Momentum grows for creation of National Center for the Advancement of Aviation

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The National Center for the Advancement of Aviation (NCAA) Act of 2020, H.R.8532, would create an independent center to facilitate collaboration among commercial, general, and military aviation sectors to address the mounting workforce challenges facing the industry.

The NCAA would help develop and deploy a workforce of pilots, aerospace engineers, UAS operators, aviation maintenance technicians, and others. The center would provide resources to curriculum developers working to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math, leveraging knowledge and expertise among industry sectors. The center would also serve as a central repository for economic and safety data research. In addition, the NCAA would enable greater opportunities for apprenticeships, and help military veterans and others transition to well-paying technical jobs in the aviation industry.

H.R.8532 was introduced in the House by Reps. André Carson (D-Ind.), Don Young (R-Alaska), and House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen (D-Wash.). Carson and Young also serve on the Aviation Subcommittee.

An identical, bipartisan bill was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), both pilots. The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).

“AOPA is proud to join the aviation and aerospace industries in support of this legislation,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “As an industry, we must ensure that we are prepared to meet the demands for highly qualified professionals in all sectors of general, commercial, and military aviation—including pilots, mechanics, and technicians. All are needed and vital to ensure the U.S. aviation industry remains competitive and prepared for the future.”

“I am honored to join my colleagues in introducing this common-sense, yet bold piece of legislation,” Carson said. “Indiana is known as the crossroads of America. And thanks to our world-class airports, that nickname applies to our state’s skyways, as well. We need to keep growing and improving this sector, but obstacles persist. Too often in the past, innovation and lessons learned in various aviation sectors have not been shared in a collaborative or timely manner, especially in the face of rapid developments in new technology. Our bill helps break down silos across commercial aviation, general aviation and military aviation sectors that will not only improve safety and best practices, but also expand opportunities for those interested in the aviation workforce—the young and not so young, from those just starting out, to those with experience who want to move into

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