General Aviation News
FAA introduces aircraft pilot workforce development program
September 16, 2020
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  • The FAA has committed $5 million to its new Aircraft Pilots Workforce Development Grant Program. The program is designed to expand the pilot workforce and help high school students receive training to become pilots, aerospace engineers, or unmanned aircraft systems operators. The program also prepares teachers to train students for jobs in the aviation industry.  

    The unveiling of this program follows the unveiling of a similar program for aviation maintenance technicians.

    In Fiscal Year 2020, Congress appropriated $5 million to create and deliver a training curriculum to address the projected shortage of aircraft pilots. Eligible groups can apply for grants from $25,000 to $500,000.

    The types of projects supported under the Aircraft Pilots workforce development grants include:

    Congress also directed the FAA to ensure that the applications selected for projects established under this program allow for participation from a diverse collection of public and private schools in rural, suburban, and urban areas.

    Entities eligible to apply for the grants include:

    FAA officials note the agency does not have authority to award grants beyond the stated purpose, or to provide scholarships or any form of financial assistance directly to individual applicants, although the selected entities may offer scholarship opportunities as a funded activity. Those interested in direct scholarship opportunities are encouraged to visit the FAA Grants and Scholarships page.

    The FAA will accept public comments on the Federal Register Notice announcement of the new program until Sept. 24, 2020.