Project Bootstrap

Brad Townsend, Vice Chair of the NBAA Maintenance Committee, spoke to a number of interested attendees at Aviation Industry Expo regarding the NBAA Maintenance Committee’s Project Bootstrap program. In response to the industry trends of outsourcing, technological innovations, and the need for more qualified A&Ps, Project Bootstrap was launched in 2006. Its mission, to create a higher level of aviation maintenance professionals, will be accomplished through a series of partnerships and the reeducating of the aviation maintenance industry.

Townsend stressed the fact that the advancement of the aircraft technologies is greatly surpassing the skills of many aircraft maintenance professionals. Project Bootstrap is working towards launching a new definition of “Aviation Maintenance Professional,” a joining of the AMT/IA with an avionics technician to create an Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer, or AMTE.

The AMTE will possess the skills and qualities of both an AMT and Avionics Technician. With these skills the AMTEs will be given more advancement opportunities, something that Townsend hopes will draw more young people to the aviation field and increase the industry’s retention of valuable resources.

NBAA has partnered with NCATT, a non-profit national aviation accreditation institution, to develop an expanded curriculum and accredit educational institutions interested in offering courses necessary for the AMTE. NBAA will also be working with educators and others in the industry to create a "Career Transition Model" that will reflect a vertical career path.

In the coming year NBAA will continue to lead the vision in partnering with career growth organizations and hosting a series of grassroots communications. They are also seeking feedback from industry professionals, asking for their support and ideas. To learn more about Project Bootstrap, go to