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Season 4, Episode 53

“Gray out” will leave thousands of airline maintenance tech jobs open

AMFA gray


Guest Name:

Nic Kula

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Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) Local 14 President Nic Kula joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed an upcoming “gray out” among the Airline Maintenance Technicians (AMT). 

The AMFA currently represents members who work for the following airlines: Alaska, Horizon, Southwest, Spirit, SunCountry and L3 Harris. 

Like many other unions, the AMFA is trying to recruit new, younger members as a wave of retirements has begun. According to Kula, the average age of an AMT worker is 52, with the majority of those in the industry between the ages of 55 and 64. It is projected that there will be 18,000 open airline maintenance technician jobs in 2023 (union and non-union), while current projections point to 12,000 applications. Kula said the shortage will only worsen, according to research conducted by management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Besides safety, the AMFA’s is focused on member recruitment in order to keep up with the industry’s growth and the upcoming “gray out” or wave of retirements. 

He then explained the job performed by aircraft maintenance technicians. They are the people in charge of routine and emergency maintenance on all aircraft owned by some of the major airlines. While the job is strenuous, AMTs are well-rewarded for their efforts and commitment to safety. The Association’s slogan is "Safety in the air begins with quality maintenance on the ground," and Kula noted they back it up with their training.

While safety is a main component to become a licensed AMT, men and women need to complete two years of training in an Airframe and Powerplant licensing course. Those with equivalent military experience can test out of all or part of the course. Kula said scholarships are available for potential students, as well. Together, the AMFA and Veteran Internships Providing Employment Readiness (VIPER) Transitions offer veterans training assistance, tooling and financial aid as they begin their civilian aviation carrier. With opportunities to earn an income in the mid-six figures, plus the immediate demand for skilled workers, Kula believes now is the time to become an AMT.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

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