Esty’s Women in Aviation Workforce Bill Added to FAA, Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) praised the passage of H.R. 302, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The measure passed the House by a vote of 398-23. Additionally, Esty was able to secure her bill, H.R. 4673, the Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act, into the final text of the overall bill as well.
The Promoting Women in Aviation Workforce Act directs the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to create and facilitate the Women in Aviation Advisory Board. The Board will promote organizations and programs that provide education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women into the aviation industry. Esty’s legislation was coauthored by Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-2), Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), and Rep. Mimi Walters (CA-45). Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
“At a time when only six percent of pilots are women, and women comprise just over a quarter of air traffic controllers, it is vital that we take proven steps to encourage more women to pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industries. By elevating important initiatives that work in the private sector, we will be able to address the critical shortages in the aviation workforce by encouraging more women to join this important sector of the workforce,” said Esty. “Women bring new perspectives, skills, backgrounds, and problem solving skills to the table – traits we know are necessary for American companies to be globally competitive. With an aging aviation workforce, we must do everything in our power to broaden and deepen our pool of available workers, and this legislation is a good step forward in doing exactly that.”
While women make up over half of the American workforce, they are significantly underrepresented in the aviation industry. Nearly a fifth of our aerospace engineers are able to consider retiring. Additionally, less than ten percent of airline mechanics, flight engineers, repair personnel, and airline pilots are women. Aviation industry groups and business leaders are concerned that this shortfall could lead to trouble filling spots as more workers retire. Esty’s bill has support from groups such as the National Business Aviation Association and Air Line Pilots Association International.
Esty serves as the Vice Ranking member on the Committee of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Subcommittees on Highway and Transit; Water Resources and Environment and; Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.