U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Flight-Training Programs for Veterans

New legislation increases opportunities for veterans seeking careers in the aviation industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) today introduced bipartisan legislation that supports flight-training services for veterans to become commercial airline pilots.

“America’s veterans have bravely served our nation and we have a shared responsibility to make sure their service and sacrifice is honored,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our veterans have also earned every opportunity to be productive and successful after completing their military service. This legislation increases opportunities for veterans looking to pursue flight training and careers as commercial airline pilots. We have a real need for qualified pilots and if we make the training more available to veterans we can provide them with a good paying job.”

The American Aviator Act will authorize grant funding through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support training opportunities for veterans who are not already military pilots. Veterans participating in the program will receive flight training necessary to become a commercial pilot and receive other certifications, including to work as a certified flight instructor. The legislation helps ensure there are enough qualified pilots in the future to continue providing safe and reliable air service to rural airports across the country.

Support for the American Aviator Act includes Fox Valley Technical College, Air Wisconsin, Appleton Airport, the Air Line Pilots Association and the Regional Airline Association.

“The American Aviator Act provides Veterans with solid high paying jobs while ensuring the viability of air transportation throughout our country and beyond. Veterans bring all the right elements to the table,” said Dr. Susan May, President of Fox Valley Technical College. “Their work ethic, determination, and professionalism make them the perfect candidates to help move our air transportation industry forward.”

“The aviation industry is in dire need of qualified aircraft pilots. The American Aviator Act taps into a strong applicant pool of future pilots, who may otherwise not be able to afford financially to get into the industry,” said Jared Huss, Chief Instructor and Aeronautics Department Chair at Fox Valley Technical College. “This act does two important things; supports our Veterans and supports the stability of our communities’ air service.”

“The American Aviator Act is a great way to support our military veterans by providing them an effective and efficient pathway to becoming an airline pilot,” said Bob Frisch, COO of Air Wisconsin Airlines. “The Act also helps to address the growing pilot shortage in the airline industry. These are two objectives shared by Air Wisconsin, which will benefit our employees and passengers in Wisconsin. We greatly appreciate Senator Baldwin’s leadership on this important issue.”

Flight-training schools that have established pathways to employment with commercial air carriers are eligible for federal grants to recruit and enroll veterans for flight training. Grant funding may be used to provide guidance and flight-training services, including additional training required to reach proficiency.

More information about this legislation is available here.