You might not be able to see it yet, but the skies above us are in the process of being transformed.
America’s air transport industry is undergoing a massive technological update of its planes and air traffic control. NextGen – short for the Next Generation Air Transportation System – is the Federal Aviation Administration-led modernization that is designed to answer the expected 20% increase in air traffic over the next decade.
The focus of NextGen is transitioning the ground-based air traffic control system to a GPS-based system by 2020. Going digital, according to the FAA, means less crowded and safer skies. Finding a workforce with the skills necessary to implement this new system is proving to be challenging. Aerospace companies have more than 27,000 unfilled jobs, according to Aviation Week’s 2017 U.S. Workforce Study released in September. Simply put – there’s a STEM labor shortage.
At the WorkingNation and YPO-Los Angeles Chapter town hall event Shaping the Future of Work in Van Nuys, California, we looked at solutions for closing the gap between the number of workers needed and the number of workers with the needed skills to handle the new technology. The conversation took place in Hangar 4, home base of Dreamline Aviation.