The Aircraft Electronics Association said most of its certified repair station members increased their rates in 2019 in response to ADS-B installs and to retain and attract technicians, according to the recently released results of its 2018 AEA Rate and Labor Survey. Sixty-three percent of respondents expect their business growth in 2019 to come from ADS-B installs, and 94 percent said finding qualified technicians is difficult.
The rate increases in the U.S. and Canada come after shop rates and wages had stagnated in AEA’s 2017 survey. “This…was widely anticipated to naturally occur, particularly as we come upon the FAA's deadline to equip the general aviation fleet with ADS-B-compliant avionics by January 1, 2020,” said AEA vice president of member programs and education Mike Adamson. “Businesses may be recognizing the importance of offering higher wages to both entry-level and experienced technicians to combat the industry's widely reported workforce shortage.”
The Central U.S. region saw the highest year-over-year shop rate increase using an install rate as the baseline. Shops in that region increased rates by an average of 12 percent, to $96.19 an hour, compared with 6 percent in the East region, 2 percent in the West, 0.7 percent in Canada. The AEA’s South Pacific region edged lower by 0.6 percent.