FAA Offers Funding For Pilot, Maintenance Tech Programs


The FAA has opened applications for a pair of grant programs designed to generate interest and prepare students to step into careers in aviation. Together, the Aircraft Pilots Workforce Development Grants and Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Workforce Development Grants fund programs that educate pilots, aerospace engineers, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drone) operators and aviation maintenance technicians. Grant amounts from $25,000 to $500,000 per fiscal year are available.

“The FAA is investing in the future aviation workforce,” the agency said. “We are providing grants to academia and the aviation community to help prepare a more inclusive talent pool of pilots and aviation maintenance technicians, to inspire and recruit the next generation of aviation professionals.”

According to the FAA, it awarded $10 million in aviation workforce development grants to more than 20 schools and organizations last year. The grant programs are currently authorized through the end of fiscal year 2023. Grant applications are open to eligible organizations until Aug. 16, 2023, via www.grants.gov.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Well, bless your heart! I reckon we got ourselves a good ol’ dose of bubba commentary comin’ right up!

  2. When I was a FAA aviation safety inspector, I worked with the “team” to get this program up and running. It was in the FAA reauthorization bill of 2018. It is in Article 6, section 601 through 635. In the act, congress wanted it up and running in 180 days; ti took 2 + years. Many short comings in the bill. While it is directed to the DEI BS, it doesn’t take into account many issues that blocked someone from benefiting with the grant funding. Typical government incompetence. Now, for someone to get some of the funding, the application process is a PITA and the internal FAA review requirements are a huge drag on progress. those doing teh review need to write a 25 page report for the legal department and it’s all on one’s own time. No one wanted to do that much effort for no benefit.

  3. A good idea that is under funded, mis constructed and very short sighted in it’s directive. It is obvious that whoever wrote this section of the bill really didn’t know a thing about aviation and what it takes to get started in the industry. They just threw money at the issue. Poor results due to even poorer planning.

  4. When government needs to fund an industry “to generate interest and prepare students to step into careers in aviation.” guess what happen? LOL

  5. This is classic government bureaucracy. Fund a program to get something accomplished, then drown it in so much superfluous paperwork and rules that nothing ever gets accomplished. All of the money gets eaten up in administrative costs. If the FAA was truly interested in solving the mechanic’s shortage, they would streamline the training process to allow owner/pilots (with training) to perform more of the maintenance on their own airplanes. A limited owner mechanic license would make it possible to do much of the maintenance on your airplane. It could still require ultimate signoff from an IA if they are concerned about the tasks being properly performed. When the Feds talk about mechanics, they envision a fully trained person who is capable of working on jets and big transport level airframes. Where the real shortage exists is down in the light plane ranks where most of the current A&P’s are in their 60s or 70s and will be gone in another decade.

  6. How to govern, three easy steps:
    If it moves, tax it.
    If it keeps moving, regulate it.
    If it stops moving, subsidize it.