Bolen says Bold Actions needed in Congress and across Industry to build future Aviation workforce


Washington, DC – 12 May 2022 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen cited several industry efforts across multiple paths to build a diverse business aviation workforce in a written statement to the U.S. House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic “provided a momentary reprieve from the transportation workforce shortage,” Bolen noted many small businesses that utilize business aviation once again face challenges in attracting and retaining qualified workers.

“As recovery and the worldwide demand for air travel continues to increase, we must come together and take bold actions that will enable the U.S. to maintain its role as the world leader in aviation,” he noted in the statement, entitled, “Moving Upwards and Onwards: The Workforce and Innovation Needs of the Aviation and Aerospace Industry.”

Workforce development is a key focus of NBAA’s advocacy on Capitol Hill, Bolen continued, including full funding for the Promoting Service in Transportation Act (H.R. 3310 and S. 1681) passed into law as part of the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, which would establish a multimedia public service campaign highlighting career opportunities in the transportation industry.

Read Bolen’s written testimony.

Bolen also cited NBAA’s representation on the FAA/DOT’s Women in Aviation Advisory Board and the Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force, and its partnership with organizations to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, such as the Red Tail Flight Academy, to build a bridge for the industry to recruit future aviation professionals.

NBAA’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro) program helps nurture future industry leaders, Bolen continued, while a dedicated Careers in Business Aviation Day at NBAA’s annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) draws hundreds of students to learn about industry careers. The association also utilizes its media channels to highlight DE&I content and “to promote the ‘see it, be it’ for students exposed to aviation careers,” he added.

All these initiatives are vital to building a diverse workforce capable not only of supporting today’s business aviation operations, but to help move the industry forward toward a future that will include electric aviation, unmanned aircraft and advanced air mobility (AAM).

Through NBAA’s AAM Roundtable, the association “Identified workforce challenges facing this sector and is actively engaging Congress and government agencies to address these concerns,” Bolen said. The association’s input was also included in the recent Government Accountability Office report, Stakeholders Identified Issues to Address for ‘Advanced Air Mobility.’ Learn more about the AAM Roundtable.

“Our industry is ready to grow; however, to be successful, we must all work to attract the next generation of employees,” Bolen concluded. “NBAA looks forward to being part of the process and highlighting the importance of general aviation to the nation.”