On June 13, representatives from the STEM Education Coalition, Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), and Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology met with policy staff from the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). ATEC is a longstanding member of the Coalition’s leadership council and represents aviation employers, vendors, and educational institutions with maintenance technician programs.
Crystal Maguire, Executive Director of ATEC and Ryan Goertzen, Past ATEC President and Chief Aviation and Academic Officer at Spartan College, discussed the shortage of aviation technicians and pilots in the U.S. workforce. The group specifically voiced concerns with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 147, which governs aviation maintenance technician schools that hold a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate. The prescriptive regulation governs the curriculum for these schools and hasn’t been updated since 1962. The Coalition has been actively working to update the regulation since 2015 and views growing the aviation workforce as an important component of maintaining the U.S.’s technological leadership.