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Labor and World-Class Workforce Subcommittee


  • Patricia Friend (Subcommittee Chair)
  • David Barger
  • John Conley
  • Robert Lekites
  • Ana McAhron-Schulz
  • Cynthia Egnotovich
  • Thella Bowens


As discussed in our first pillar, the Department is first and foremost concerned with safety in aviation.  We have created the safest, most reliable, most efficient, and most productive air transportation system in the world.

Aviation has come a long way since its beginnings and is now central to the way we live and do business, linking people from coast to coast and connecting America to the world.   To ensure the industry’s future economic viability and ongoing excellent safety record, we need to continue to develop our skilled and professional workforce.

Nearly one in every four U.S. airline jobs disappeared between 1999 and 2009.  However, as the domestic and global economies begin to recover and expand, and the population continues to grow, demand for air travel will increase and so will jobs.  For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of aircraft pilots and flight engineers will grow 12 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is also expected in related occupations – flight attendants, mechanics, airport operations, and government inspectors and air traffic controllers, among others.

Initial Questions

  • The airline industry must develop employees’ skills and provide training and development opportunities to improve those skills to ensure that our industry is competitive.
    • What are the most crucial skills that will be needed for pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, or other employee groups over the next 10 years?
    • What are the key components of the training and development programs required to obtain those skills?
  • Attracting and retaining employees in the airline industry is vital for growth and practicality.
    • How can airlines, airports, and the federal government, among others, attract new employees to these jobs?
    • Are universities graduating sufficient numbers of aerospace, electrical, and manufacturing engineers, and other skilled workers, to support new aircraft and systems development plans?  How might more students be attracted to these fields?
    • What are the expected hiring needs for airports over the next 10 years?

Record of Meeting

Last updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2015