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Fri, Mar 09, 2018

Industry Supports Senate Bill On Aviation Workforce Shortage

NATA, GAMA, Others Say The Need For Such Legislation Is Great

Seventeen aviation industry organizations are praising legislation introduced Wednesday by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators to help stabilize the country's technical aviation workforce.

The Aviation Maintenance Workforce Development Pilot Program was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators James Inhofe (R-OK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

“Your legislation would incentivize businesses, labor organizations, schools, and governmental entities to work together to pursue innovative new strategies to develop technical talent and encourage workers to pursue aviation careers,” the organizations wrote in a letter of support they sent to the Senators on March 5. “Given the scale of the challenge facing companies in Oklahoma, Connecticut, Kansas, Washington, and elsewhere around the country, your proposal could not be timelier.”

The groups also highlighted in the letter the staggering figures recent studies show, including that North America will need 118,000 new technicians over the next two decades, demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022 and new entrants comprise just two percent of the aviation technician population annually, while 30 percent of the workforce is at or near retirement age.

“Your legislation will help ensure our member organizations have the technical professionals they need to grow, compete globally, and, most importantly, continue to ensure the safety of civil aviation aircraft,” the groups conclude.

“NATA applauds Senators Inhofe, Blumenthal, Moran and Cantwell for recognizing the needs of the aviation maintenance sector by introducing legislation that would address the technical workforce shortage,” said NATA President Martin H. Hiller in a statement released to the media. “The establishment of the Aviation Maintenance Workforce Development Pilot Program brings together the aviation maintenance industry to encourage new opportunities through innovation and provides resources to inspire the next generation of aviation maintenance technicians.”

“The need for skilled maintenance technicians is increasing, and according to a study conducted by the Aviation Technician Education Council, 25% of all graduates from FAA-certified aviation maintenance technician schools do not pursue aviation careers – making this bipartisan legislation timely and imperative to advancing the prosperity of the aviation maintenance community and the safety of the industry overall,” added Hiller.

NATA and the supporting organizations reiterated the importance of this legislation to “help ensure our member organizations have the technical professionals they need to grow, compete globally, and, most importantly, continue to ensure the safety of civil aviation aircraft.”

(Source: GAMA, NATA news releases)

FMI: www.nata.aero, www.gama.aero

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