Industry Illustrates the “Aviation Maintenance Profession”

On May 6, a coalition of 16 aviation industry associations jointly submitted comments to the FAA’s Draft Advisory Circular (AC) 65-30B, “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.” Led by ARSA, the group continued work begun in 2014 when the agency last released a draft version of the AC – which hasn’t been officially updated since 2001 – for comment.

As described by the FAA, the purpose of the AC is to provide information to individuals interested in careers in aviation maintenance. Considering intense focus on workforce and technical skills development issues, helping to produce a useful “overview” of the profession is an industry-wide imperative.

“As representatives of persons involved in the design, production, operations and maintenance of civil aviation products and articles, each organization supporting these comments depends on a vibrant pool of talented aviation maintenance professionals to ensure safety worldwide,” the group explained in its submission. It provided general guidance for crafting the AC as well as a “draft industry submission”; an updated version endorsed by each of the signatory organizations to be considered for FAA adoption.

The industry-provided draft was constructed based on the three points described for the agency by the group’s comments:

(1) Begin with skills.
(2) Show the breadth of the “profession.”
(3) Demonstrate career opportunities.

On this last point, the industry’s draft AC focused intently. It described the aviation maintenance profession as a field of five career pathways including noncertificated professionals, certificated repairmen, certificated mechanics, mechanics holding inspection authorization and transitioning military personnel.

“There is no single point of entry or career trajectory for aviation maintenance professionals,” the draft industry submission said. “Depending on knowledge, education, experience, skill and curiosity, individuals with an interest in the kinds of hands-on, intellectually-challenging and technically-skilled work performed in all manner of aviation maintenance facilities may begin or continue a career through any one of the ‘pathways’ described in this AC.”

While the agency deliberates over the industry’s comments, ARSA will work to utilize the content produced by the effort. Rather than wait for the official release of a new AC, the association and its allies can make good on their combined effort by helping get this updated “overview of the aviation maintenance profession” into circulation right now.

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To help, download and read the full submission (click here). Then share it: Circulate to colleagues, educational partners, local schools, guidance counselors – help get it to “anyone interested in creating or advancing aviation careers.” (Contact ARSA for more information about workforce development resources.)

In addition to ARSA, the following organizations supported the comments:

Aerospace Industries Association
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Airlines for America
Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance
Aviation Suppliers Association
Aviation Technician Education Council
Cargo Airline Association
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Helicopter Association International
Modification and Replacement Parts Association
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
National Business Aviation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association

Previous updates on this AC...

4/2/19 - ARSA Gets More Time on New Maintenance 'Profession' Guidance

On March 29, ARSA requested an extension of the April 4 comment deadline for draft Advisory Circular (AC) 65-30B, “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.” In response, the FAA provided an additional 30 days – which would make the new deadline a Saturday, so comments are now due on Monday, May 6 (a two-day bonus provided by the luck of the calendar).

In 2014, the agency had released a previous draft of the AC for comment. ARSA and the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) responded with a completely rewritten version that reflected the industry’s evolution since the 2001 publication of AC 65-30A (see December 2014 update, below). After waiting nearly five years to continue the process, the aviation community can make good on the continuing effort.

“Now that an updated draft has been re-released for comment, it is critical that time be provided to carefully consider this version against not only the agency’s previous effort but also the industry’s,” the association’s extension request said. “ARSA intends to review the current draft and include association members and industry partners in its feedback. Considering how central workforce development planning has become to maintaining the current and future health of the aviation community, more time would allow us to help the FAA produce a cogent and instructive guidance document illustrating the ‘profession.'”

To read the full extension request, click here.

For information on the draft AC, including how to submit comments, click here.

12/11/14 - ARSA, ATEC Rewrite FAA’s Aviation Maintenance Overview

December 11, 2014

On Dec. 10, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) jointly submitted a re-write of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular (AC) 65-30B: “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.”

The agency solicited input on the draft AC, which had been revised to include updated maintenance career information and details about military to civilian occupational transfers. As the world’s leading voices for aviation maintenance training and employment, ARSA and ATEC completely overhauled the circular.

“To ensure the government can do its job, we did ours,” said Sarah MacLeod, ARSA’s executive director. “A coalition worked to ensure the AC created an informational resource for the entire aviation maintenance industry; a blueprint for American workers to build a rewarding, valuable career. We invested the hours so the aviation technical community can benefit for decades.”

The trade associations had jointly requested an extension of the original Sep. 10 comment submission deadline. ARSA and ATEC used the time to construct a comprehensive document with references to appropriate regulations, career resources including trade organizations, labor and private industry group resources.

“Our submission tells a compelling story,” said Ryan Goertzen, ATEC’s president as well as president of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. “Aviation maintenance is an innovative, dynamic, prestigious industry that provides employment and careers with potential for limitless growth. Mechanics, technicians, specialists and repairmen enjoy more than competitive pay and interesting work; they guarantee the safety of the flying public worldwide.”

9/2/14 - FAA Grants 90-Day Extension on AC 65-30B

September 2, 2014

In response to ARSA’s Aug. 26 request, the FAA has granted a 90-day extension. The new deadline to comment on the draft AC is Dec. 10, 2014.

Comment on the draft AC through utilization of the comment template or by sending your comments to staff for inclusion in the association’s submission.

8/26/14 - Aviation Maintenance Profession Advisory Circular

August 26, 2014

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is soliciting industry input on draft Advisory Circular (AC) 65-30B entitled “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.”

The draft AC provides information and statistics regarding careers in aviation maintenance, including employer prospects, industry outlooks, certification requirements and application procedures. The draft revises military occupation codes for those wishing to credit military aviation maintenance experience towards FAA mechanic certification.

While industry applauds the agency for initiating the change, the draft leaves much room for improvement. Woefully missing from the update are many present-day realities and resources that have come into existence since the AC’s original publication in 2001.

The comment period is set to close on September 10. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) joined the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) requesting a 120-day extension for comment.

Comment on the draft AC through utilization of the comment template or by sending your comments to staff for inclusion in the association’s submission.

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