Sept. 11, 2020

As part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, the agency was provided the authority to create the Aviation Workforce Development Grants Program, and it recently released more details of the program, including award limits of between $25,000 and $500,000 for any one grant in any one fiscal year.

Congress appropriated $5 million each for the aircraft pilots’ program and the aviation maintenance program for the first time in fiscal year 2020, with funding through the end of fiscal year 2023. “By providing grants to academia and the aviation community to help prepare a more inclusive talent pool, the FAA is investing in the future aviation workforce to inspire and recruit the next generation of aviation professionals,” FAA stated.

The goal of the program is to generate student interest in pursuing careers as aircraft pilots, aerospace engineers, aviation maintenance technicians, or unmanned aircraft systems operators.

NBAA joined forces with 39 other aviation and aerospace groups to urge leaders of the U.S. Department of Transportation and Office of Management and Budget to fully fund the program. Grants will be available to eligible air carriers, labor organizations representing aircraft pilots, flight schools, accredited higher education institutions, secondary or high schools, state or local governmental entities and associations representing aircraft users, aircraft owners, or aircraft pilots.

“With rapidly advancing technology, including advanced air mobility, there will be growing demands on the aviation workforce, and we applaud FAA’s work to advance these NBAA-supported grant programs,” said Scott O’Brien, NBAA senior director, government affairs. “During the debate on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, NBAA made it a priority to advocate for the aircraft pilot and aviation maintenance technical worker grant programs and continued our advocacy to secure funding for both programs. We look forward to working closely with the agency as details are provided on how the industry can apply for grants to cultivate our next generation of aviation professionals.”

The FAA anticipates releasing an initial Notice of Funding Opportunity on or about Nov. 13, which will include application details and deadlines.

Learn more about the program.