Bipartisan Bill Aims to Address Pilot Shortage, Lack of Diversity

A new bipartisan bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate aimed at addressing the pilot shortage and improving diversity in the years to come.

The Flight Education Access Act, sponsored by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR-05) and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), seeks to increase the limit for individuals taking out student loans to pay for flight training while also increasing diversity within pilot training programs.

Currently, airline pilots are required to complete Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-regulated training costing approximately $80,000 in tuition and fees associated with the four-year degree, according to the University Aviation Association. If passed, the legislation would increase the total maximum amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans an eligible dependent may borrow to $111,000; increase the maximum amount for independent students to $137,500 and increase the maximum amount of Federal Direct Stafford Loans to a total of $65,000.