NBAA Workforce Initiatives

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NBAA, Others Support Legislation to Address Aviation Workforce Shortage

May 11, 2018

With flight departments, maintenance facilities and support operations facing a significant shortage of qualified workers, NBAA recently joined with fellow aviation stakeholders to support congressional legislation promoting aviation careers.

The Aviation Workforce Development Pilot Program Bill (H.R. 5701) would provide financial grants to schools, businesses and other private and governmental entities that develop technical talent and encourage workers to pursue careers in the aviation industry. The bipartisan measure was introduced by Reps. Sam Graves (R-9-MO), Daniel Lipinski (D-3-IL), Markwayne Mullin (R-2-OK) and Brenda Lawrence (D-14-MI).

"The U.S. aviation industry is facing a technical worker shortage that threatens to undermine the growth and competitiveness of one of the most important sectors of our economy," reads the May 8 letter of support sent to the bill's sponsors by NBAA and 19 other aviation groups. "Given the scale of the challenge facing companies around the country, the legislation could not be timelier."

For example, the letter cites a Boeing analysis that predicts 118,000 new aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) will be needed in North America over the next two decades. Thirty percent of the current workforce is nearing retirement age, and demand for new AMTs will exceed supply by 2022, according to a separate study by consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Also, more than 80 percent of respondents to a recent member survey by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association reported difficulties finding qualified technicians to meet their needs.

"The shortage of qualified maintenance workers touches all aspects of our industry, and we must all work together to find effective solutions,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "We hope this important legislation will help by promoting aviation careers and ensuring that companies using business aviation have the technical professionals they need to operate safely and compete globally.”

View the full letter.