The shortage of maintenance technicians is hurting small aviation companies, the aerospace sector and the U.S. economy, Brett Levanto, Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) Vice President of Communications, told the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on the contracting and workforce hearing, Troubled Skies: The Aviation Workforce Shortage's Impact on Small Businesses.

Levanto encouraged the subcommittee’s members to share the responsibility to grow the next generation of aviation professionals by voting for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, which contains an aviation workforce development title and a grant program to help attract and retain aerospace technicians.

ARSA is the international trade association for repair stations, maintenance facilities certificated by the FAA and other civil aviation authorities. Its members include manufacturers, parts producers, operators and other aviation stakeholders – and its workforce data reports 82 percent of respondents to an ARSA survey say they have difficulty finding technicians. ARSA projects its members have as many as 2,500 unfilled technical positions, and in 2017 it projected that unfilled positions cost U.S. maintenance companies $1.95 billion in lost opportunity and foregone revenue each year.

Levanto says that because of the technician shortage, ARSA members are taking longer to complete work for customers, declining to add new capabilities, turning down work and electing against facility expansion. Those impacts, ARSA says, make the nation’s aviation system less efficient and slows economic growth locally and nationally.

To read Levanto’s testimony, click here.