April 26, 2023

NBAA welcomes two bipartisan bills recently introduced in Congress that aim to close a shortfall in pilots and other aviation workers.

The Aviation Workforce Development Act (HR 1818), which would allow students to use 529 college saving plans to pay for training at FAA-certified commercial pilot and aircraft maintenance technician schools, was introduced by Reps. Mike Collins, (R-10-GA), Jimmy Panetta (D-19-CA), Mike Kelly (R-16-PA) and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-9-TN). The bill, which has more than 30 cosponsors, was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Read the full text of the bill.

The Flight Education Access Act (HR 2874), which would increase the federal student loan limits under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, for students in flight education and training programs. Specifically, it increases the total maximum amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans an eligible dependent may borrow to $111,000 and it increases the maximum amount for independent students to $137,500.

Current federal loan limits do not accommodate the full cost of pilot training, limiting access for students who cannot afford to pay out of pocket or take on high-cost private loan debt. This legislation was introduced by Reps. Colin Allred (D-32-TX), Lori Chavez-Deremer (R-5-OR) and Cohen and was referred to the House Committee on Education & the Workforce

Read the full text of the bill.

“At a time when there is a shortage of pilots, technicians and other essential aviation professionals, we applaud House leaders for introducing these bills, which offers another tool in the toolbox for the next generation of leaders to be part of the aviation community,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

According to the Boeing Company, over the next 20 years, more than 600,000 new pilots and technicians will be needed to address projected growth in the aviation industry. Studies have shown that a lack of financial resources is one of the biggest barriers to people entering the industry, and that’s especially true for minorities and women. NBAA has made diversifying business aviation’s workforce a top priority.

NBAA also provides various tools and resources to the industry to help expand the workforce. Learn more about these association initiatives.

Additionally, the annual NBAA Compensation Survey provides a comprehensive review of aviation department personnel salaries and benefits to help member companies better evaluate their own flight departments. Learn more about the survey.