Bipartisan legislation, supported by the aviation industry, has been put forth to establish a national aviation center, for the purpose of workforce development and overall promotion of the industry—and make sure that high schools around the country have access to aviation-based STEM curriculums.
Senators James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the legislation, S. 3360, on February 27, 2020, to create “a national, independent forum to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between all sectors of aviation and aerospace stakeholders and related partners to coordinate, promote, and support the future of aviation,” according to the letter signed by multiple aviation associations, including many state-level pilot and airport associations. “In particular, we value the National Center’s focus on four key areas: aviation and aerospace STEM curriculum; workforce development, economic and safety data and research sharing, and being a forum for cross-disciplinary collaboration.”
The private organization would take no taxpayer monies from the general fund. Its mission would also include support of military veterans and apprenticeships across the industry. Developing the next generation of aviation and aerospace workers remains a critical priority for businesses across the US and around the world.
“I am proud to introduce this bill to establish the National Center for the Advancement of Aviation with Sen. Duckworth today,” Inhofe said in a press release.“In the more than 100 years since Wilbur and Orville Wright conducted their historic flights at Kitty Hawk, our nation has seen aviation in the United States grow, powered by the individual passions of pilots, aviators and countless others. To continue this legacy, our bipartisan legislation would create an independent, stakeholder-led national center where all aviation and aviation-related stakeholders can work in concert to address the demands and challenges associated with a safe and vibrant national aviation system. As a national forum for cross-disciplinary collaboration, this center would: support aviation and aerospace education and curriculum efforts; leverage industry expertise to develop and deploy the needed workforce of trained and qualified pilots, engineers and maintainers; and serve as a central repository of economic and safety data for all stakeholders. The NCAA will advance a collaborative process to promote aviation in the United States and assist in the development of the next generation of aviation and aerospace workers. I appreciate all the input and support from stakeholders across the aviation community that have made today’s legislation possible.”
“As a pilot, I know that investing in aviation-focused education and workforce development programs helps attract and retain the best talent and keeps our nation at the forefront of global aviation innovation,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to introduce the National Center for the Advancement of Aviation Act with Sen. Inhofe to support the development of next-generation aviators and foster collaboration in the aviation and aerospace industries to help meet the demands and challenges of tomorrow.”