This week, NATA applauded Congressional appropriators on the release the final text of a bipartisan, bicameral funding agreement for fiscal year 2020, which began on Oct. 1. The legislation appropriates a total budget of just over $17 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, with most programs funded above the level of the President’s FY2020 budget request. Aviation workforce development programs, a top NATA priority, will receive full funding at the authorized level of $10 million. The bill also provides robust funding for the Airport Improvement Program at the $3.35 billion level as authorized, and an additional $400 million from the general fund.
Contained in the legislation is $10 million for a workforce development grant program that provides grants of up to $500,000 that can be used to by schools, companies, unions, or state/local governments to fund curriculum development, instructor training, equipment purchase, apprenticeships, and recruitment activities.
“Workforce development is an issue of critical importance to our members; we hear it from them all the time. NATA was pleased to be a part of the broad industry coalition during the effort to include this program in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill, and that our continued efforts to ensure the program is fully funded have paid off,” said Jonathon Freye, NATA vice president of government and public affairs.
“We’re grateful to congressional appropriators who recognized the importance of developing the next generation of aviation professionals – by focusing both on recruitment and retention – and provided full funding for this grant program. NATA looks forward to working with our members and the FAA to identify and support competitive applicants when the FAA makes the funding available,” said NATA Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Timothy Obitts.