ATEC News: October 2021
ATEC Publishes the 2021 Pipeline Report & School Directory
Strong momentum at the front of the mechanic pipeline in 2019 was slowed by the historic industry downturn, but the long-term need for more skilled technicians has not changed, says a new report from ATEC. This, the 2021 Pipeline Report adds, increases the urgency to the already-established priority of ensuring the pipeline is leveraging all available resources, including capacity in aviation maintenance technician schools.

In 2020, the FAA issued 30 percent fewer airframe and powerplant mechanic certificates than it did the previous year—a devastating drop given the workforce development strides made in 2019 when more individuals achieved FAA mechanic certification than in any of the previous 17 years. While the dip is likely an anomaly related to the COVID-19 pandemic's ramifications, the long-term effect of the pandemic on the mechanic pipeline remains unclear.

Demand, however, has not changed. Commercial air transport passenger traffic is on track to recover by 2023-24, and the U.S. market is already approaching 2019's capacity figures. Despite the short-term decline in maintenance demand triggered by reduced flying and related employment reductions, long-term forecasts continue to project a shortage in qualified mechanics.

The mechanic population is expected to increase 13 percent over the next 20 years, but ultimately fall 12,000 mechanics short of meeting commercial aviation needs in 2041. This optimistic scenario assumes pre-pandemic certification rates return.

Despite the overall drop in newly certified A&P mechanics, 2020 did include some positive development. AMTS reported 11 percent of A&P graduates were female, compared to 2.6 percent representation in the broader mechanic population. In addition, 40 percent of graduates represent a racial or ethnic minority. In addition, AMTS enrollments increased 5 percent in 2020—a drop over 2019's increase, but still a welcome sign during an historic downturn.

"The entire commercial aviation industry was brought to its knees in 2020, and the mechanic pipeline was no different," said Crystal Maguire, ATEC Executive Director. "Despite the decline in newly certificated mechanics, the uptick in enrollments and the expanding diversity of new graduates are not only encouraging signs, but clues to how we can help bridge the gap between the number of mechanics we will have and are projected to need in two decades.”

Industry's need to innovate quickly during the pandemic has led to some positive developments. Virtual learning gained acceptance, for instance, and ATEC's new foundation, Choose Aerospace, was re-envisioned to better serve the maintenance industry by focusing on high school curriculum development.

"Successful leadership means embracing the opportunities that a crisis creates," said Gary Hoyle, ATEC President and Director of Campus Operations at Pittsburg Institute of Aeronautics. "ATEC's leadership did not lose its focus on the most important issues to members and the aviation maintenance industry, and are leveraging some of the downturn's silver linings to help our community recover and grow even stronger."

Download the 2021 Pipeline Report & Aviation Maintenance School Directory at

Register to attend a Nov. 10 briefing on the report at
Industry News
Avotek Releases New Publications
Avotek is pleased to announce publication of Thomas Eismin’s Avionics: Systems and Troubleshooting, third edition. Readers will gain a better understanding of line troubleshooting and computer-controlled aircraft, functional concepts of avionics systems, and the entire aircraft. Read more.
Avotek also released a new book to help AMTs better train the next generation of the workforce. David Jones, a respected pillar in the AMT instruction community, took an FAA flight-centric publication and made it relevant to mechanic instructors. Read more.
FAA Youth in Aviation Task Force Surveys K-12 Schools
In support the FAA’s Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force, ATEC is asking its members to distribute an educator survey. If your organization is, and/or has relationships with K-12 institutions or programs, please help spread the word. Read more.
HAI Mourns the Passing of Harold Summers
Helicopter Association International announced the passing of Harold “Hal” Summers, director of flight operations for HAI. Harold served the aviation maintenance community for decades, and will be sorely missed. Read more.
WSU Tech Hosts NC3's Train-The-Trainer
NC3 will host two train-the-trainer courses at WSU Tech in Wichita on Dec. 16-17. The events will cover Sheet Metal and Precision Electrical Termination NC3 certification programs. Read more.
Career Opportunities
Scholarship Opportunities
Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance has scholarship opportunities for potential and current students, those transitioning from the military, and for guys too! Applications are being accepted now through Dec 31, 2021.​

The Experimental Aircraft Association's scholarship program encourages, recognizes and supports excellence among those studying the technologies and the skills of aviation. These annual scholarships help outstanding students who demonstrate financial need to accomplish their goals. EAA is taking applications for flight training scholarships Sep 1 - Nov 1, 2021.​

Helicopter Association International (HAI), through its foundation, offers an array of scholarships to answer the need for both qualified helicopter pilots and maintenance technicians, and to provide further training for safety managers and other professionals in the safety field. Applications are due Dec. 3, 2021.
The Northrop Rice Foundation (NRF) administers awards and scholarships for students at aviation technical programs. The Foundation offers FAA written test grants on an ongoing basis. 
ATEC's sister organization, Choose Aerospace will be taking scholarship applications starting December 1. If your organization would like to support the program with an award donation please fill out the donor form here. Or, if you prefer to support as a member of the review committee, email
New and Improved, Aviation School Map
In coordination with release of its annual Pipeline Report, ATEC has published a new and improved school map on it's website.

The maps chart all schools with aviation maintenance-related programs, including those certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration (via Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147) that prepare individuals to apply for an FAA mechanic certificate (via part 65).

View the maps here.
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