Feb. 15, 2019
As part of its ongoing focus on business aviation workforce growth and retention, NBAA recently joined with a number of other aviation organizations, urging the Trump administration to provide full funding for grant programs that will help recruit and train the next generation of aviation technicians and pilots. Thanks to the advocacy of NBAA and other general aviation groups, these programs were established as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
In a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, NBAA and the other aviation groups urged the administration “to seek full funding of $10 million for these programs as part of its fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request and to rapidly initiate these programs.”
“The resources provided through these temporary initiatives will incentivize businesses, labor and pilot organizations, schools, and governmental entities to work together to pursue innovative new strategies to develop technical talent and encourage our next generation of pilots to pursue careers in aviation. This, in turn, will help ensure the continued global leadership of America’s aerospace sector,” wrote the aviation groups in their letter to the key administration officials.
NBAA has been at the forefront of industry efforts to attract, retain and grow the business aviation workforce of today and tomorrow. In an editorial in the January/February 2019 issue of NBAA’s Business Aviation Insider magazine, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen again highlighted some of the industry’s concerns, including a more than 60 percent pilot turnover rate in NBAA member companies since 2015, with 33 percent of those companies having lost maintenance technicians.
“A recent Boeing study concludes that over the next 20 years, 96,000 new business-aircraft pilots will be needed, along with a similar number of support personnel,” wrote Bolen. “NBAA will continue exploring workforce solutions while building awareness of our industry’s career opportunities.”
NBAA’s multi-pronged workforce development efforts include:
- Hosting and coordinating student-focused career days, which annually draw more than 1,000 students
- Promoting industry internships
- Offering nearly $100,000 annually in cash scholarships
- Supporting mentorships via the NBAA Mentoring Network
- Helping young professionals build networks, including the more than 3,500 individuals who have connected through NBAA’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation (“YoPro”) group
- Providing for continuing professional development, such as NBAA’s Professional Development Program, of which to date there have been more than 11,000 course completions
- Offering the industry’s accredited Certified Aviation Manager program, and Advocating for workforce-development policies and programs