WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – ranking member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation – joined Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) in introducing the bipartisan Promoting Women in Aviation Act.
“Women play a key role in the Kansas aviation workforce, with the real-world example of Rosie the Riveter working on B-29 assembly lines in Wichita during World War II,” said Sen. Moran. “Each industry is only as strong as its workforce, and codifying the Women in Aviation Advisory Committee will bolster the aviation sector and make certain women’s voices are heard in this important industry. Initiatives such as this one will recruit and retain a strong talent pipeline for generations to come.”
Women continue to be underrepresented in the aviation field, where they currently make up less than 12 percent of aerospace engineers, less than 10 percent of licensed pilots and less than 3 percent of maintenance technicians. The senators’ bipartisan bill would make the Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB) a permanent body in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so it can continue to provide valuable insight on best efforts to recruit, promote and retain more women in the industry. The board was established as part of the 2018 FAA reauthorization law to create a one-time report with recommendations for the FAA, aviation industry and Congress on how to encourage more women to pursue careers in aviation and remain in the sector. The bill would help strengthen the aviation workforce at-large as well as address pilot shortage challenges that have especially disrupted air service in rural areas as well as maintenance technician pipeline challenges that have hurt the aviation supply chain.
On March 16, Sen. Moran welcomed Dr. Sheree Utash, President of Wichita State University (WSU) Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech) and Vice President of Workforce Development at WSU, to testify before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Sen. Moran led the committee hearing with Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). The hearing was titled, “Strengthening the Aviation Workforce.”
In December 2022, Sen. Moran led the introduction of the bipartisan Aviation Workforce Development Enhancement Act to help expand the FAA’s current Aviation Workforce Development Grant program by increasing annual funding for pilot development and mechanic development grants, as well as provide grant funding for aviation manufacturing workforce development.