4
Civilian Training for Aviation Careers

The downsizing of the military poses a new challenge for commercial aviation in the United States. Historically, the major airlines have relied heavily on pilots who received their initial training in the military. The smaller jet airlines, cargo airlines, and regional or commuter airlines have used both military-trained pilots and nonmilitary pilots trained in the large U.S. general aviation sector. Because of the availability of trained pilots from these two sources, U.S. airlines have not had to provide initial pilot training themselves. The military has also been a source for trained aircraft maintenance technicians. With continued military downsizing, the major airlines will have to turn increasingly to other sources for trained pilots and technicians. As the major airlines hire smaller numbers of military pilots and military mechanics, the effects are likely to ripple through other parts of the aviation industry.

There have been several periods in the past when the combination of high demand for pilots and a relatively smaller supply of military-trained pilots has caused the airlines to alter their hiring practices. Particularly telling is the most recent period of the late 1980s, when the initial phases of the current wave of military downsizing coincided with vigorous growth in commercial aviation. The airlines turned increasingly to civilian-trained pilots, and future shortages of pilots and mechanics were widely predicted.

This heavier reliance on civilian-trained job applicants drew greater attention to the differences between the structured and consistent backgrounds of individuals trained in the military and the diverse and more varied experiences of those trained through civilian aviation pathways. But before the issues surrounding civilian training could be explored fully, a sudden reversal of economic fortune



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--> 4 Civilian Training for Aviation Careers The downsizing of the military poses a new challenge for commercial aviation in the United States. Historically, the major airlines have relied heavily on pilots who received their initial training in the military. The smaller jet airlines, cargo airlines, and regional or commuter airlines have used both military-trained pilots and nonmilitary pilots trained in the large U.S. general aviation sector. Because of the availability of trained pilots from these two sources, U.S. airlines have not had to provide initial pilot training themselves. The military has also been a source for trained aircraft maintenance technicians. With continued military downsizing, the major airlines will have to turn increasingly to other sources for trained pilots and technicians. As the major airlines hire smaller numbers of military pilots and military mechanics, the effects are likely to ripple through other parts of the aviation industry. There have been several periods in the past when the combination of high demand for pilots and a relatively smaller supply of military-trained pilots has caused the airlines to alter their hiring practices. Particularly telling is the most recent period of the late 1980s, when the initial phases of the current wave of military downsizing coincided with vigorous growth in commercial aviation. The airlines turned increasingly to civilian-trained pilots, and future shortages of pilots and mechanics were widely predicted. This heavier reliance on civilian-trained job applicants drew greater attention to the differences between the structured and consistent backgrounds of individuals trained in the military and the diverse and more varied experiences of those trained through civilian aviation pathways. But before the issues surrounding civilian training could be explored fully, a sudden reversal of economic fortune

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--> subjected the airlines to a tumultuous period of recession, bankruptcy, consolidations, and shakeout. Such prominent companies in commercial aviation history as Pan American, Braniff, and Eastern disappeared. The industry lost billions of dollars in the early 1990s.1 New hiring plummeted as thousands of experienced pilots and mechanics became available because of layoffs and furloughs. New training initiatives, no longer needed to ensure a quality applicant pool, were aborted or deemphasized. The transformation in the military's role in pilot and mechanic training was only deferred, not avoided. The same issues that began to draw attention in the late 1980s are emerging again, as airlines are recovering economically and are again facing the pressures of expansion with an aging workforce that will sooner or later need to be replaced. The question remains whether a training system less dependent on the military over the long run can be expected to provide the air transportation industry with the numbers and kinds of workers necessary to operate efficiently and safely. This chapter examines the assets and limitations of various civilian pathways for training pilots and aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) and considers options for strengthening civilian training. Our findings on these issues, important in themselves, also set the stage for consideration in Chapter 5 of ways to improve the diversity of the aviation workforce so that it better reflects the nation's population. Training Pathways For Specialized Aviation Occupations Training for pilots and mechanics, the two primary specialty aviation occupations discussed in this report, is heavily influenced not only by the presence of the military but also by the popularity of recreational flying in the United States. Of an estimated 665,069 active pilot certificates held in 1993, almost 400,000 belonged to student or private pilots (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.: Table 7.1). In 1993, 102,146 aircraft were in operation primarily for personal use, dwarfing the 7,297 aircraft operated by air carriers. Business, corporate, and other commercial use accounted for about 75,000 more airplanes (Federal Aviation Administration, n.d.: Tables 5.1 and 8.1). The United States is unique in the extent of its general aviation flying, in large part because of its high levels of personal income, low population densities in much of the country, and extensive infrastructure of general aviation airports. The diversity of aviation activities in 1   Morrison and Winston (1995:30, note 24) report that "a commonly cited estimate of the extent of losses during 1990-93 for both domestic and international service is $12.8 billion (after tax and interest payments)." They indicate several reasons why this figure may be potentially misleading but agree that "by any measure the airlines did sustain considerable losses during the early 1990s."

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--> the United States has helped spawn a wide array of training opportunities for individuals who wish to become pilots or mechanics. The committee grouped the various training options into five fundamental routes, or training pathways, available to those seeking careers in specialized aviation occupations: Military training, Foreign hires, On-the-job training, Collegiate training, and Ab initio training. The first pathway, military training, was discussed in the previous chapter. The second pathway, foreign hires, is discussed below, but only briefly because it has not been an important source of pilots or aviation maintenance technicians in the United States. The next three pathways are discussed in somewhat greater detail. Foreign Hires In principle, U.S. airlines could hire pilots and mechanics who received their training from foreign airlines, foreign militaries, or other foreign sources. The market for pilots and mechanics appears to be becoming more international, and it is already common for U.S.-trained pilots to fly for foreign airlines. However, there is currently something of an oversupply of U.S.-trained pilots, and consequently U.S. airlines have shown little inclination to make foreign hires. In practice, it does not appear that this pathway is much utilized. In the near future, as Europe deregulates its airlines and rapidly developing countries like China build up their air transportation systems, there is likely to be more exporting of American-trained personnel than importing of foreign-trained specialists. In the longer term, conditions could change, and foreign-trained pilots and mechanics could be a source for U.S. airlines. On-the-Job Training Both pilots and maintenance technicians can currently earn the necessary FAA licenses and certification without attending a comprehensive formal aviation education program, by passing specific tests and fulfilling other requirements. A variety of proprietary schools offer short courses to help people prepare for these tests, or they can prepare on their own, often while working at aviation-related jobs that provide flight time or other experience required for certification. They are not required to have completed FAA-certified curricula or attended specific schools to take the licensing exams.

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--> Pilots Most commercial airlines in the United States require or highly prefer that their pilots have college (undergraduate) degrees. More than 90 percent of new hires have this credential at the larger airlines, according to FAPA surveys. There is no requirement that the degree be in an aviation-related field, however, so some college-trained pilots actually receive their flight-related training in the on-the-job training (OJT) pathway. On this pathway, would-be professional pilots work their way up through the system, earning certificates (beginning with the private pilot certificate) and ratings as they are able to pay for flight instruction and accumulating the flight hours required by the airlines in a variety of ways. Based on a nationwide survey, Flight Training magazine (1996:53-76) reported that more than 1,700 schools teach people how to fly. All flight instructors have to be certificated by the FAA in accordance with Part 61 of the Federal Air Regulations (14 CFR 61). Flight schools that meet specified personnel, aircraft, facilities, curriculum, and other operating requirements can receive additional certification from the FAA under Part 141 of the Federal Air Regulations, but schools are not required to have this certification to teach flying. Nor are individuals required to attend a Part 141-certificated school in order to take the examinations for the pilot certificates and ratings described in Chapter 2, although it appears that a substantial majority, particularly those receiving advanced pilot certificates, do attend such schools (Blue Ribbon Panel, 1993:34). Part 141-certificated schools that have been granted examining authority by the FAA can recommend their graduates for some of the initial pilot certificates and ratings (except flight instructor certificates, airline transport pilot certificates and ratings, and jet type ratings) without the candidates having to take the FAA flight or written tests or both. In 1994, there were 649 pilot schools in the United States certificated under Part 141 (FAA, 1994a). Some of these are collegiate institutions, and are described below. The majority are commercial operations specializing in flight training and perhaps offering other aviation services, such as fuel and maintenance at general aviation and commercial airports. While Part 141-certificated schools must keep detailed records on their students, there is generally little available information (aside from FAA regulations) that describes the training curricula or other aspects of the experience of students at noncollegiate institutions.2 Once they have obtained the basic licenses and ratings, individuals wishing to fly for the airlines must generally pursue an often long period of employment 2   Each Part 141 school must have on file a training course outline; it must also provide a copy to the FAA. No one to the committee's knowledge has written about how these outlines vary from school to school or has attempted to provide comparative information to prospective students.

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--> in flight-related jobs to accumulate the flight time necessary for advanced certification. To qualify for commercial and air transport pilot licenses, pilots have to augment their basic technical training with hundreds of additional hours spent flying increasingly sophisticated aircraft under a variety of challenging circumstances. They may work as flight instructors or in a variety of commercial ventures (dusting crops, flying pipeline and power line patrols, ferrying aircraft, towing banners, etc.) to earn a living while building flying experience. Much of this experience is likely to be with piston-engine aircraft. They may then move on to nonscheduled cargo or passenger operations, still in smaller aircraft. Eventually they may be hired as a first officer (copilot) for a scheduled regional airline, for which they may fly turboprop (turbine engine) planes. Some of the larger regional carriers may also provide their first experience with jet aircraft. After serving as copilot and then captain with a regional airline, pilots may move into the "right hand" (copilot's) seat, or in some cases the flight engineer's seat,3 of a major carrier. This pathway into a pilot's job with a major airline is highly idiosyncratic; many pilots drop out along the way, and others spend their entire flying careers without ever being hired by a major jet airline. Little information is available except the anecdotal kind about who pursues this route, what it costs in time or money, and how pilots trained in this way fare in the hiring process as they attempt to progress through the various stages. A few freestanding aviation training organizations, such as FlightSafety International, Simuflight, Sierra Academy, and American Flyers, provide sophisticated flight training oriented to the professional air transport pilot. While primarily in the business of providing initial (post-hire), recurrent, and upgrade training for airline pilots and mechanics on a contract basis with employers, and training pilots for foreign airlines (again on a contract basis with the airlines), these companies do permit individuals without airline sponsorship to enroll and learn to fly. These companies may also offer so-called bridge or transition programs to qualify flight school graduates for airline jobs. (Another use of the term transition training refers to pilots upgrading or transitioning from one type of aircraft to another, but that is not what we are describing here). Again, there is little information available on who pursues these options. The more advanced training offered by these companies, including transition training and training leading to aircraft type ratings, apparently became more important for would-be airline pilots after the airline labor market tightened up during the early 1990s and pilot supply greatly exceeded demand. Airlines were able to raise their minimum qualification levels, and individuals frequently found that they needed to obtain advanced training at their own expense in order to 3   Flight engineers are the third crew members on airplanes that require three-person crews. This position is rapidly disappearing, as airlines replace older planes with newer aircraft that require only two-person crews.

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--> receive serious consideration by the major carriers. This phenomenon affected pilots coming up through collegiate aviation programs as well and is discussed further in the section on the collegiate pathway. Aviation Maintenance Technicians The on-the-job training pathway appears to have been a more important route into airline employment for maintenance technicians than for pilots. Under current rules, maintenance technicians do not have to be certificated or have attended a certificated Part 147 school to perform certain jobs. Mechanics can qualify to take the FAA's certification examinations and meet other requirements for the airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate by working under the guidance of certificated mechanics in repair shops, as long as certain conditions are met pertaining to their work experience. FAPA cites an FAA estimate that approximately 20 percent of all new A&P certificates are issued to individuals who received their training in this way (White, 1994:17). The major airlines, however, seem to prefer graduates of certificated programs, as do the regional airlines. The Blue Ribbon Panel indicated that a majority of new hires by major carriers (ranging from 40 to 80 percent, depending on the airline) were graduates of certificated Part 147 schools, according to a 1992 survey, and that 90 to 95 percent of new hires at regional airlines had graduated from these schools (Blue Ribbon Panel, 1993:18-19).4 Collegiate Training Collegiate training, as indicated above, is already the major training route for certificated maintenance technicians and is likely to become an increasingly important pathway for pilots as military training opportunities decline. Four-year collegiate institutions offer training for both careers, although they train more pilots than maintenance technicians. Two-year colleges and postsecondary vocational schools are more likely to emphasize training of maintenance technicians. (Because there is substantial overlap, we do not try to divide this discussion neatly between the pilot and maintenance technician pathways but rather delineate the differences as we go along.) Collegiate programs may take people with no prior aviation experience and train them from the beginning. This pathway is distinct from ab initio training, in that college students (in aviation as in all other fields) are responsible for the costs of their courses of study. A handful of today's collegiate aviation education programs trace their history to the early days of flight, but many more have their roots either in the Civilian Pilot Training Program that was set up in 1939 or in the wartime pilot 4   The committee was not able to locate this survey, and the Blue Ribbon Panel report provided no details of how the survey was conducted, so we are unable to judge the reliability of this information.

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--> training programs that operated on numerous college campuses (Kiteley, 1995:C45). A New Deal program, the Civilian Pilot Training Program was sponsored by the federal Civil Aeronautics Authority to help the aviation industry and bolster the national defense by providing trained pilots in the event of war. When war came, it was transformed into the Wartime Training Service and was taken over by the military. Using private aviation contractors as well as schools and colleges, the Civilian Pilot Training Program/Wartime Training Service trained over 125,000 pilots for the military until the Army Air Force effectively ended it in 1944, when Army Air Force training plus pilots returning from combat proved sufficient to handle military needs; the program was formally ended in 1946 (Pisano, 1993). Interest in collegiate aviation programs continued and grew, however, spurred by the growth of the aviation industry after the war and by the popularity of recreational flying. Today approximately 300 collegiate institutions offer nonengineering aviation programs. Pinning down the exact number of programs and students involved in these programs is difficult because the available sources of data are incomplete and inconsistent. The most extensive source of information comes from the University Aviation Association (UAA), a professional organization representing the nonengineering sector of collegiate aviation education. According to the Association's most recent guidebook (1994), 280 postsecondary institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada (3 of the 280) offer nonengineering aviation programs. A survey it conducted in academic year 1992-1993 elicited responses from 205 of these institutions.5 Of the respondents, 93 were four-year colleges and 112 were two-year institutions. Some offered only aviation courses, without a major or minor, but most reported offering degrees in aviation: masters (8), baccalaureate (80), associate (128), and other (77). Table 4-1 indicates the types of programs available and the numbers of institutions that reported offering each type. Flight education is the most widely available option, followed by maintenance and management education. (Flight training is also offered under the aircraft systems management option of the airway science program, which we discuss later in this chapter.) The survey results indicate that most institutions only offer one or two aviation education options, rather than the full array of curricular alternatives. The collegiate aviation programs identified by the UAA survey should be viewed as a lower bound rather than a full picture of aviation-related preparation in higher education institutions. The association's 1994 guidebook indicates that 75 institutions that did not reply to its 1992-1993 survey apparently do offer some kind of aviation education program. In addition, some students prepare for aviation careers by majoring in engineering, astrophysics, or other aviation-related 5   Results of the survey are unpublished and were made available to the committee by the UAA.

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--> TABLE 4-1 Collegiate Institutions Offering Nonengineering Aviation Education Degree Programs, 1992-1993 Program Number of Institutions Offering Airway science   Aircraft maintenance management 11 Aircraft systems management 25 Airway computer science 17 Airway electronic systems 11 Airway science management 29 Air traffic control 17 Aviation maintenance (excluding airway science) 63 Aviation management (excluding airway science) 63 Aviation studies 27 Avionics (excluding airway science) 27 Flight education (excluding airway science) 95 Other 18   SOURCE: Unpublished data provided by the University Aviation Association. fields rather than in aviation education per se. Schukert (1994) identified over 400 colleges and universities offering aviation/aerospace/flight courses and/or programs of some kind. Neither the UAA nor the Schukert survey attempts to capture programs of study at noncollegiate schools (such as specialized nondegree career schools) that provide maintenance training. Finally, some college-educated individuals who aspire to pilot planes will obtain flight training without majoring in an aviation or aerospace field. For all these reasons, statistics from UAA on specialized aviation education programs—although the most complete picture we have of collegiate aviation—understate to some unknown but likely significant degree the availability of college-trained individuals with an interest in and the qualifications for flying commercial planes. The FAA certificates maintenance training schools under Part 147 of the Federal Air Regulations (14 CFR 147); 193 institutions were so certificated in 1995 (Federal Aviation Administration, 1995). Many are community colleges, although four-year colleges, area vocational-technical schools, and other specialized career schools are also on the list. About 70 percent of these schools belong to the Aviation Technician Education Council, an association of Part 147 schools, the aviation industry, and government agencies. Pending changes in AMT training (in particular the additional training required for the new AMT(T) certificate described in Chapter 2) would add between 700 and 800 hours to the 1,900 primary training hours required for the basic AMT certificate. The cost of advanced certification is most likely to be borne by individuals rather than by the company providing maintenance services. In fact, the advisory panel that proposed the new regulations sees the changes as

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--> reducing the training that maintenance organizations must provide. Most existing Part 147 schools are not equipped with the facilities or equipment needed to provide advanced training or, in the case of the two-year institutions that dominate provision of AMT training, are not expected to increase the teaching hours required for degrees and certificates. Instead of relying on these providers for advanced training, the advisory panel reportedly hopes that regional centers of excellence will emerge to provide this training. Fitzgerald identifies several schools that are preparing for such a role, including the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, the Trans World Technical Academy in Kansas City, Missouri, Fairmont State College in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Metro Tech Aviation Center in Oklahoma City (Fitzgerald, n.d.: 38-39). The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics also collects information on institutions offering college degrees and certificates by program area, through its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) annual survey. IPEDS conducts a census of accredited two- and four-year colleges and collects data on a sample of technical and vocational postsecondary schools. The response rate to this survey is generally high (for example, 92.3 percent in 1989-1990), so nonresponse is not thought to be a significant source of error (National Center for Education Statistics, 1994:388-389). IPEDS includes some information on postsecondary institutions broken down according to a Classification of Instructional Programs. Although this classification has for many years included aviation programs, the definition of these programs led to some classification problems until a revision took effect in 1991-1992 that agency staff believe has provided more accurate breakdowns in the aviation-related categories. Like the UAA survey, IPEDS reports on aviation programs do not take account of individuals who may prepare for aviation careers by majoring in engineering, general business or management, or other fields. Table 4-2 indicates the number of institutions reporting via IPEDS that they offered subbaccalaureate degrees or certificates or baccalaureate degrees in aviation fields of study in 1992-1993. The definition differences between the Classification of Instructional Programs categories used in IPEDS and the degree program categories reported by UAA make the two surveys difficult to compare. The numbers suggest, however, that neither survey is fully capturing the true number of aviation degree programs. In the case of UAA, not all institutions with aviation programs replied to its survey. In the case of IPEDS, nonresponse is less of an issue, but since respondents are usually from the central recordkeeping office rather than the aviation department, they may classify aviation degree recipients in nonaviation categories when they report to IPEDS. In any case, it is clear that the existing surveys of aviation programs do not provide a full portrait of aviation education in collegiate institutions and understate the training capabilities of the collegiate system. For many of the same reasons, data on the number of students enrolling in collegiate aviation programs are incomplete and almost certainly understate actual

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--> TABLE 4-2 Collegiate Institutions Granting Aviation Degrees and Certificates, 1992-1993   Number of Institutions Offering Program Category Subbaccalaureate certificates and degrees Baccalaureate degrees Aircraft mechanic/airframe 49   Aircraft mechanic/powerplant 26   Aviation systems/avionics 23   Aviation/airway science 9 20 Aircraft pilot/navigator (professional) 62 19 Aviation management 31 31 Other aviation programsa 30 31 a Includes air traffic control, flight attendants, and ''aviation workers, other." SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completion Survey, 1992-1993. enrollment. In addition to the UAA surveys already discussed, the Aviation Technical Education Council has also surveyed enrollments in aviation maintenance technician programs (some of which are also included in the UAA surveys). Its findings are clearly affected by low response rates. The council received responses to its 1993 survey from only 33 percent of its membership, which includes somewhat less than three-quarters of the certificated maintenance schools. The data on enrollments in aviation education programs in Table 4-3 and on enrollments and graduates of maintenance/avionics programs in Table 4-4 should also be thought of more as minima than as precise estimates. Table 4-3 is notable for the high number of students (over 16,000) reported by UAA to be enrolled in flight programs in 1992-1993, including students enrolled in the aircraft systems management program under airway science. The fact that the council's survey of just a portion of its membership (Table 4-4) shows roughly the same number of maintenance and avionics students as reported by UAA (something over 9,000, including avionics) suggests that the real number may be substantially higher. According to IPEDS, the number of students receiving degrees or certificates in aviation-related fields is significantly smaller than the enrollments in these fields (Tables 4-5 and 4-6). The differences are larger than one might expect after accounting for the fact that programs of study take several years to complete and that some students undoubtedly drop out along the way.6 The discrepancies 6   This includes students who switch from flight to aviation management or other programs because they cannot afford the additional costs of flight training; such students sometimes decide to pursue flight training in less expensive noncollegiate flight schools.

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--> TABLE 4-3 Enrollment in Collegiate, Nonengineering Aviation Education Programs, 1992-1993 Program Enrollment in Degree Programs Airway science   Aircraft maintenance management 284 Aircraft systems management 1,165 Airway computer science 223 Airway electronic systems 269 Airway science management 918 Air traffic control 736 Aviation maintenance (excluding airway science) 8,359 Aviation management (excluding airway science) 4,584 Aviation studies 6,515 Avionics (excluding airway science) 1,529 Flight education (excluding airway science) 14,941 Other 1,845 NOTE: U.S. Air Force Academy enrollment is not included in this table. SOURCE: Unpublished data provided by the University Aviation Association. TABLE 4-4 Aviation Maintenance Technician School Enrollments and Graduates, Selected Years   Enrollments Graduates Year Airframe and Powerplant Avionics Airframe and Powerplant Avionics 1991 8,949 1,216 4,211 496 1992 8,099 1,049 4,069 500 1993 6,000 732 3,295 335 NOTE: Data reflect survey responses from 50 schools with Part 147 certification that have affiliation with the Aviation Technician Education Council. SOURCE: Unpublished data provided by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC). are especially noticeable for flight programs. Although those who conduct the surveys have no explanation for the differences (having not examined each other's results and methods), we suspect again that they are partly attributable to variations between aviation departments and central recordkeeping units as to how they classify students by degree program. It also appears that students take aviation courses while not necessarily majoring in aviation. Further confusion emerges when one compares IPEDS data on degrees and certificates awarded in

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--> were available. The two partial exceptions occurred during the hiring booms of the mid-1960s and the late 1980s. During the first boom, airlines came as close as they ever have in this country to assuming responsibility for ab initio training, when some hired civilian pilots with only a private pilot certificate—although, at least at United, employment was apparently contingent on the pilot's receiving a self-funded commercial license (Blue Ribbon Panel, 1993:17; Warwick and Randall, 1993:36). Carriers were soon able to return to their traditional dependence on military-trained pilots, however. Despite the existence of numerous collegiate aviation education programs, there were few examples of industry-education partnerships, nor did the industry show much interest in influencing the direction of collegiate aviation programs. Not surprisingly, when carriers did begin to look at collegiate aviation to help avert the shortages predicted during the 1980s boom, they often found that collegiate programs offered only introductory courses, relied on old technology and equipment in their classrooms and laboratories, and had few faculty with aviation industry experience. In the future, however, the prospect of a long-term reduction in the availability of military-trained pilots is likely to change the role of collegiate programs and their relationships with the airlines. Numerous initiatives undertaken in the late 1980s indicate the potential for more productive industry-education collaboration. A spate of magazine articles describing these initiatives (e.g., Glines, 1990; Nelms, 1988; Parke, 1990; Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1989; Wallace, 1989), as well as a congressional hearing (U.S. Congress, 1989), testified to the level of concern about shortages and to the responsiveness of both airlines and schools. Northwest worked with the University of North Dakota to create the ab initio program described above. United forged relationships with Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and other schools (now totaling 20) to provide internships for advanced undergraduate aviation students at United's Denver training facilities; participants receive airline-oriented training, and some successful completers have interviewed with United for second officer (flight engineer) positions. Before Eastern ran into the financial difficulties that eventually led to its bankruptcy and disappearance, the company had begun to forge relationships with two-year colleges to jointly prepare flight candidates; Eastern advised on the development of programs geared to airline requirements, on curriculum, and on flight standards. The airline also provided faculty for classroom instruction and was considering expanding its school involvement to aviation maintenance and avionics. Mesa Airlines developed a flight program in cooperation with San Juan College in New Mexico that in five semesters (including a summer session) was designed to provide students with an associate's degree in aviation technology, up to 300 hours of flight time, a commercial license with instrument and multiengine ratings, and (for successful graduates) a guaranteed job interview. Mesa agreed to waive its 1,500 total flight time requirement for program graduates who performed to airline standards. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,

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--> drawing on advice from industry, undertook a major restructuring of its flight degree program to give heavier emphasis to airline flight crew techniques, cockpit resource management, flight deck operations, and airline pilot proficiency development. These changes involved a significant investment in new simulators and training devices, computer-based instructional equipment, and a new training facility. Parks College, with guidance from its industry-based Career Advisory Board and with particular input from Delta, implemented a three-course avionics sequence as part of its maintenance management program. Both airlines and schools have demonstrated in a variety of other ways that they could develop new approaches to averting shortages and other problems, such as rapid turnover at regional carriers, that accompanied a tight labor market. Continental, Northwest, and Pan American worked out partnership arrangements with regional affiliates to define career paths that would give the pilot a more structured advancement route from the regional to the major carrier while providing the regional carrier some stability in its workforce. Continental's plan, for example, involved hiring pilots at three different levels of experience, with pilots at the top level (who had 2,000 hours of flight time) destined for the cockpit at the major carrier. Pilots with 1,200 hours of flight time would be assigned to regional carriers owned by Continental to gain experience, earning a seniority number with Continental after 29 weeks. Pilots with about 500 hours of flight time would be sent by Continental through a ground school and simulator program estimated to cost about $8,000 and would then be assigned to a regional carrier, with their progress closely monitored. Even these so-called interns would get a Continental seniority number after 58 weeks. TWA and FlightSafety International teamed up to develop a 30-day, $13,000 intensive transition course for pilots wanting to pursue jobs with regional carriers; this program featured loans from an independent loan company to help individuals finance the costs. Comair, a regional carrier based in Cincinnati, bought the Airline Aviation Academy in Florida to provide a 6- to 8-month, $21,000 initial pilot training program whose graduates would be prepared to enter an airline transition program. It too arranged loans through a credit company for its students. Air Carrier International Flight Academy used military and ab initio models to develop a 16-month, $51,500 program based on United Airline's requirements and designed to prepare both zero-time and experienced pilots for regional airline jobs. We do not have any systematic information about the outcomes of these various innovations. At least some of them were aborted altogether when the economic fortunes of the industry reversed, and others were undoubtedly cut back or (like the University of North Dakota program) never fulfilled the mission initially envisioned for them, although they continue to exist. What these examples do show is that the airline industry can do much to influence the supply of workers, should shortages develop, and that the system has much capacity to respond.

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--> Moreover, there is little sentiment today that shortages are likely to be a serious problem. Those who showed the most concern about the imbalances between supply and demand in the late 1980s take a different view now. For example, in 1990 FAPA estimated that there would be a worldwide airline pilot shortage of as many as 51,000 by the end of the century (Glines, 1990:18). In 1993 FAPA's president was quoted as saying that the organization "does not believe there will be a pilot shortage—ever" (Warwick and Randall, 1993:11). The Blue Ribbon Panel established to address congressional concern over the shortage fears of the late 1980s determined, by the time it concluded its study in 1993 (p. xiii), that: In the near term (3 to 5 years), the existing pool of experienced pilots and AMTs may be adequate to supply the needs of the air transportation industry. In the long term, there will continue to be adequate numbers of pilots and AMTs meeting minimum qualifications for their jobs in air transportation, but it is unlikely that enough of these pilots and AMTs will have the proper skills and experience to provide industry with sufficient numbers of well qualified personnel. As this conclusion suggests, a second important question confronting civilian aviation is whether the airline industry—accustomed to the luxury of having much of its specialized workforce arrive with comparatively high-level skills—will have to take a more active hand to support the training it wants in an environment more heavily dependent on civilian (and particularly collegiate) training. The committee's view is that it will, and a key challenge for the future is professionalizing and standardizing civilian training, for the benefit of both the airlines and their potential employees. Professionalizing and Standardizing Training In 1990 the chairman of the aviation department at a major state university observed that collegiate aviation education was at the stage of "maturing from adolescence into young adulthood as a recognized and accepted curriculum on our nation's campuses" (letter from Stacy Weislogel of Ohio State University to Gary Kiteley of UAA, quoted in University Aviation Association, 1990:58). Largely ignored by industry and guided primarily by basic FAA regulations governing schools that offered training for flight and maintenance technician certification, collegiate aviation programs have developed in widely disparate ways for many years. Most programs were not explicitly geared to producing graduates ready for employment in commercial aviation. Airlines and other employers had little way of knowing, other than through firsthand acquaintance with particular schools, what specific training aviation graduates had received. Students had little way of knowing which schools' curricula were most likely to lead them to the jobs they wanted.

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--> This situation has improved since UAA made its first attempt in 1976 to establish standards for curricula, courses, and credits, but much remains to be done to guide collegiate aviation from young adulthood to full maturity. From all we have been able to learn, the industry is still only minimally involved in helping the schools mature. As we have seen, promising school-industry partnerships were short-circuited by the economic reverses of the early 1990s. Wide disparities and comparatively little information about course content and standards still characterize collegiate aviation programs. These disparities and information gaps grow more important as the pace of technological development accelerates in commercial aviation. Training needs are changing rapidly. Pilots, mechanics, and other employees will work in an environment increasingly characterized by highly sophisticated engines, electronic instrumentation ("glass cockpits"), fly by wire (computer-driven controls), computer monitoring and testing for all systems, and global positioning system and enhanced vision systems navigation equipment linked by flight management systems. Pilots and mechanics trained on aircraft using earlier technologies will require costly upgrade training. Facilities and instructors in schools providing pre-hire initial training often lag behind the current state of the art by 10 to 15 years. Crew resource management (how to operate as part of a crew, how to communicate as a team) is increasingly important to airlines, but flight training has typically emphasized preparing the solo pilot for the necessary FAA certificates rather than learning to fly as part of a team (Blue Ribbon Panel, 1993:23-26). In such an environment, program disparities and information gaps are not in the interest of either the commercial aviation industry, which will probably have to rely more and more on collegiate aviation, or of the students, who need the best information possible to prepare effectively to work in an industry characterized by volatility and employment uncertainty. Important progress has been made by the schools themselves in reorienting their programs toward the needs of the modern aviation industry; the federal government has also aided this process through its sponsorship of the airway science program. Industry has been the rather noticeably minor partner. In the committee's view, it is no longer appropriate for industry to assume that the job of preparing its workforce belongs to someone else. It is time for aviation employers to take more responsibility for supporting the education and training system they need. Some employers, as we have indicated, already help schools develop their programs: for example, by serving on curriculum advisory committees, assisting research efforts such as the AMT job task analysis and curriculum reform project currently under way at Northwestern University, providing internships and other opportunities for students, donating equipment, providing student financial aid, and other means. Such employer-school partnerships appear underdeveloped to us compared with such fields as engineering and computer science, and their further development should be encouraged. Industry must go beyond individual

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--> school relationships, however, and work more actively to help develop the field as a whole. Otherwise, industry will remain uninformed about what it is getting from many schools; colleges will be subject to inefficiencies resulting from a mismatch between what they offer and what their students need for success in the job market; and students will not have the information they need to make good educational choices. The federal government has already given aviation a boost toward professionalizing and standardizing collegiate education and training programs through the airway science (AWS) program. In 1978 the FAA became interested in designing specialized postsecondary programs to educate its own future workforce. In 1983 FAA received approval from the federal Office of Personnel Management to initiate an Airway Science Demonstration Project. Under the project, FAA would develop model curricula for the preparation of air traffic controllers, electronic technicians, aviation safety inspectors, and computer specialists. Students who completed approved airway science programs would be ranked on and selected from a separate personnel register from the ones then in use. The demonstration project was designed "to compare performance, job attitudes, and perceived potential for supervisory positions of individuals recruited for several of FAA's technical occupations who have an aviation-related college-level education, or its equivalent, with individuals recruited for the same occupations through traditional methods" (Federal Register, Vol. 48, No. 137, July 15, 1983). In cooperation with the UAA, the FAA developed five airway science programs of study for four-year colleges: Airway science management—preparation for a variety of aviation-related administrative and management positions in fields including air traffic control. Airway computer science—preparation for jobs involving computer operations, software design, systems analysis, and computer programming. Aircraft systems management—preparation for aircraft flight operations and preparation of professional pilots and flight instructors. Airway electronics systems—preparation for work involving the maintenance, troubleshooting, testing, and development of avionics and navigational equipment. Aviation maintenance management—preparation for work in maintenance and troubleshooting and for technical management roles. In addition, in February 1993, the FAA initiated a two-year airway science program with three areas of specialization: Flight technology—preparation for aircraft flight operations and initiation preparation of professional pilots and flight instructors.

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--> Airway electronics technology—preparation for work in the maintenance, troubleshooting, testing, and development of aircraft avionics equipment or ground communication/navigation equipment. Aviation maintenance technology—provision of theoretical and practical knowledge pertinent to airframe and power plant maintenance and preparation in technical documentation methods, specifications, and standards. Although the origins of the airway science program predate the air traffic controllers' strike of 1981, which resulted in the firing of most of the controller workforce, the strike no doubt increased interest in the program. Within the first five years (by 1988), 34 colleges had one or more FAA-recognized airway science programs (University Aviation Association, 1990: Appendix C). At the end of 1995, 60 four-year colleges and community/technical colleges had approved airway science programs. Congress, too, became interested in the program and soon after its inception started appropriating funds for airway science grants. Between fiscal 1982 and fiscal 1993, over $104 million was provided to institutions of higher education for AWS buildings and equipment. Of this total, nearly $100 million was appropriated by Congress and earmarked for specific institutions. The remaining $4 million came from other FAA funds and was awarded through a competitive application process. The funds were distributed very unevenly among institutions: some received nothing, and five schools got more than half of the money (U.S. Department of Transportation, 1993). In terms of its goal of contributing to the development of FAA's own workforce, the airway science program has been judged a failure. Both FAA-sponsored evaluations (FAA, 1990) and an audit by the Department of Transportation's inspector general (U.S. Department of Transportation, 1993) found that almost no graduates of airway science programs had been hired by the FAA. The FAA estimated in 1990 that 60 percent of airway science graduates had gone to work for the airlines, 35 had taken other aviation-related positions, and 5 percent went to the FAA or took nonaviation-related jobs. According to the inspector general, the dismal track record of the FAA in hiring airway science graduates resulted from several factors: three of the five airway science options lacked curricula fit to provide a hiring path to FAA positions; the FAA could not compete on starting salaries with private industry; and the lengthy FAA recruitment process compared unfavorably with other employers. The FAA itself acknowledged institutional resistance within the agency to hiring airway science graduates (Federal Aviation Administration, 1990). There was disagreement between the FAA and the inspector general about whether the airway science program had been intended to benefit the industry as well as the FAA (the FAA argued that it had); whether intended or unintended, the FAA believed there were benefits to the civilian training system that prepared

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--> graduates for industry jobs. Its Office of Training and Higher Education cited several: Establishment of a strong aviation curriculum. Enhanced professionalism of aviation courses at the collegiate level, including the greater visibility and credibility provided by official FAA recognition. Development of accreditation standards: the experience of the University Aviation Association in developing airway science curricula, evaluating proposed curricula, and inspecting airway science programs encouraged the association to establish the Council on Aviation Accreditation in 1988 to ensure program quality and help improve the broader universe of aviation education programs. Grant support for buildings and facilities. Of special interest to the committee, given our charge, is that the airway science program expanded the involvement in aviation education of historically black colleges and universities and of institutions serving large numbers of Hispanics. Historically black colleges and universities in particular have played a central role in the United States in producing black college graduates; they have been especially important sources of black scientists and engineers (Trent and Hill, 1994). The effort to involve these institutions in airway science has been cited as a model for attracting minorities to the transportation profession (including railroads, shipping, trucking, and highways), in which they have been underrepresented and largely excluded from management and professional positions (Ayele, 1991). At the end of 1995, 14 predominantly black four-year colleges and 2 predominantly Hispanic institutions had FAA-recognized airway science programs. Many of these institutions did not have aviation programs before the airway science program. Many of them are public institutions, and the FAA's endorsement through airway science recognition was important to their ability to receive state support. Delaware, for example, home of Delaware State University, requires its programs to have accreditation or other external approval. Maryland has decided that the new airway science program at the University of Maryland/Eastern Shore will be the only aviation education program at a public college in the state. At least 7 of the 16 predominantly black and Hispanic airway science schools received grants. One (Florida Memorial) was among the five largest institutional recipients (expenditure data provided to the committee by the FAA). The federal role in the airway science program is now coming to an end. Following the inspector general's recommendation, the FAA agreed in 1993 that it would seek no further funds for airway science grants and would discourage congressional efforts to appropriate grant funds. The Clinton administration's National Performance Review, headed by Vice President Gore, also called for termination of the grants, principally on the ground that "[m]any schools now

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--> offer high-quality aviation training programs without support from FAA" (Gore, 1993:98). No funds were included for grants in either the fiscal 1995 or fiscal 1996 appropriation bills for the Department of Transportation. In addition to grants, the other key component of the airway science program was the development and approval of curricula at individual colleges and universities. Since the inception of the program, the University Aviation Association, under contract with the FAA, reviewed aviation curricula proposals for institutions establishing new airway science programs and made recommendations for FAA approval. The FAA has developed a plan to shift responsibility for identifying and developing curricula for this program to the UAA and to the fledgling accreditation agency, the Council on Aviation Accreditation (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1994:304-305; Federal Aviation Administration, 1994b). The FAA does not plan to fund UAA activities related to airway science after 1996. It will not recognize new programs, and, after a transition period during which current programs are expected to seek Council accreditation, the FAA will drop its formal recognition. Airlines and the aviation industry as a whole have an important stake in the continuing maturation of collegiate aviation education as a recognized and accepted curriculum tied to the needs of the commercial sector. The committee believes that it is time for companies and their trade associations to become more active and systematic partners in fostering this development. For reasons sketched out earlier in this chapter, collegiate aviation is the most promising alternative to the military to become the main source of trained aviation personnel and is certainly a less costly alternative for the airlines than the ab initio training on which many of their foreign counterparts must rely. Fully exploiting the advantages of this training pathway requires more than the limited school-industry collaboration that has characterized American aviation in the past. There is, however, a potential "free rider" problem here. Individual companies may think that, at least in the near term, their interests can be served by letting others bear the effort and expense of supporting collegiate aviation programs. Such a view would be short-sighted. These companies may find themselves less able to tap into collegiate-based training centers when aviation labor markets enter tight periods; schools will understandably be more willing to work with those who have helped them develop their programs. Nevertheless, the temptation to ride for free may be strong, which suggests that the aviation industry ought to think more about training from a collective perspective, not just company by company. Companies have another reason to work collaboratively as well as individually with collegiate aviation education: the desirability of developing commonly recognized training standards. Airlines have distinctive cultures and procedures, as reflected in company-specific training requirements concerning specific route systems, ways of dispatching people and planes, and the like. But there are also generic training requirements that can be used to define common standards for

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--> collegiate aviation programs that would meet the needs of multiple employers. This approach ought to be attractive to employers, who have resisted supporting ab initio training and similar efforts because of reluctance to commit themselves, perhaps years in advance, to hiring program graduates. Common standards would provide schools with the knowledge they need to build their curricula. Carried out through a mechanism that recognizes or certifies programs that meet the standards, they would give prospective students the assurance that their training suits the demands of industry. Standard-setting and program recognition in American postsecondary education are normally accomplished through a voluntary and self-regulating system of accreditation. National or regional associations of colleges and schools accredit entire institutions. Commissions on accreditation established by national professional organizations conduct specialized accreditation of professional and occupational schools and programs. Specialized accreditation is well established in other fields, such as business, medicine, law, and engineering, but is just in its beginning stages in aviation education. Eight institutions had received accreditation from the Council on Aviation Accreditation for aviation education programs by June 1996. The committee recommends that collegiate aviation programs support the development of a system of accreditation similar to that found in engineering and business. The accreditation system should be developed through the Council on Aviation Accreditation or a similar organization working in close cooperation with the airlines to ensure that curricula are responsive to their needs. It should link its standards to the best available research on competency and skill areas, such as the AMT job task analyses currently being conducted at Northwestern University, and should encourage systematic evaluation of institutional programs. The committee further recommends that the commercial aviation industry support development of an accreditation system as well as provide more sustained and consistent support to individual aviation programs. Active involvement of employers is crucial if aviation accreditation is to accomplish its goal of establishing uniform educational quality standards that meet industry needs. Some employers are already assisting in these efforts, but more widespread participation is needed. To minimize the free-rider problem, employers may want to work at least in part through their major trade associations, such as the Air Transport Association and the Regional Airline Association for the airlines, to help develop and update accreditation standards consistent with the training they believe their future employees will need. Trade associations should also work actively with their members to increase their understanding of accreditation and its benefits. Employers also have an important role to play in making accreditation effective by giving special consideration to hiring graduates of accredited programs and by encouraging aviation programs to seek accredited status. In engineering,

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--> for example, Boeing does this by giving the title of ''engineer" (and the accompanying pay) only to graduates of accredited engineering programs. In addition to helping aviation education develop widely accepted quality standards, aviation employers ought to help individual schools develop their programs (as some do now). The committee's view is that university/industry interaction is less well developed in aviation than in engineering and other professional fields. As some examples earlier in this chapter illustrate, this interaction has also tended to be sporadic: heavy in the rare times when labor markets were tight and largely nonexistent otherwise. Colleges and universities attempting to build training programs that depend partly on private contributions (both monetary and nonmonetary) must be able to count on this assistance through both good economic times and bad. In the past, companies may not have had reason to think much about how their actions affected collegiate aviation, given the supply of trained people from the military. Now their own self-interest argues for becoming more sensitive to how training in civilian colleges and universities can best be developed. The committee recommends that the FAA facilitate school-industry cooperation and the development of an aviation accreditation system. As we have indicated, industry-school relations are not yet well developed in aviation, and accreditation is in its early stages. Thanks in part to historical precedent, the industry is accustomed to having the FAA involved in important aviation-related discussions. The agency's participation in efforts to build university-industry ties and to develop an effective standard-setting mechanism that goes beyond the minimal requirements of the Federal Aviation Regulations will help legitimize these efforts. The FAA's official mission statement calls for it to foster civil aeronautics and air commerce. Contributing to the development of a strong civilian aviation education system is clearly within this charge. The committee further recommends that the FAA review its training and certification requirements to ensure that they support rather than hinder the efficient and effective preparation of aviation personnel. In the time available to us, the committee could not undertake a thorough review of FAA requirements that affect the training offered in collegiate aviation programs. We did, however, become aware of several issues concerning FAA rules. For example, FAA regulations require various kinds of solo training for pilot certifications that may not be as important for airline pilots, who always fly in a crew environment, as they are for recreational pilots. Some foreign airlines that conduct parts of their ab initio training in this country do not have their pilots earn certifications and ratings here because the requirement for solo flight (which is often met by flying single-engine planes around small airports) takes time away from training that they deem more appropriate for individuals headed directly into airline cockpits. Another example involves the emphasis on flight time in the requirements for pilot certifications and ratings. The FAA's Advanced Qualification Program

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--> for advanced training of flight crew members and other operations personnel at airlines regulated by Parts 121 and 135 emphasizes the concept of "training to proficiency." This program allows carriers to develop innovative training approaches, incorporating the most recent advances in training methods and techniques, rather than strictly adhering to traditional training programs (Steenblik, 1989:25). The committee encourages the FAA to work with industry and with collegiate aviation programs to explore whether lessons from the Advanced Qualification Program could be applied to the issue of pre-hire training, to conduct research on alternative methods of training those interested in commercial aviation careers, and to allow experimentation when appropriate. Diversifying the Aviation Workforce A final challenge facing aviation is diversifying its workforce. We saw in Chapter 2 that highly specialized jobs in the aviation industry are still not distributed by race and sex in proportion to the representation of minorities and women in the nation's workforce. Clearly, in a country ostensibly committed to the idea that opportunities should be open to all, the starkly low numbers of female and minority pilots and of female maintenance technicians (both minority and white) should be a serious concern. As a committee, we would be more sanguine that this concern will be addressed if we believed that economic imperatives were going to coincide with ethical ones, but unfortunately, as this chapter has shown, this may not be the case. Severe shortages that would give employers strong economic incentives to identify and hire talented people from all races and both sexes do not appear to be on the horizon. In fact, given the unique fascination of Americans with flight and the strong base provided by the recreational sector, it is possible that the competition for aviation jobs, especially pilots, will continue to be fierce. In our view, this does not diminish the moral importance of addressing underrepresentation in the aviation industry, but it does make the challenge more complex. We turn in the next chapter to an extended discussion of this issue.