Aviation Industry Urges Full Funding for New Workforce Programs

New Delhi, February 08, 2019:  More than three dozen organizations representing a cross section of the aviation industry are urging the Trump administration to make aerospace workforce development a priority in the president’s 2020 budget.

In a letter sent to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Feb. 5, the coalition of 40 associations and unions urged the administration to seek full funding for the aviation technician and pilot recruitment and education programs created by Sec. 625 of last year’s Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization law.

The coalition – which includes organizations representing airlines, maintainers, manufacturers, general aviation, airports, mechanics, pilots and communities with prominent aviation sectors – cited numerous studies pointing to a severe shortage of pilots and aviation technical workers to support maintenance. Boeing, for example, projects that in North America alone, 206,000 new pilots and 189,000 new technicians will be needed over the next two decades. The shortage of pilots and technicians threatens to undermine the growth and competitiveness of one of the most important sectors of the U.S. economy, the letter said.

The organizations are asking the administration to request Congress appropriate the full $5 million authorized for each of the two new grant programs, which are designed to facilitate collaboration between schools, state and local government entities, businesses and labor organizations to attract and educate technicians and pilots according to aviationpros.com.

Under the new law, aviation technical workforce grants could be used for scholarships, apprenticeships, establishing new training programs, purchasing equipment for schools and supporting career transition for members of the armed forces. The new grant program for pilot education would support the creation and delivery of curriculum designed to provide high school students with meaningful science, technology, engineering, math and aviation education.

The letter was coordinated by ARSA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and was signed by the following additional organizations:

Aerospace Industries Association

Aerospace Maintenance Council

Aircraft Electronics Association

Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Airlines for America

Air Medical Operators Association

Airports Council International – North America

Allied Pilots Association

American Association of Airport Executives

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems

International Aviation Council of Pennsylvania

Aviation Suppliers Association

Aviation Technician Education Council

Cargo Airline Association

Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations

Experimental Aircraft Association

Flight School Association of North America

General Aviation Manufacturers Association

Greater Miami Aviation Association

Helicopter Association International

International Air Transport Association

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

International Council of Air Shows

Modification and Replacement Parts Association

National Agricultural Aviation Association

National Air Carrier Association

National Air Transportation Association

National Association of State Aviation Officials

National Business Aviation Association

National League of Cities

NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots

Professional Aviation Maintenance Association

Recreational Aviation Foundation

Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association

Regional Airline Association

South Florida Aviation Maintenance Council

Veterans Airlift Command

Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association

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