FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen Presents Keynote at ARSA Annual Conference

FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen addressed attendees of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) Annual Conference on Thursday March 16. In his keynote, Nolen spoke of the importance aircraft maintenance professionals play in a safe aviation system.

“…as a pilot, I know that the unsung heroes that keep the aircraft in the air, are the people in this very room,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I can say that pilots are only as strong as the maintenance professionals who stand, not behind them, but alongside them.”

During Nolen’s speech, he also addressed the need to attract more young people into our industry.

“Simply put, we need to attract new people to the aviation industry.

Scheduled flights are coming back to pre-COVID levels. That’s a good thing. But as you are aware, we also have 20,000 fewer AMTs than we did before the pandemic.

And the demand for qualified AMTs is only increasing. We have to rebuild the pipeline.

On top of that, the jobs associated with our industry are changing too. As we incorporate new technologies and new concepts into our airspace system — unmanned aircraft, advanced air mobility concepts, commercial space transportation, etc. — we must also take into account that new skills will be required to operate and maintain aircraft of the future.

When you have a recruiting challenge as big as we do, we have to cast a broad net for applicants.”

You can read Nolen’s entire keynote, including ideas he has for the FAA to work with industry to help recruit the next generation of aircraft maintenance professionals, at www.faa.gov/speeches/aeronautical-repair-station-association-keynote-remarks.

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