US Senator Introduces Legislation to Expand Veteran Opportunities

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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin visited Fox Valley TechnicalCollege in Oshkosh to tour their flight training school and announced herbipartisan American Aviator Act to increase opportunities and expandflight-training services for veterans to become commercial airline pilots,which she is reintroducing with Senator John Hoeven.

“America’s veterans have bravely served our nation and wehave a shared responsibility to make sure their service and sacrifice ishonored,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our veterans have also earned everyopportunity to be productive and successful after completing their militaryservice. This legislation increases opportunities for veterans looking topursue flight training and careers as commercial airline pilots. We have a realneed for qualified pilots and if we make the training more available to veterans,we can provide them with a good paying job.”

The American Aviator Act will authorize grant funding through the Federal Aviation Administration to support training opportunities for veterans who are not already military pilots. Veterans participating in the program will receive flight training necessary to become a commercial pilot and receive other certifications, including to work as a certified flight instructor. The legislation helps ensure there are enough qualified pilots in the future to continue providing safe and reliable air service to rural airports across the country.

Fox Valley Tech currently offers flight-training for veterans to become certified airline pilots and works with Air Wisconsin and Appleton Airport to put more individuals on the path to successful careers as pilots. Baldwin’s reform would build on this model to ensure that more veterans in Wisconsin and across the country could pursue this career path after completing their military service. Flight-training schools that have established pathways to employment with commercial air carriers are eligible for federal grants to recruit and enroll veterans for flight training. Grant funding may be used to provide guidance and flight-training services, including additional training required to reach proficiency. Grants may also be used to provide tuition, books, training materials, equipment and to cover the cost of a private pilot license.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, SenatorBaldwin also secured $1 million in federal funding to support flight-trainingschools looking to expand and serve more veterans. The funding was included inthe Fiscal Year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and RelatedAgencies Appropriations Act, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committeein September. The Appropriations legislation will next go before the fullSenate for a vote.

Support for the American Aviator Act includes Fox ValleyTechnical College, Air Wisconsin, Appleton Airport, the Air Line PilotsAssociation and the Regional Airline Association.


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