FAA accepts AEA's avionics technician apprenticeship program

Program meets regulatory compliance for issuance of repairman certificate

DALLAS, TEXAS, June 23, 2021 -- During this morning's regulatory session at the 64th annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show in Dallas, Texas, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it has accepted the AEA's avionics technician apprenticeship program to satisfy regulatory compliance for the issuance of a repairman certificate. The announcement was made to convention attendees by Jackie L. Black, manager of the FAA's Aircraft Maintenance Division.

"After careful review of the AEA avionics technician apprenticeship program, we find that this program will assess the competencies of the avionics technician," wrote Black in a June 16, 2021, letter to the AEA. "We agree that successful completion of this program will meet the intent of the regulation stated in 14 CFR section 65.101 (a)(5)(ii) for the issuance of a repairman's certificate." To view the FAA's letter, click here.

Today's announcement by the FAA follows prior approval of the AEA's avionics technician apprenticeship program from the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship. Click here to read Bulletin 2020-12 published Oct. 31, 2019, which gave approval of the competency-based occupational framework that meets industry standards for an avionics technician.

"Now that the avionics technician apprenticeship program has been accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration and approved by the Department of Labor, AEA-member repair stations have another tool to grow their own and successfully recruit, train and retain qualified technicians," said Mike Adamson, AEA president and chief executive officer. "It is another critical step in our industry's ongoing workforce development efforts and offers a new career pathway where individuals can simultaneously earn a competitive wage, gain knowledge with structured learning and on-the-job training, and achieve industry-recognized credentials."

The avionics apprenticeship program was first created by a team of AEA-member repair station and manufacturer representatives who partnered with the AEA and the Urban Institute. Founded in 1968, the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that collaborates with stakeholders to craft relevant solutions and strategies in order to address future obstacles.

To view the work process schedule that will help guide sponsoring companies and aspiring avionics technicians through the apprenticeship program, click here.

AEA members interested in learning more about the apprenticeship program should plan to attend one of the AEA Connect Conferences in the United States later this year. Those events are slated for Sept. 29-30, in Orlando, Florida; and Oct. 27-28 in Reno, Nevada.


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Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1,300 member companies in more than 40 countries, including approved maintenance organizations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of aircraft electronics systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of aircraft electronics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.