AEA supports Aviation Workforce Bill

LEE'S SUMMIT, MISSOURI, March 8, 2018 - The Aircraft Electronics Association, along with 16 other aviation organizations, recently sent a letter of support to four Senate leaders for introducing the Aviation Maintenance Workforce Development Pilot Program. The proposed legislation is intended to address the workforce shortage in the aviation industry.

Leading the effort, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association and a broad cross-section of aviation industry groups, including the AEA, sent the letter March 5 to Senators James Inhofe (R-Okla.); Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Jerry Moran (R-Kan.); and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

"According to results from the AEA Rate and Labor Survey, we know it's difficult to lure talent from another shop or other industries," said AEA President Paula Derks. "Every year, the survey results reaffirm the difficulty in finding qualified technicians. I commend these four senators for introducing legislation that takes aim at addressing the technician shortage by creating a new pilot program to train maintenance professionals and recruit new technicians."

In part, the joint industry letter stated:

"Your legislation would incentivize businesses, labor organizations, schools, and governmental entities to work together to pursue innovative new strategies to develop technical talent and encourage workers to pursue aviation careers. Given the scale of the challenge facing companies in Oklahoma, Connecticut, Kansas, Washington, and elsewhere around the country, your proposal could not be timelier.

"An analysis by Boeing suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades. The consulting firm Oliver Wyman has forecast that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022. The Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) recently determined that new entrants make up just two percent of the aviation technician population annually, while 30 percent of the workforce is at or near retirement age."

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.


Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1,300 member companies in more than 40 countries, including government-certified international repair stations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of avionics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.