Yesterday, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives issued bipartisan, bicameral legislation that, if signed into law, would modernize long-outdated maintenance training regulations and better aid the education community in supporting America’s growing aviation industry.
The Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427) would direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to replace current training requirements with a new, community-drafted regulation that would establish a performance-based oversight system. Under the new law, aviation maintenance technician schools certificated and governed by Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147, would have the flexibility to teach content that is reflective of today’s high-tech environment.
Senators James Inhofe (R-OK), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Cheri Bustos (D-IL) are original co-sponsors of the Act.
“Innovation in the aviation and aviation maintenance industries has led to safer and more efficient aircraft. However, outdated regulations have prevented schools from implementing modern curriculum to teach students the skills necessary to maintain and repair modern, sophisticated aircraft,” Inhofe said. “I am proud to introduce this legislation today which would empower schools with the flexibility to teach core curriculum reflective of the technical advances happening across the aviation and aerospace industry, would reduce restrictive government regulations, and would ensure schools are graduating successful students into productive mechanics on the flight line or maintenance floor.”
“When it comes to transportation, Alaska’s unique geography can present many challenges. Aviation is one of the most important means of traveling our state, and the demand for air travel requires a strong workforce of both aviators and the mechanics who support them,” said Young. “Current FAA regulations mandate a particular curriculum for maintenance technicians, but this curriculum has not been meaningfully updated in more than five decades. The PARTT 147 Act is a fix that is long overdue.”
“The new regulation would be a game changer for aviation programs,” said Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics Director of Campus Operations and ATEC President Gary Hoyle. “Industry has been asking for an updated regulation for 15 years. It is past time for our community to be given the opportunity and flexibility to create programs that better meet demand for highly-skilled technical personnel. We applaud the leadership and willingness of our congressional representatives to further escalate the issue and provide long-awaited relief from prescriptive requirements.”
An overwhelming number of aviation stakeholders signed on to a letter in support of the PARTT 147 Act, including--
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aerospace Maintenance Council
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Airlines for America
Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance
Aviation Suppliers Association
Aviation Technician Education Council
Experimental Aircraft Association
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Modification and Replacement Parts Association
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
National Business Aviation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association