Full implementation urged for provisions to recruit, retain aviation professionals.

Yesterday, the US House Subcommittee on Aviation received an update on how the recently passed FAA reauthorization bill would address the growing unmet demand for pilots, maintenance technicians, and other aviation professionals. A key provision of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024—enacted with VAI support—seeks to mitigate or eliminate the many bottlenecks plaguing the industry’s ability to recruit, retain, and engage with aviation talent.

Representatives from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the AFL-CIO, the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), and Louisiana Tech University pressed Congress to ensure that legislative remedies addressing the workforce shortage would be fully implemented.

VAI worked closely with subcommittee members to reinforce its message that addressing the workforce pipeline remains a top priority for Congress, the FAA, and all of aviation.

Aviation industry representatives, including (from left) Matthew Montgomery, Louisiana Tech University; Michael Robbins, Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI); and Joanne Damato, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), testify before the US House Subcommittee on Aviation Jul. 10 about growing the aviation workforce. Dave Spero (far right) of the AFL-CIO also attended the hearing to provide testimony.

After the hearing, Cade Clark, VAI chief government affairs officer, applauded the congressional oversight.

“The lack of pilots and A&P mechanics is one of the biggest issues facing vertical aviation and the rest of the industry,” Clark says. “It’s a top priority for VAI, and we thank the subcommittee for their collaborative efforts to include our important workforce provisions in the recently passed FAA reauthorization bill. VAI looks forward to working with Congress to ensure those initiatives are fully realized.”

VAI is working to address the current shortfall of helicopter pilots and maintenance technicians and to establish an industry workforce pipeline that will provide the industry with a sustainable future.

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