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Editor’s Viewpoint The Next Generation A s a long-time aviation profes- take place within the current generation sional I have several times of aviation professionals. The article goes heard of impending shortages on to highlight a point that I felt impor- of aviation professionals. Over the years tant enough to mention and critical to the I have heard this warning specific to recruitment of the next generation into maintenance technicians, although I aviation as a career. The point being the have not personally witnessed shortages lack of awareness by the next generation — perhaps you or your company has of what types of aviation professions are experienced this situation in the past. Ronald Donner available to them. Given the current economic times of this Editor Last month while attending the 2010 country and the world, it is difficult to Aviation Industry Expo, I couldn’t help imagine a shortage of skilled aviation professionals. thinking about this statement as I watched the Any shortage seems like a long way off and hard AMTSociety Maintenance Skills Competition. The to accept when so many aviation professionals are AMTSociety Maintenance Skills Competition is just unemployed. A recent article on this subject by the one attempt at promoting aviation maintenance International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as a profession, along with generating a whole regarding the next generation of aviation profes- lot of enthusiasm among a very diverse group of sionals caught my attention. participants. This year for the first time ever, there In March of this year ICAO released a sum- were two international teams participating in this mary of a five-day meeting it hosted regarding friendly maintenance skills competition. the challenges relating to an anticipated shortage I know of aviation professionals who speak of skilled aviation professionals. The article spoke highly of the profession and who do their part about the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals to attract young people into aviation as a career. Taskforce, which consists of 29 representatives from I also hear from aviation professionals who feel industry, education and training providers, regula- that aviation as a profession is not a wise choice tory bodies, and international organizations. The these days, and would not recommend this career taskforce used a 20-year projection and specifically to the next generation. There are pros and cons to speaks about the future need for three groups of everything we do. aviation professionals: aircraft maintenance techni- I would offer that as part of the current gen- cians, air traffic controllers, and pilots. The report eration of aviation professionals we have some says that in the next 20 years the industry will need responsibility here, and just as AMTSociety has 480,000 new technicians and more than 350,000 done, we should consider doing our part to high- pilots by the year 2026, and that 73 percent of the light our care
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