The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) and the Aviation Technician Education Council (Atec) jointly submitted a rewrite of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular (AC) 65-30B: “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession” in the hopes of creating a document to promote aircraft maintenance as a career path. 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. Issuance of the proposed AC will cancel both AC65-30 Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession (June 27, 2000) and AC 65-11B, Airframe and Power Plant Mechanics Certification Information (1987).
Sarah MacLeod, Arsa’s executive director, told AIN the organization didn’t want merely to comment on the AC. “It was full of negative information dating back to the 1960s. It painted a bad portrait of the life of an aircraft technician, cautioning about working in extreme temperatures, bad weather and so on. It should be a promotional document highlighting the positive aspects of the career and how to get started. We’re trying to attract people to the industry, not talk them out of it.”
MacLeod said the FAA made minimal changes to the pre-existing document other than to update the military occupational service (MOS) codes. The codes are used to give military personnel guidance on the credit they can receive for military aircraft maintenance experience when moving into the civilian maintenance industry.
“The FAA ignored addressing the civilian segment and the wide array of occupations and education that can garner credit toward a technician’s certificate. We updated the content to more appropriately reflect the aviation maintenance industry. For instance, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Helicopter Association International (HAI) and other organizations have strong workforce development programs such as the Aerospace Industries Association's (AIA) strong support of Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the school system. As an industry, we’ve been ramping up our efforts in workforce recruiting and development for the past few years, and an important part of that effort is telling the story of an aviation maintenance professional’s employment and career opportunities,” she said.
Arsa provided the FAA with extensive resources on almost every type of operation or specialty, ranging from airline maintenance departments to blimp manufacturers. “We tried to cover the entire spectrum of aviation maintenance,” she said. Also included is information on all the pertinent trade associations, unions, nonprofit organizations and FAA maintenance technician supporting documentation.
“If you’re looking at a potential career in the aviation maintenance industry, this rewritten proposed AC is now a real resource. I stress the career aspect rather than just pursuing a job. We don’t know if the FAA will adopt our rewrite, but in either case both Arsa and Atec will put it on our websites to promote the career field and help guide those interested in a maintenance technician career,” MacLeod said.