WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), along with fellow Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), today applauded the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s inclusion of their bill to improve education and training curriculum at aviation maintenance technician schools as part of S. 3969, the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act of 2020, legislation the committee passed today.
“The Commerce Committee’s passage of the Aviation Safety and Certification Reform Act would not only make much-needed reforms to improve aviation safety, but also includes legislation that is important for the emerging aerospace industry in West Virginia,” said Senator Capito. “The inclusion of our bill updates outdated regulations and ensures aviation maintenance education institutions have the flexibility needed to teach a curriculum that reflects the ongoing technical advances that are occurring across the aviation and aerospace industry. I am confident that the inclusion of this bill will go a long way in improving the training programs at maintenance technician schools.”
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations dictate what educational institutions teach aspiring aviation maintenance mechanics. These curriculum requirements, however, have not been updated in over fifty years. The Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act of 2019 would direct FAA to promulgate a new part 147 that would establish the requirements for operating an aviation maintenance technician school certificated by FAA and the general operating rules for those holding that certificate. The bill would not change the requirement that entities operating an aviation maintenance technician school must hold an FAA certificate.
Industry bears the cost of retraining aviation maintenance technician graduates to complete basic tasks required to maintain a modern, sophisticated aircraft. The outdated curriculum and necessary retraining upon entry into the workforce should not become a contributing factor to the looming shortage of aviation maintenance technicians that threatens to undermine the growth and competitiveness of one of the most important sectors in our economy.
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