Proposed Bill Targets Technician Shortage
Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to create a program to bring more people into the aviation maintenance workforce. If it passes a House vote, the Aviation Workforce Development Pilot Program Bill, H.R. 5701, would provide grants of up to $500,000 for activities that support aviation maintenance workforce development.
Twenty aviation organizations including AOPA, GAMA and NATA have voiced their support for the bill in a letter to House leaders. As for why the bill is needed, the groups point to a Boeing analysis that “suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades” and a forecast from consulting firm Oliver Wyman that says “demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.”
The bipartisan bill was introduced by Representatives Sam Graves, R, Mo., Daniel Lipinski, D, Ill., Markwayne Mullin, R, Ok., and Brenda Lawrence, D, Mich. “All of aviation from general aviation to large commercial operations will be affected if more people do not enter this vital field,” said Graves. “This legislation provides a viable path forward to address the skills gap and ensure the United States remains a world leader in the aviation industry.” Last March, Senator James Inhofe, R, Ok., introduced a similar bill in the Senate.