2
The Aviation Industry and Its Workforce

The Aviation Industry

Orville and Wilbur Wright first flew an aircraft in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That inaugural flight from a North Carolina dune spawned an enterprise that, by one estimate, now employs over 8 million people and annually contributes nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars to the nation's gross domestic product (Wilbur Smith Associates, 1995).

This chapter gives an overview of the aviation industry and its workforce, in order to provide a context for our more detailed analysis of training issues in subsequent chapters. We review major developments in the history of civilian aviation, such as the waxing and waning of the federal regulatory role, that shaped the industry's organization and personnel practices. We describe the general structure of civilian aviation today and examine data on workforce size, wages, hiring, and composition, including available information on the diversity of aviation personnel. We look at licensing and certification policies for key careers and trends in worker supply and demand—all to help us understand better the pressure points that affect training and hiring practices within the industry.

The Evolution of the Industry

In January 1914, some 11 years after the Wright brothers' historic flight, the first known commercial air passenger operator in the United States was established in Florida (Komons, 1978:16). For three winter months, on a more or less regular basis, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line shuttled passengers back and forth across 23 miles of water between the two cities after which it was named. Then, with the coming of spring, tourists moved north, and the airline



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--> 2 The Aviation Industry and Its Workforce The Aviation Industry Orville and Wilbur Wright first flew an aircraft in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That inaugural flight from a North Carolina dune spawned an enterprise that, by one estimate, now employs over 8 million people and annually contributes nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars to the nation's gross domestic product (Wilbur Smith Associates, 1995). This chapter gives an overview of the aviation industry and its workforce, in order to provide a context for our more detailed analysis of training issues in subsequent chapters. We review major developments in the history of civilian aviation, such as the waxing and waning of the federal regulatory role, that shaped the industry's organization and personnel practices. We describe the general structure of civilian aviation today and examine data on workforce size, wages, hiring, and composition, including available information on the diversity of aviation personnel. We look at licensing and certification policies for key careers and trends in worker supply and demand—all to help us understand better the pressure points that affect training and hiring practices within the industry. The Evolution of the Industry In January 1914, some 11 years after the Wright brothers' historic flight, the first known commercial air passenger operator in the United States was established in Florida (Komons, 1978:16). For three winter months, on a more or less regular basis, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line shuttled passengers back and forth across 23 miles of water between the two cities after which it was named. Then, with the coming of spring, tourists moved north, and the airline

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--> went out of existence. The country's second known airline, Aero Limited, started in August 1919 to carry passengers between New York and Atlantic City, then moved to Florida and flew between Miami and Nassau. By early 1920, it, too, had ceased operations. Other small airlines came (and sometimes went) during the 1920s. In an era of remarkable invention and rapid change in transportation, commerce, and world affairs, these fledgling airlines rose and fell without action or interference from the government. Government involvement in civilian aviation began, not with passenger airlines, but with the U.S. Post Office airmail service. (For a summary of the airline industry's early development, see Meyer and Oster, 1981: Chapter 2; greater detail can be found in Davies, 1972.) As early as 1916, funds for the carriage of airmail were provided from monies appropriated for "Steamboats or Other Power Boat Service," but not until 1918 did the Post Office translate its desire for an airmail service into action. Early airmail, like early passenger service, was not successful because of the relatively slow speed and the range limitations of early aircraft. Only with the advent of transcontinental airmail service were the real advantages of the air mode demonstrated. As an infrastructure for these transcontinental routes, the Post Office by 1925 had developed a system of landing fields and flashing beacons from New York to San Francisco capable of supporting both daytime and nighttime operations. Thus, commercial air transportation in the United States began with a number of small passenger companies whose presence was often no more than transient and with a subsidized airmail service operated by the U.S. Post Office. The first major piece of U.S. civil aeronautics legislation was the Contract Mail Act of 1925, known as the Kelly Act for its principal sponsor. Under the Kelly Act, the postmaster general was authorized to award airmail contracts to private airlines. Contracts were awarded through the issuance of route certificates, which gave a company the right to carry mail on a specific route. These route certificates initially had a 4-year limit, which was soon extended to a 10-year maximum limit. The Post Office worked to expand the domestic route system by avoiding competition on individual routes and using its power to award routes to streamline and rationalize the industry. Consequently, by 1933, the "Big Four"—United, American, TWA, and Eastern—collected nearly 94 percent of the $19.4 million paid to airmail contractors. Because of some irregularities in the Post Office actions regarding airmail contracts, the successor to the Kelly Act, the Watres Act (the Air Mail Act of 1930), was nullified and existing airmail contracts were canceled for a brief period in 1934. The U.S. Army Air Corps took over carriage of the mail, serving fewer routes on a more limited basis. They proved to be ill equipped and untrained for even this more limited service and suffered a series of highly publicized accidents. Airmail service was quickly returned to civilian companies with temporary, competitive bid contracts. In June 1934, the Black-McKellar Act was passed, giving permanence to these temporary contracts by authorizing the postmaster general to extend their life for an additional nine months, after which they

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--> could be "continued in effect for an indefinite period" (Komons, 1978:266-267). On the shorter routes, new companies entered the field, but the "Big Four" kept the longer routes mainly because only they had the equipment and training to fly them. Developments in transportation regulation during the 1930s were greatly influenced by the catastrophic economic scene. Against the backdrop of the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and its interest in wage rules, the National Labor Board established a formula for pilot pay that continues to influence how pilots are compensated. In 1933 the board agreed to arbitrate an industry-wide pilot pay dispute. Pilots feared that the introduction of larger and faster planes would reduce their incomes if pay continued to be based on hourly wage rates. In its Decision 83, the Labor Board established a compromise pay formula based on seniority, hours flown, and the average speed of the plane. In 1934 the pilots' union successfully lobbied Congress to require airlines to comply with Decision 83 in order to hold an airmail contract (U.S. Department of Transportation, 1992:5-6). The Great Depression in addition so affected American philosophy that the very basis of the U.S. economic system, the concept of open competition, came under attack. Much economic regulation in the 1930s was a response to what was considered to be excessive or cutthroat competition. Additional reasons for regulation can arise, moreover, when an inherently competitive industry receives subsidies; under such conditions, bidding for new businesses can be at prices well below cost, allowing for expansion with the use of subsidy to make up the cost/price difference. Such behavior did occur among the airlines in the 1930s, and the government sought to subdue competition of this sort so as to minimize subsidy payments. Developed in this era, the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 formed the basis for federal aviation policies and authority and remained the primary influence until the time of deregulation in 1978. The 1938 act created the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which was reorganized into the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in 1940. Among the Civil Aeronautics Authority's first actions under the new law was to grant "grandfather" rights, which gave existing airlines permanent certificates for all of their existing route authorities, as long as they met regulatory requirements. These certificates put a stamp of approval on the airline structure that the Post Office had developed, essentially freezing the system of the Big Four plus 12 independents. Through mergers in the intervening years, these 16 carriers evolved into the 10 domestic "trunk" or primary airlines that existed when deregulation started. 1 Although there were many applications to enter into 1   As of October 1978, these airlines were American, Braniff, Continental, Delta, Eastern, National, Northwest, Trans World, United, and Western. In addition, Pan American was a trunk airline for international routes.

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--> scheduled domestic airline service, no new trunk carriers were allowed to enter the industry under CAB regulation. A basic tool of CAB regulation was its authority to issue "Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity." Each certificate applied to a specific route, much like the certificates issued by the Post Office. An airline was required to have such a certificate before it offered scheduled airline service. The only exceptions were commuter airline operations with small aircraft. Even though no new trunk carriers were permitted, the CAB, with considerable prodding from Congress, did allow some new entrants into the industry under special restrictions. In 1944 the CAB initiated an experiment to expand air service to small communities. This experiment eventually led to the formation of the so-called local service airlines,2 intended to provide feeder service for the trunk airlines. The certificates of the local service airlines were changed from experimental to permanent in 1955. Through a combination of growth, government subsidy, and CAB route policies, many of these local service airlines came to resemble small trunk airlines in their operation. Even so, they retained a distinct regional focus in their route networks prior to deregulation. A second type of entrant into the industry was the supplemental carrier. These carriers were permitted to offer only nonscheduled charter flights to groups of travelers. Initially, supplemental carriers were established by the CAB on an interim basis, but in 1966 they were given permanent status. Many of the applications to become scheduled carriers came from this group of supplemental carriers. Conversely, most of the trunk airlines conducted some charter operations. The authority to issue certificates also allowed the CAB to control the route structure of each airline. Each certificate applied to a single route and specified the cities on either end of the route and the intermediate stops. The specification of intermediate stops was quite detailed and often included stops that had to be made, stops that could be made, and stops that could not be made. In addition, there were occasionally restrictions on carrying passengers between intermediate stops. Through the use of these certificates, the CAB could control the route structure of each airline as well as the numbers of carriers permitted to compete in each city-pair market. The CAB used route awards to pursue diverse policy objectives. Monopoly route awards were often given the applicant in the weakest financial position in an attempt to strengthen that carrier and maintain stability in the industry. Route awards were also used as a way to reduce the subsidies paid to local service airlines for service to small communities. Thus, local service airlines were sometimes given longer routes, which were believed to be more profitable, with the intention that these profits would cross-subsidize the losses on low-density short-haul routes. 2   As of October 1978, these airlines were US Air (formerly Allegheny), Frontier, Hughes Airwest, North Central, Ozark, Piedmont, Southern, and Texas International.

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--> The certificates were also used to control exit, since a carrier could not stop serving a route without CAB approval. Some exit occurred, though, as the trunk airlines were permitted to turn over a few of their low-density short-haul routes to local service airlines. Starting in the late 1960s, the local service airlines and to a lesser extent the trunk airlines were permitted to hand over a few of their routes to noncertificated commuter airlines (who flew regular schedules but used smaller airplanes than the trunk and local service airlines). The CAB also controlled airline fares. It could regulate fares in two different ways: (1) by approving, modifying, or rejecting requests for fare changes filed by individual carriers and (2) by directly setting either the exact fares or a narrow range of permissible fares. When the CAB set fares directly, it used a formula that had distance as its only variable. Thus, for the most part, all routes of the same length had the same fares for all the airlines. The CAB was also clearly able to control the structure of the industry. In addition to influencing the size of the firms through the awarding of new routes, it had the authority to approve mergers of airline companies. In general, the CAB took a restrictive view of mergers, granting approval only to maintain industry stability when one of the merging airlines was in serious financial trouble. The extent of these controls and the manner in which the CAB applied them had profound impacts on the development of the industry. Some of these impacts are still seen today. Under CAB regulation, for example, the airlines had very little incentive to keep labor costs, and particularly pilot salaries, low. If an airline involved in contract negotiations with pilots pushed for pilot salaries below the industry average, it risked a strike by the pilots. During that strike, the airline would lose considerable revenue from canceled operations. If the airline ultimately prevailed and the pilots accepted salaries below the industry average, what would the airline gain? It could not increase its market share by lowering its fares because fares were regulated by the CAB. Similarly, it could not increase its market share by expanding into new markets, because the CAB controlled routes and entry and seldom allowed carriers to enter new markets, particularly those already served by an incumbent carrier. With lower costs, it could earn more profits on each flight, but too much financial success would result in other airlines gaining preference for new route awards. Thus the gains from lower labor costs were small and rarely were judged by airline management to outweigh the losses incurred during a strike. The airlines knew that the CAB routinely adjusted fares to follow changes in the average industry costs. Thus, there was an incentive for airlines to grant wage increases as long as they were in line with average industry wage practices, because the resulting cost increases would be translated into higher fares for all airlines. Working in concert with this reduced incentive to keep wages low was extremely high growth in airlines' productivity during virtually the entire post-World War II period, as can be seen in Table 2-1. Between 1950 and 1980, enplanements (the number of passengers boarding aircraft) increased by a factor

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--> TABLE 2-1 U.S. Scheduled Airline Enplanements, Passenger Miles, Revenues, and Employees, Selected Years Year Enplanements (thousands) Revenue Passenger Miles (millions) Passenger Revenue (millions of 1993 dollars) Employees 1950 19,220 10,243 $3,646 86,057 1960 57,872 38,863 11,657 167,603 1970 169,922 131,710 28,404 297,374 1980 296,903 255,192 49,187 360,517 1990 465,560 457,926 64,605 545,809 NOTE: Data before 1970 are taken from Civil Aeronautics Board, Handbook of Airline Statistics, 1973 Edition (March 1974). Data from 1970 on are from Air Transport Association, Air Transport: The Annual Report of the U.S. Scheduled Airline Industry (various years). SOURCE: Morrison and Winston (1995:7). Reprinted by permission. of 15, whereas employment increased only by a factor of 4. Most of the productivity growth came from improved aircraft technology. Aircraft became larger and faster and able to fly greater distances without stopping. During this period, revenue passenger miles increased more rapidly than enplanements, indicating that the average trip taken by a passenger became longer. The pace of technology growth accelerated with the spread of jet aircraft in the 1960s and of wide-body jet aircraft in the 1970s. Pilots took the view that, since they were able to produce more passenger miles with the newer aircraft, they should be paid more for their greater productivity. These productivity gains, coupled with the lack of regulatory incentive to keep wages down, resulted in pilots, particularly the more senior pilots, becoming highly paid. Spurred by "a considerable body of academic research that was critical of regulation," the regulation of the airline industry was gradually relaxed beginning in 1975 and the Airline Deregulation Act was enacted in October 1978 (Transportation Research Board, 1991:28-30). Between 1975 and 1978 the CAB encouraged competition by opening certain routes to additional carriers and by giving airlines more discretion in pricing discount seats. The 1978 Deregulation Act ended (over time) CAB's authority over routes and domestic fares and dissolved the agency itself in 1985. The changes to the industry since deregulation have been dramatic. As with any major public policy change, there have been winners and losers. In general, average air fares are lower than they were likely to be under continued regulation, more cities are receiving more service, and the industry has continued to improve its productivity, even in the absence of the dramatic technological progress that drove productivity improvement in the past. These factors have helped fuel a

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--> significant increase in airline travel over the past 20 years, with some fluctuations depending on overall economic conditions. Deregulation has had important impacts on employment in the industry. The increase in airline travel increased the need for airline employees. However, this rise in employment was not evenly spread throughout the industry. Escalating competition in the wake of deregulation has meant growth for some airlines and the creation of some entirely new airline companies. It has meant that airlines previously constrained by regulation to intrastate markets, such as Southwest, could expand across state lines. It also has meant shrinkage of other airlines and the bankruptcy of some previously well-established carriers like Pan American, Eastern, and Braniff. Others of the pre-deregulation airlines were absorbed through merger. While the large commercial airline portion of the industry is the main focus of the committee's attention, it is only a portion of the U.S. civilian aviation industry. For the purposes of this study, it is important to place commercial airlines in the larger context of civilian aviation because other parts of the civilian aviation industry play an important role as a training ground for pilots, maintenance technicians, and other airline personnel. A Classification System for Civilian Aviation An important foundation for the committee's work is a clear and consistent way of describing the various parts of civilian aviation. Unfortunately, classifications and terminology vary from source to source. For example, which carriers are and are not included in descriptions and statistics on airlines or ''air carriers" are not always the same. Even within a single federal agency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), definitions are not always consistent among agency publications (compare, for example, the glossaries in Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.(b) and 1995); the categories used in statistical tables vary depending on what is being described. For example, the FAA Statistical Handbook of Aviation (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.(b)) uses different groupings of air carriers depending on whether it is reporting on airport activity, the civil air carrier fleet, operating data, general aviation aircraft, or aircraft accidents or whether it is defining terms in its glossary. This seems to be at least partially the result of different reporting requirements applied at different times to different kinds of air carriers by the various federal agencies that have had jurisdiction over aspects of passenger and cargo operations at some point in American aviation history. It may also be a function of rapid changes in the industry following deregulation in 1978. We try to be clear in this report about exactly what data we are describing, and we urge readers to be cautions when comparing the numbers presented in this report to those found elsewhere. Nonmilitary aviation in the United States can be generally divided into two broad categories: commercial aviation and general aviation (Figure 2-1).

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--> FIGURE 2-1 Aviation categories. Commercial Aviation Commercial aviation generally refers to businesses that carry passengers or cargo for hire or compensation. The FAA divides commercial air carriers into two broad categories: certificated air carriers and air taxis. The key difference between the categories involves aircraft size as measured by the number of seats or the maximum permissible payload of the aircraft flown. Below we follow the definitions used by the FAA in reporting on operating data for U.S. air carriers (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.(b):Chapter 6). Certificated Air Carriers These carriers fly planes of 30 or more seats and payload capacities of 7,500 or more pounds. Their operations are regulated under Part 121 of the Federal Air Regulations (contained in the Code of Federal Regulations: 14 CFR Parts 1 through 199). So-called large certificated air carriers operate aircraft with 60 or more seats or a maximum payload of 18,000 pounds or more. In some FAA statistical reports, these large certificated air carriers are further grouped into majors, nationals, large regionals, and medium regionals, according to their total operating revenues. The airlines in each group therefore change as carrier revenues change; Table 2-2 indicates the carriers that were in each group in 1992 and 1993. Some FAA statistics on large certificated air carriers include all four groups; others omit the medium regionals and report only on the other three groups. "Small certificated air carriers" fall between the large certificated carriers and air taxis (see below). While they operate under Part 121, they are often grouped with the scheduled air taxis in FAA statistical reports (e.g., Federal Aviation Administration, 1995:K-3) and, along with the scheduled air taxis, are commonly called "commuter air carriers."

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--> TABLE 2-2 U.S. Large Certificated Air Carriers, 1992 and 1993 Major Carriers National Carriers Large Regional Carriers Medium Regional Carriers America West Air Wisconsin Air Transport Intl. Aerial American Air Wisconsin Corp. American Intl. Airmark Continental Alaska Amerijet Atlas Air Delta Aloha Arrow AV Atlantic Federal Express American Trans Air Braniff International Buffalo Northwest Atlantic Southeast Carnival Casino Express Southwest Business Express Challenge Air Cargo Continental Micronesia Trans World DHL Airways Executive Airlines Eagle Airlines United Emery Express One Empire United Parcel Evergreen Florida West Fine Airlines US Air Hawaiian Key Great Americans   Horizon Air Kiwi Intl. Cargo Express   Markair MGM Grand Jet Fleet   Midwest Express Morris Miami Air   Southern Air Northern Air Million   Sun Country Private Jet North American   Tower Reeve Patriot   US Air Shuttle Reno Ryan Intl.   Westair Rich Sierra Pacific   World Simmons Spirit Air     Trans Continental Trans AirLink     Trans States Trans American Charter     UFS, Inc. Ultrair     Zantop Wilbur's       Worldwide       Wrangler   SOURCE: Federal Aviation Administration (n.d.(b):Table 6.1). Air Taxis Air taxis operate under Part 135 of the Federal Air Regulations and fly aircraft with fewer than 30 seats or payload capacities of less than 7,500 pounds. Scheduled air taxis perform at least five round trips per week between two or more points and publish flight schedules for these flights. In 1992 and 1993 there were 141 small certificated and scheduled air taxis combined (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.(b):6-12). In addition to these scheduled commuters, 3,764 aircraft were primarily used in 1993 for what is called on-demand air taxi service (p. 8-3). Affiliations and Feeder Relationships Among Airlines Following deregulation, the major air carriers have pursued various arrangements with smaller air carriers to ensure that passengers will be fed from small communities to hub airports where they can connect to jet flights. "Feeder" carriers typically operate as

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--> extensions of the major carriers under such names as American Eagle, the Delta Connection, Northwest Airlink, and United Express. These commuter operations have code-sharing or joint marketing arrangements with the majors that allow them to share the major carrier's two-letter designator code in reservation systems and published flight guides. They also coordinate flight schedules and baggage handling. Sometimes the major carriers hold equity interests in the smaller companies, and in a few cases they own them outright. General Aviation The FAA defines general aviation as encompassing all facets of civilian aviation except commercial air carriers. Although general aviation is not a focal point of our study, it plays an important role in the aviation training system in the United States and also provides employment for individuals with specialized aviation skills. Planes are used in general aviation for a variety of purposes, some of which are clearly commercial, even though they do not involve carrying passengers. General aviation includes firefighting, agricultural crop dusting and seeding, reforestation, insect control, aerial observation, business transportation (not for compensation), instructional flying, personal flying, glider towing, and parachuting. The FAA (n.d.(b):8-3) estimates that there were about 176,000 general aviation aircraft in use in 1993 (including 3,764 general aviation aircraft being used primarily for nonscheduled air taxi service). These ranged from corporate multiengine jets to amateur-built single-engine piston planes, balloons, and dirigibles. Technical services for general aviation (maintenance, repairs, and flying lessons, for example) are provided by hundreds of so-called fixed-base operators, who can be found at both major and small airports in the United States. There were 13,228 airports in 1993 (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.(b): Table 3.1). Aviation and Intermodal Transportation The airlines do not operate in isolation but are part of an intermodal transportation system. The most sophisticated airline system in the world is of limited value if either customers or employees cannot access airports easily through a variety of ground transportation choices. Airport ground access has been a key focus for urban transportation planners since the 1950s and 1960s, when air travel was recognized as a significant factor in economic growth. Three decades ago, however, airport access meant creating highway systems that moved people, and to a lesser extent goods, to the airport. Highways provided the most simple solution to what was then a simple problem. Over the last two decades, rapid growth of air transportation at large airports has created the need for improved integration of air transportation with multimodal ground transportation. Today, access has become much more complex,

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--> and planners must contend with a host of ancillary factors such as air quality, noise pollution, congestion, land use, wildlife and wetland protection, and others. Ground transportation at large airports is dominated by privately owned automobiles, a situation that creates a variety of problems (for a more complete discussion see Nettey, 1995). At the airport itself, there are problems of increased congestion of vehicular traffic both coming and going within the airport terminal complex. Airport congestion problems are often compounded by the obstructed flow of vehicular traffic by cars in search of increasingly scarce parking in proximity to the terminal. Both of these problems are worsened by the increase in demand for transportation during peak travel periods, when transportation delays are least tolerable and most economically wasteful. Moreover, access no longer means moving just people to and from the airport during the most popular travel hours. The growth of air cargo, particularly the overnight package express services such as Federal Express and United Parcel Service, places additional demands on timely and predictable truck linkages with airports. These services rely on extensive truck pickup and delivery systems that must be able to meet rigorous time schedules both for getting packages to the airport in time for their flights to cargo hub airports and for delivering packages to the customers by the promised time. Easy ground access to airports is critical to the success of these services. Aviation and the Economy Airlines and their associated businesses play an important and highly visible role in the economy. Because air transportation is capital intensive, however, it employs relatively few people. Employment in air transportation and aircraft manufacturing together accounted for barely 1 percent of U.S. nonfarm employment in 1993 (Table 2-3). Air transportation itself (including airport operations) employed slightly less than 0.7 percent of nonfarm workers. Aviation, however, is highly visible and its contributions to the U.S. economy far exceed its direct employment. Since 1989, with sponsorship from the aviation industry,3 Wilbur Smith Associates has published a series of reports attempting to assess civilian aviation's overall contribution to the U.S. economy (Wilbur Smith Associates, 1995). These reports look at commercial and general aviation as well as airport operations and aircraft manufacturing and consider direct impacts, indirect impacts, and induced impacts. Direct impacts are financial transactions that occur due to the provision of air services and include expenditures by airlines, airport tenants, air cargo firms, aircraft manufacturing, fixed-base operators, flight schools, associated 3   The Partnership for Improved Air Travel, an industry group, commissioned reports in 1988 and 1990; Lockheed Martin asked Wilbur Smith Associates for updates in 1993 and 1995.

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--> TABLE 2-13 Certificates and Ratings Held by Newly Hired Air Carrier Pilots, 1994 Certificate/Rating Globals/Majors Nationals Turbojets Turboprops Air transport pilot (ATP) 97% 76% 91% 53% FE or FEw 88 37 60 40 Commercial and instrument only 0 17 5 28 CFI/CFII 23 50 31 70 Type rating 60 28 51 12 NOTE: FE = flight engineer certificate; FEw = flight engineer written exam only; CFI = certified flight instructor; CFII = certified flight instructor with instrument rating. SOURCE: FAPA (1995:10). also requires that the pilot pass written and flight tests and have specified levels of aeronautical experience. These include at least 250 hours of flight time as pilot in command of an airplane, or as copilot performing the duties and functions of a pilot in command under the supervision of a pilot in command, or some combination thereof. He or she must also have at least 1,500 hours of flight time as a pilot. Commercial pilot certificates have lower requirements, notably a current second-class medical certificate and 250 hours of flight time as a pilot. As we discuss in Chapter 4, an expensive aspect of becoming an airline pilot can be the costs of accumulating the flight time necessary to acquire the required certificates. All pilots must hold certificates and ratings as prescribed in federal regulations to fly planes, but how many of the qualifications they need in order to be hired by an airline is very much dependent on supply and demand in the pilot labor market. Currently, major airlines are able to demand that most new hires already hold the ATP certificate, and the flight experience and ratings they require vastly exceed the minimums required for that certificate (Table 2-13). Although some newly hired airline pilots typically have had type ratings when they were hired, it has been more common to obtain them through company-sponsored training once on the payroll. Southwest, however, requires a type rating in order for pilots to be hired. By contrast with current airline hiring practices, there have been times of tight supply in the past when new-hire qualifications were significantly lower, including a period in the 1960s when United even hired so-called "no-time" pilots and provided extensive training for them. We return to the issue of pilot certifications and ratings, who provides them and what they cost, in Chapter 4. Technicians Certification for "airmen other than flight crew members" is specified in

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--> Federal Air Regulations Part 65. Occupations covered include air traffic control tower operators, aircraft dispatchers, mechanics, repairmen, and parachute riggers. We focus here on mechanics and repairmen; mechanics are increasingly being described as aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs), and we use the terms interchangeably in this report. AMTs are responsible for keeping aircraft in an airworthy condition on a day-to-day basis. Airframe specialists work on all aircraft parts except instruments, power plants, and propellers. Power plant technicians work on engines and do some limited work on propellers. Avionics experts maintain aircraft navigation and communication radios, weather radar systems, autopilots, and navigation, engine, and other instruments and computers. Part 65 provides for mechanics certification with two possible ratings (airframe and power plant) and for repairman certification. Most AMTs have the mechanics certification with both ratings, which is commonly referred to as an airframe and power plant (A&P) certificate. The A&P exam includes three written tests and three oral/practical tests. Individuals who work on avionics may have an A&P certificate along with appropriate licenses from the Federal Communications Commission. Repairmen do not have individual certification they can take with them from employer to employer. An FAA-certified repair shop employs specialists in such areas as welding, metal forming, and engine repair; a specialist can obtain a repair certificate after 18 months of practical experience in a specific job. Unlike pilots, maintenance technicians do not need to be certified to work on aircraft, although they are prohibited from undertaking certain responsibilities, such as approving the return of an aircraft to the flight line, unless they are certified. FAPA cites an FAA survey indicating that approximately 75 percent of the new AMT hires at the major airlines have the A&P certificate, as do 98 percent of new hires at the regional airlines who fly turbojet aircraft (White, 1994:13). Federal certification for aviation maintenance technicians and repairmen appears to be on the verge of major changes, designed to recognize the increasing skills necessary to work on today's aircraft. After completing the first full regulatory review of the certification requirements for aviation maintenance personnel since 1962, the FAA has proposed a new Part 66 of the Federal Air Regulations, which will focus only on maintenance personnel and will replace the maintenance provisions in subparts D and E of Part 65. These proposed regulations call for the creation of additional certificates and ratings and expand current certification requirements (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.(c):1). Under the new Part 66,10 the term mechanic will be replaced by aviation 10   As the committee finishes its work, the proposed Part 66 is still being reviewed by the FAA. There may be changes in the provisions described here before the new rules receive final clearance.

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--> maintenance technician; repairmen will become aviation repair specialists. Two new certificates will be created in place of the existing mechanics certificates: aviation maintenance technician (AMT) and aviation maintenance technician (transport) or AMT(T). After the new regulations are implemented, individuals with the knowledge, skills, and experience traditionally displayed by holders of A&P certificates will be issued AMT certificates. AMTs will not, however, be able to approve transport category aircraft for return to service. This responsibility will be limited to holders of AMT(T) certificates, which will require additional preparation and training. These changes are designed to respond to the findings of the Pilot and Aviation Maintenance Technician Blue Ribbon Panel, which "concluded that existing certification requirements did not give aviation maintenance personnel the entry-level experience and skills necessary to perform work involving transport category aircraft that use new technology" (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.(c):4). AMTs and ATMT(T)s will be required to register periodically with the FAA, providing for the first time a means for determining the number and location of aviation maintenance personnel. A new "portable" aviation repair specialist (ARS-I) certification will be available to repair personnel. This certification will be issued to individuals, unlike the current repairman certificates held by aviation maintenance organizations. The ARS-I certificate will be based on uniform national standards, again, unlike the repairman certificates that they replace. Diversity and the Aviation Workforce Aviation occupations, although changing, do not mirror the diversity of the overall American workforce. Although aviation employees as a group are not dramatically different in sex, race, and ethnic makeup from all employees, the representation of women and racial minorities varies substantially from occupation to occupation. Pilots and senior managers continue to be predominantly white and male; mechanics are less likely to be white than are pilots and managers but are mostly men. As we explain in more detail in Chapters 3 and 5, these employment patterns are in part the result of a history of explicit and implicit policies against hiring women and minorities for aviation jobs in the military and at the airlines, policies that have been the subject of legal challenge and government investigation for several decades. The aviation workforce is still affected by a history of discrimination. Although substantial progress has been made, concerns about discrimination still exist. Although our generalizations about the sex and racial/ethnic composition of the aviation workforce are not controversial, they are somewhat complicated to illustrate statistically because of limitations in available databases. Data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (Table 2-14) give an overview of employment in broad occupational areas by industry and by racial/ethnic

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--> group and sex in 1993, based on a partial census of private sector employment.11 These data indicate that the scheduled air transport industry does somewhat better at employing women than transportation and public utilities overall, although it still falls below the proportion of women employed in all private industry. Scheduled air transport does somewhat less well in employing members of minority groups than the broader transportation and public utility industry. The range of variation across broad occupational groupings is wide. Because the EEOC occupational categories are defined quite generally and are uniform across all industries, it is not possible to isolate information from these data on the narrower aviation occupations of particular interest in this study. We can only point out that pilots are included in the ''professional" category and mechanics in "craft workers." More specific demographic information on pilots and mechanics (but not on aviation management) can be obtained from Census Bureau surveys. Here, a different data problem emerges: given the sample sizes involved, the numbers of pilots and mechanics are so small that monthly and annual estimates from the Current Population Survey suffer from standard errors large enough to render them largely useless for our purposes. For the same reason, we do not have confidence that we can obtain a reliable estimate of changes over time from this source, despite the fact that the Current Population Survey does publish monthly and annual estimates of the percentages of pilots and mechanics who are women and minorities. Therefore, in terms of national data collected by agencies adhering to high statistical standards, we are dependent primarily on the decennial census of the U.S. population for information about the demographic characteristics of those who report their occupation as pilot or mechanic.12 In 1980, 96 percent of pilots and 86 percent of aircraft mechanics were white men (Table 2-15). The comparable percentage for the civilian labor force 16 years of age and older was 50 percent. By 1990, the pilot and mechanic workforces were marginally more diverse (Table 2-16): 92 percent of pilots and 76 percent of aircraft mechanics were white men, compared with 43 percent of the civilian labor force. Less than 11   EEOC data cover employers of 100 or more employees and federal government contractors with 50 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more. The data reported in Table 2-14 are based on EEOC establishment reports and for multiestablishment firms exclude establishments with fewer than 50 employees. 12   The FAA reports on the number of pilot and mechanic certificates held by women but not by racial minorities. The number of active pilot certificates held probably bears some relationship to the number of individuals employed as pilots or available for employment, since keeping these certificates current requires a valid medical certificate that (for the air transport pilot certificate) must have been issued within the last 6 months. We look at these statistics in Chapter 5. The number of "active" mechanics certificates, however, represents all certificates ever issued and therefore reveals little about the current workforce or about qualified individuals available for employment.

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--> TABLE 2-14 Occupational Employment in Private Industry by Racial/Ethnic Group and Sex, 1993   Total Employment Officials and Managers Professionals Technicians All employees 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Female 46.5 29.9 50.2 46.9 Minority 23.5 10.8 14.3 19.9 Black 12.7 5.3 5.5 10.5 Hispanic 7.2 3.1 2.7 4.7 Transportation & public utilities 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Female 32.8 26.0 26.5 19.4 Minority 22.0 13.4 13.1 16.5 Black 13.2 7.5 5.6 8.8 Hispanic 6.2 3.6 3.1 4.8 Scheduled air transportation 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Female 42.0 27.2 8.8 28.6 Minority 19.5 13.1 5.7 12.0 Black 9.5 6.6 1.9 6.1 Hispanic 5.7 3.2 1.9 2.5 NOTE: A total of 370,000 employees in scheduled air transport are covered by this survey. SOURCE: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1994:Table 1). 2 percent of pilots were black, less than 3 percent were of Hispanic origin, and in both cases these were mostly men. Overall the proportion of women reporting their occupation as pilot grew from 1.4 to 3.6 percent over the decade. The proportion of female mechanics grew, but more slowly, from 3.3 to 4.7 percent. Black and Hispanic men were noticeably more likely to report their occupation as aircraft mechanic in 1990 than their representation in the civilian labor force would suggest, but black and Hispanic women, like white women, were not very likely to be aircraft mechanics. It is very difficult to find statistical data on two related issues of interest to the committee: the representation of women and minorities in the workforces of the major airlines and the proportion of new hires that are women and minorities. A recent article noted that "most airlines are unwilling to provide data on the gender or ethnicity of their work forces" (Henderson, 1995:34). Some evidence comes from private aviation interest groups. The International Society of Women

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--> Sales Workers Office and Clerical Workers Craftworkers Operatives Laborers Service Workers 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 56.5 82.8 11.4 32.2 34.4 55.3 20.0 23.7 17.9 29.7 38.5 40.2 10.6 14.0 9.2 17.1 18.7 23.8 6.8 6.4 6.5 9.2 16.3 12.4 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 62.4 77.3 5.7 11.7 15.8 60.7 25.1 27.9 16.1 25.8 37.0 27.5 14.5 18.4 9.0 16.6 22.0 16.1 7.5 6.9 5.4 7.4 11.7 7.7 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 72.8 67.1 6.2 10.9 34.9 76.8 24.7 21.5 17.3 27.8 48.3 21.4 13.2 11.6 7.3 14.2 23.6 10.4 6.3 5.8 5.7 8.8 13.6 6.4 Airline Pilots estimates that the pilot workforce at the average airline is about 5 percent female.13 FAPA reports that 6.8 percent of the pilots hired by U.S. major and global airlines in 1994 were female. The Organization of Black Airline Pilots, a professional association, found in a 1994 survey (Table 2-17) that 1.2 percent of all the pilots at the largest U.S. airlines were black and 2.3 percent were white females (Henderson, 1995:34-37). Since pilots without military training would normally work for national and regional airlines before being hired by the majors, one would expect that these airlines might have larger percentages of female and minority pilots, hired in more recent years as employment barriers have diminished. Unfortunately, we found no data that would verify this expectation. Similarly, we know of no data about the numbers of women and minorities at various levels of management in the airline industry, although the numbers 13   This estimate may be somewhat high, given that women hold fewer than 5 percent of commercial and air transport pilot certificates (see Table 5-1).

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--> TABLE 2-15 Detailed Occupation of the Experienced Civilian Labor Force by Sex, Race, and Spanish Origin, 1980 (percentages in parentheses)   White Black   Male Female Male Female Experienced civilian labor force 16 years and over 51,781,293 (49.8) 37,178,485 (35.7) 5,276,500 (5.1) 5,180,564 (5.0) Airplane pilots and navigators 73,572 (96.6) 986 (1.3) 652 (0.9) 26 (0.0) Aircraft mechanics 96,780 (85.7) 2,892 (2.6) 6,703 (5.9) 638 (0.6) NOTE: Experienced civilian labor force consists of the employed and the experienced unemployed. a Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. SOURCE: Bureau of the Census (1984:Table 277). TABLE 2-16 Detailed Occupation of the Civilian Labor Force by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 (percentages in parentheses)       Not of Hispanic origin   Hispanic origina White Black   Male Female Male Female Male Female Civilian labor force 16 years and over 5,800,180 (4.7) 4,133,543 (3.3) 52,652,638 (42.6) 43,590,483 (35.3) 6,108,277 (4.9) 6,727,324 (5.4) Airplane pilots and navigators 2,273 (2.1) 88 (0.1) 100,624 (91.6) 3,450 (3.1) 1,594 (1.5) 292 (0.3) Aircraft mechanics 14,031 (8.4) 623 (0.4) 126,013 (75.7) 5,604 (3.4) 12,176 (7.3) 1,220 (0.7) a Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. SOURCE: Bureau of the Census (1992:Table 1).

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--> Am. Indian, Eskimo, Aleut. Asian and Pacific Islander Spanish origina Total Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female 331,865 (0.3) 248,765 (0.2) 943,556 (0.9) 820,369 (0.8) 3,572,520 (3.4) 2,373,701 (2.3) 59,753,512 (57.4) 44,304,473 (42.6) 285 (0.4) —(0.0) 451 (0.6) 13 (0.0) 1,194 (1.6) 78 (0.1) 75,149 (98.6) 1,039 (1.4) 786 (0.7) 72 (0.1) 2,441 (2.2) 51 (0.0) 7,636 (6.8) 280 (0.2) 109,124 (96.7) 3,740 (3.3) Am. Indian, Eskimo, Aleut. Asian and Pacific Islander Other race Total Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female 426,376 (0.3) 365,896 (0.3) 1,864,689 (1.5) 1,631,072 (1.3) 46,041 (0.0) 38,931 (0.0) 66,986,201 (54.3) 56,487,249 (45.7) 384 (0.3) 19 (0.0) 1,021 (0.9) 48 (0.0) 33 (0.0) —(0.0) 105,929 (96.5) 3,897 (3.5) 1,102 (0.7) 82 (0.0) 5,275 (3.2) 264 (0.2) 96 (0.1) —(0.0) 158,693 (95.3) 7,793 (4.7)

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--> TABLE 2-17 Black and Female Airline Pilots, 1994 Airline Black Female Total American 70 0.7% 175 1.8% 9,928 AMR Eagle 20 0.8 6 0.2 2,400 Continental 10 0.2 40 1.0 4,100 Delta 54 0.6 35 0.4 9,406 FedEx 64 2.9 99 4.4 2,234 Northwest 28 0.5 75 1.4 5,239 Southwest 24 1.1 47 2.7 1,715 TWA 26 0.8 44 1.4 3,147 United 212 2.7 500 6.2 8,015 UPS 55 3.7 82 5.5 1,503 US Air 59 1.0 115 2.0 5,709 Total 622 1.2 1,218 2.3 53,396   SOURCE: Unpublished data from the Organization of Black Airline Pilots, cited in Henderson (1995:37). near the top are generally conceded to be few (Henderson, 1995:33; Petzinger, 1995).14 Worker Supply And Demand In The Aviation Industry Aviation is an industry characterized by wide gyrations in hiring in its most specialized occupations: pilots and AMTs. The supply of personnel, too, can be affected by short-term discontinuities, such as war, and industrial restructuring that results in major layoffs or airline closures. Following World War II and the Korean War, many trained pilots and mechanics were unable to find jobs in aviation. During the mid-1960s and the late 1980s, hiring levels grew rapidly, accompanied by concerns about the industry's ability to find the skilled workers it needed. During the growth period of the 1960s, the FAA established a board to review the industry's manpower requirements; similarly, in the late 1980s, Congress initiated a review that resulted in the Pilot and Aviation Maintenance Technician 14   We are also uncertain about the reliability of the estimates provided by private aviation groups. They generally do not report on their survey methodology or response rates. FAPA indicates that it obtains overall pilot hiring numbers directly from the air carriers; however, other FAPA data, which we and others use extensively to learn about pilot hiring (such as sex, military background, education), appear to come from surveys distributed to successful job applicants by FAPA members hired at the same airline. The proportion of newly hired pilots completing FAPA surveys varies greatly from year-toyear and among carrier groups.

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--> Shortage Blue Ribbon Panel's 1993 report. Even as the Blue Ribbon Panel conducted its work in the early 1990s, however, the aviation industry's fortunes reversed, and its labor market went from perceived shortage to an oversupply of trained and available pilots and mechanics (Blue Ribbon Panel, 1993). The issue of supply and demand is further complicated by the question of what constitutes a "qualified" candidate for a pilot or AMT position. To fly or work on an aircraft, an individual must meet the minimum conditions laid down by the FAA. These minima are generally far below the standards that the major airlines expect successful job applicants to meet and, for the most part, have been able to demand even in periods when labor markets were tight. When, during the peak hiring periods of the 1980s, the major airlines reduced "soft" requirements for pilots, such as age, education, and vision requirements, they were able to attract the new hires they needed without much variation in their standards for total flight time, certificates, and experience levels (Blue Ribbon Panel, 1993:15). In fact, experience levels tended to be high relative to the FAA-mandated minima, which reduced the amount of training the airlines themselves needed to provide. Other factors also make it difficult to determine when the supply of labor is adequate. Training does not stop at a fixed point, but rather extends across a continuum of training needs. Pilots in particular undergo formal training throughout their careers, from early post-hire training to familiarize them with a particular airline's operating procedures to recurrent and upgrade training to maintain their skills and allow them to move from one type of aircraft to another. Whereas airlines normally pay for recurrent and upgrade training for their current workforce, they face a trade-off at the entry-level between requiring training or experience as a condition of hire (thereby putting more of the responsibility on the individual applicant) and providing training after hire (when the airline will have to bear the cost). These factors make statistical forecasts about the new-hire labor market highly dependent on the forecaster's judgment about the nature of a "qualified" applicant pool. The difficulties are compounded by problems of forecasting supply and demand for an industry whose fortunes are as closely tied to broader economic conditions and cycles as the airline industry. Technological changes further complicate the picture; increasingly sophisticated aircraft are becoming easier to fly (perhaps reducing the qualifications that pilots will need) but more complicated to maintain and repair (suggesting that requirements for AMT certification will increase). These complexities contribute to sometimes ambiguous forecasts, such as those of the Blue Ribbon Panel, which found that beyond the near term there may be a shortage of entry-level pilots "who meet the qualification and experience standards currently accepted" and of ''fully qualified AMTs" able to meet "the rapidly increasing demands of technology" (Blue Ribbon Panel, 1993:51 and 60-1). From the committee's perspective, our interest is less in making numerical predictions than in assessing the capacity of aviation and its training affiliates to adjust to whatever future labor market conditions may develop, and in considering

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--> how cyclical swings in demand may affect efforts to bring more women and minorities into the aviation workforce. Recapitulation Some important themes emerge from this overview. First, for most of the history of civilian aviation, the federal government was a dominant force. Although dramatic changes have occurred since deregulation, the industry and its workforce still retain much of the basic shape molded by government controls. For example, were it not for the prior role of the CAB, the salaries of pilots would probably not be as high. Licensing and certification requirements—a major determinant of training demands—are still prescribed by the federal government. Second, the aviation industry—a major contributor to the economy in its own right—is greatly affected by broader economic trends, which in turn affect its workforce policies. For example, the specific combinations of training, credentials, prior experience, and other qualifications required for pilot, AMT, and other key jobs may vary according to the airlines' perceptions of supply and demand. Third, factors that made piloting, in particular, something of a dream job have changed. Pilots are only a small fraction, although a highly visible fraction, of the aviation workforce. There are many other jobs in aviation that may also be appealing to people interested in flight. Fourth, the committee faced serious problems in its quest for reliable data to answer key questions in its charge, such as the numbers of women and minorities in various aviation occupations. This theme emerges again in Chapter 4, as we encountered similar difficulties in painting a statistical portrait of civilian aviation training.