduation, a 10-point increase over the previous two years.
While the data suggests progress on several fronts, industry must do more to both replace retiring workers and accommodate anticipate demand. The study shows that 30% of the mechanic population is age 60 or above, a 3% increase from last year. Combined with Boeing’s projection of 189,000 additional technicians needed by 2037 to support North America’s commercial and business aviation needs, AMTS—which produce most of new-entrant mechanics—will have to increase their combined output by 30% to meet demand.
“While industry is making progress, there is clearly more work to do,” said Crystal Maguire, ATEC executive director. “Schools are ramping up recruitment activities and expect enrollment to increase. But there is still significant opportunity for industry employers to help define career paths and attract more students into the pipeline—students that they will need as technicians in the coming years.”
Attracting more female candidates continues to be a major opportunity. The FAA airman database includes 293,000 certificated mechanics. Females make up 2.4% of the certificate mechanic workforce—a figure that has been constant for 15 years.
Successful efforts to fill the pipeline will create other challenges. Hiring and maintaining qualified instructors is the number one threat to increased enrollments, the report found. Negative perceptions and a lack of career awareness is also adversely impacting student recruitment efforts, lending further credence to the idea that the time is ripe for development of a national campaign to increase knowledge and understanding of aviation technical careers.
“There are many effective programs that connect employers and schools, and provide exposure for the aviation maintenance field as a stable, technologically advanced career,” said ATEC President and Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics Director of Campus Operations Gary Hoyle. “However, there is an opportunity to make these programs even stronger, by supporting them with an over-arching national effort, led by industry stakeholders.”
ATEC is involved in several grassroots efforts that connect aspiring technicians with employers and to spread the word of aviation’s value as a career path. Its latest is the Choose Aerospace effort (www.chooseaerospace.org), a coalition of industry stakeholders dedicated to a broad outreach campaign to quantify staffing needs and promote aerospace technical careers. ATEC also hold a series of briefings and networking events at its annual conference, scheduled for March 17-20 in Wichita. More information at www.atec-amt.org/annual-conference.
Other notable findings provided in the report:
Download the Pipeline Report at www.atec-amt.org/pipeline-report.
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.