WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and Senator Angus King (I-Maine) applauded a move by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to invest in the future of America’s aviation and maintenance workforce by opening two key grant programs up to applicants later this year. The decision comes within weeks of Senators Collins and King pushing the FAA and Department of Transportation (DOT) to fully implement these programs and expand the development of the next generation of aircraft pilots and maintenance technicians – their September 1st letter with a number of Senate colleagues can be read HERE.
“A strong aviation workforce is critical to America’s economy, supporting not only this important sector but all the other economic activity that relies on the aviation industry,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “These programs, which were first enacted by Congress two years ago, are a vital tool to help bolster our nation’s aviation workforce. We look forward to seeing these funding programs open before the end of the year, so that Maine students can benefit from the opportunity to explore potential careers in aviation-related fields.”
Further information and updates on the status of the FAA’s aviation and maintenance grant programs can be found HERE.
Senators Collins and King were both cosponsors of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years, which passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support in 2018. The legislation, authorized funding for all FAA programs, including FAA operations, research and development, aviation programs, extension of expiring authorities, airport planning and improvement, and noise compatibility and programs. Senator Collins, as the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, secured full funding for these programs in the FY20 Transportation Appropriations bill.
Last year, Senators King and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced the Promoting the Launch of Aviation’s Next Era (PLANE) Act of 2019. This bipartisan legislation would empower the voices of pilots, invest in airport infrastructure and ensure more opportunities for a trained aviation workforce.