President Trump Signs SUU Aviation Bill Into Law

Published: October 05, 2018 | Read Time: 2 minutes

President Trump signed SUU's Aviation Bill into law todayFor years, Southern Utah University’s Aviation program has worked toward changing an outdated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulation for aircraft maintenance training curriculum, and today President Trump signed SUU’s proposed bill into law.

The Aviation Maintenance Technician School Training Program Modernization bill, included in the FAA Reauthorization Act, will now allow SUU to update the antiquated 56-year-old curriculum. SUU’s Aviation program will teach current and relevant information that coincide with future airman certification standards and better prepare students for industry jobs. SUU is the first university to ever make changes to FAA regulations.

“We have made history today,” said Michael Mower, executive director of SUU Aviation. “We have accomplished something no other flight school has ever done. The entire team at SUU has been working very hard to update the FAA’s decades-old training regulations. This reaffirms our commitment to offering industry relevant training to our students, makes it more attractive for women to join aviation, and requires the FAA to work with flight schools to continually evaluate training curriculum.”

SUU had support from the Aviation Technical Education Council (ATEC) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Hatch introduced the bill earlier this year, then recently pushed for it to be included as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act.

“SUU is proud to have been a part of Senator Hatch’s groundbreaking and historical legislation,” said Jared Britt, SUU Aviation director of maintenance and chairman of the legislative committee for ATEC. “All too often the AMT profession is overlooked, yet they have the most important job in aviation. This is a real win for SUU, and shows the truth in the fact that our representatives do act on behalf of the public interest.”

SUU will now be allowed to utilize the method of credit hours in lieu of seat time requirements, will be able to teach with modern, advanced technology, and will encourage workforce development so the transition from graduation to career will be smooth and efficient.

“With the updated rule, SUU Aviation can build the most modernized training for AMT that has ever existed in a public institution, which is what we plan to do,” said Britt.  

Schools that continue to teach outdated curriculum are sending students into jobs where companies are spending substantial amounts of time and money training and teaching new graduates proper techniques and current regulations. Companies like Boeing are left to retrain new graduates on basic tasks required to maintain a modern, sophisticated airplane. Boeing has been frustrated with this process and has stated, “As personnel demand increases over the next two decades, the aviation industry will need to find innovative solutions to keep pace with training requirements.”

SUU Aviation hopes to implement the new curriculum with the next round of freshmen beginning classes in fall 2019.

To learn more about SUU’s aviation program, visit the website.

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