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New GAO study into advanced air mobility highlights educational challenges

A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report into the advanced air mobility (AAM) market has highlighted staff training issues as a key challenge beyond the three generally-agreed headline issues of approving new aircraft designs; fostering public acceptance of AAM; and developing new ground infrastructure.

…“Pilots and maintenance technicians will have to be trained in new skills related to automation and electric propulsion,” said the GAO report. !Such training would require investment in new standards and curriculums. Some stakeholders cautioned that schools may be reluctant to make such investments until AAM aircraft designs, and related federal standards are more certain. Some stakeholders also said the AAM industry could face workforce supply issues similar to those faced by the broader aerospace industry, which has struggled in recent years to recruit and retain workers. Factors affecting supply include high educational costs, a lack of workplace diversity, inadequate awareness of opportunities, and limited training capacity, according to stakeholders GAO interviewed. Stakeholders said the pace at which the AAM industry develops will depend on how fast the industry and government address these various issues. Many forecasted the industry would begin limited operations within the next 5 years. The stakeholders suggested the scale of operations in 10 years would depend on addressing certification, and other issues, and identifying profitable markets.”

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