April 1, 2020

As the aviation industry’s workforce continues to grapple with the global COVID-19 crisis, skilled aviation workers at manufacturers and training and testing providers are particularly hard hit.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, in a recent letter to Congress, said more than 500,000 aerospace production jobs are at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus.

PSI Services, an FAA airmen knowledge test contracting center, closed all U.S. testing facilities until at least April 13, and simulator training provider CAE temporarily laid off more than 400 employees, with future additional layoffs expected.

At some companies, manufacturing has been halted, though employees will continue to receive pay. Such is the case for Michigan-based Waco Aircraft, a biplane manufacturer, which closed its doors until at least April 13 to comply with the state’s stay-at-home order.

A statement by Waco Aircraft CEO Sven Lepschy and General Manager Tim Osterhouse on the Waco website concludes with, “At Waco, we believe there are moments in our lives which should be defined by our vision, mission, values, hopes and dreams, not by a virus.”

Some businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 qualify for financial assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Review NBAA’s Key Provisions for General Aviation Businesses in CARES Act to determine eligibility and learn more about the process.