GA Advocates Support A&P Training Bill


Image: ERAU

A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week would provide $5 million each year from 2019 through 2023 to expand programs and apprenticeships that would train workers for careers in aviation maintenance. “Our aviation industry needs skilled workers, and the aviation-maintenance industry provides high-paying, high-skilled jobs across the country,”said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the sponsors of the bill. Seventeen aviation advocacy groups signed a letter in support of the bill, including AOPA, GAMA and NATA.”An analysis by Boeing suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades,” the letter states. “The consulting firm Oliver Wyman has forecast that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.”

The requested funding would provide grants of up to $500,000 to support workforce development initiatives such as scholarship programs, student outreach, transitioning veterans to new careers and enhancing aviation technical education. Those programs would help to close the “skills gap” by incentivizing businesses, labor groups, educational institutions and local governments to develop innovative ways to recruit and educate the next generation of America’s aviation workforce, Sen. Inhofe said. “Aviation is a cornerstone of the American economy,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “This legislation will help ensure that the future of aviation remains viable and that aircraft owners will have the resources they need to keep our airplanes flying safely for decades to come.”