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September 01, 2021

Inhofe Leads Letter Encouraging DOT and FAA Support of Aviation Maintenance Training Schools

Today, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) led a bipartisan letter to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration encouraging them to implement a directive in support of aviation maintenance training schools.

Inhofe was joined by U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

The senators wrote: “…As original sponsors of the language, we encourage and request swift implementation of the directive in support of aviation maintenance training schools, which have a large part to play in the aviation industry’s recovery from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

They continued: “Given the immediate and increased need for expanding aviation workforce programs, it is imperative the part 147 rulemaking remains a top priority for the FAA.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Secretary Buttigieg and Administrator Dickson:

We write today to encourage the Department of Transportation (Department) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to swiftly implement a directive in support of aviation maintenance training schools. On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act (“the Act”; Division V of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021; P.L. 116-260). Section 135 of the Act directed the FAA to issue interim final regulations to establish requirements for issuing aviation maintenance technician school certificates and associated ratings as well as the general operating rules for those certificate and rating holders. The Act directed FAA to implement Section 135 and issue interim final regulations and repeal the previous regulations within 90 days of the date of enactment, which passed on March 27, 2021.

As original sponsors of the language, we encourage and request swift implementation of the directive in support of aviation maintenance training schools, which have a large part to play in the aviation industry’s recovery from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the immediate and increased need for expanding aviation workforce programs, it is imperative the part 147 rulemaking remains a top priority for the FAA. While we appreciate that the Department noticed this rulemaking in the Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory Actions, this rulemaking has already failed to meet the Congressionally established deadline, and we remain concerned the rulemaking could meet future delays.

As part of the interim direct rule, we also encourage FAA to immediately publish long-overdue Mechanic Airman Certification Standards (ACS). The ACS is instrumental to the new part 147 and would ensure technical training programs align with industry needs as they evolve. It was our intention that the interim final rule reference those standards generally, and not in a way that would disrupt FAA’s ability to regularly revise the ACS to align with industry standards.

We expect and appreciate FAA’s time and attention to the swift implementation of the directive, and look forward to working with you to improve aviation regulations for technical training. Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information.

Sincerely, 


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