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the FAA to remove the current regulation and replace it with community-drafted language that would modernize long-outdated training requirements.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.
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