FVSU Aviation Program "Call to Action"
Hello Fellow Citizens,
We are a group of Community and Business Leaders, Aviation Industry Professionals, Academicians, and Professional Pilots who are writing to request a CALL TO ACTION. This CALL TO ACTION is on behalf of a small Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in Middle Georgia, Fort Valley State University (FVSU). We are coordinating our efforts through the Peach Regional Chamber of Commerce.
But first, some brief background information. As most of us know, there is a growing shortage of pilots in the aviation industry, both domestically and internationally. USA Today characterizes it as, “the biggest in Aviation history,” (Jones, Jan 6, 2013). Please note:
• Boeing’s Current Market Outlook predicts that over the next 20 years, airline fleets will double due to worldwide demand for rapid movement of products and personnel, along with expanding markets in Asia, The Pacific, The Middle East, South America, and Africa. The result will be a worldwide shortage of over 533,000 pilots, (Average 26,650 per year - Boeing, July 2014).
• For North America, the shortage over this period will exceed 89,600 pilots.
• Shortfalls in the United States Airline Industry alone will exceed 3,000-8,000 pilots annually, (University studies and FAA forecast).
• Any disruption in airline operations will have dire economic consequences for Georgia. Georgia is home to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, the 10th largest Air Cargo Hub in North America, and the largest employer in the state, (58,000 direct and indirect employees - BTS, BLS & GA DOL).
Because of this growing pilot shortage, airlines are resorting to drastic measures to secure their pilot requirements such as:
• Reducing and/or curtailing service to some cities and grounding aircraft.
• Offering large signing bonuses to pilots.
• Recruiting Collegiate Aviation Program students in their sophomore year.
• Offering Collegiate Aviation Program Juniors and Seniors employment contracts with immediate benefits.
CALL TO ACTION FOR
This is where Fort Valley State University comes in.
Recently a major 4 year study was completed by a team of industry experts to determine the feasibility of a 4 year Aviation Management Degree Program at Fort Valley State Univ. The team was led by Col. Robert Hamilton, a retired United States Air Force Pilot. The FVSU Study revealed a number of promising conclusions:
First, in addition to pilots in general, the aviation industry desperately needs more minority pilots, (Currently African-Americans constitute only 3% of the pilot work force). As the only 1890 land-grant institution in the state of Georgia, FVSU has served the educational needs of minorities for over 110 years. FVSU is a cultural icon and source of intense pride for many citizens of Middle Georgia. A FVSU Aviation Program would enhance this legacy by making it one of only five Historically Black Colleges in the U.S., and one of only three in the Southeast with a 4 year aviation degree program.
Second, the FVSU Aviation Program would be unique in that it is designed around an “Aviation Cadet Corp” model that will imbue students with discipline, a solid work ethic, a sense of personal responsibility, and leadership skills sorely needed in today’s work place.
Third, FVSU would become one of only two VA/GI Bill eligible Aviation Programs in Georgia.
For additional facts and conclusions from the FVSU Study, see the attachment: “TALKING POINTS ON PROPOSED FVSU AVIATION PROGRAM”
This is where the CALL TO ACTION comes in.
The aforementioned comprehensive FVSU Study was recently submitted to the Georgia Board of Regents. Unfortunately, IT WAS REJECTED. The only reason given was PROGRAM DUPLICATION.
It is our opinion, as Professional Pilots in the aviation industry, that THIS PROPOSAL SHOULD BE SERIOUSLY RECONSIDERED AND IMMEDIATELY IMPLEMENTED.
If you agree, we are asking that as many people in general, (and pilots in particular), SEND EMAILS to The Georgia Board of Regents AND to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, (addresses below), strongly requesting that they SERIOUSLY RECONSIDER AND IMMEDIATELY IMPLEMENT THE PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A FOUR YEAR COLLEGIATE AVIATION PROGRAM AT FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY.
A sample email draft is included below for your convenience to copy and paste for your own letter.
For questions, please contact Col Robert Hamilton, (email@example.com).
Thank you for giving this request you time and consideration.
Dear Chancellor Huckaby/Governor Deal:
Hello, my name is ___________. I am a ____ (resident of Fort Valley, business owner, etc.) _______. I am greatly concerned about a recent decision reached by your Board of Regents to decline Fort Valley State University’s four year Aviation Management Degree Program. The rationale given was program duplication.
Please consider the following statistics: Projections by Boeing and academia predict that 533,000 additional pilots will be needed over the next 20 years to meet exploding worldwide demand. The U.S. will require 89,600 more pilots for the same time period. Already, this shortage threatens Georgia's aviation industry that contributes $56 billion annually to our state economy and employs over 313,000 people. Currently, our Georgia based airlines are grounding aircraft and reducing service due to the pilot shortage.
Considering the above and that Georgia has only one 4 year aviation program that produces only 6-10 airline ready pilots per year, HOW CAN ONE (1) ADDITIONAL SUCH PROGRAM BE “PROGRAM DUPLICATION?”
I understand that the FVSU Aviation Program proposal is the culmination of over four years of research and development. I also understand that it was designed by a team of industry experts to be highly effective, minimize attrition, (both before and after graduation), and operate at little or no cost to the taxpayer. I strongly believe the FVSU Aviation Program is desperately needed and will enjoy widespread support.
Therefore, on behalf of my family, co-workers, and fellow citizens, I ask you to please SERIOUSLY RECONSIDER AND IMMEDIATELY IMPLEMENT THE PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A FOUR YEAR COLLEGIATE AVIATION MANAGEMENT DEGREE PROGRAM AT FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY.
[Send e-mails to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Chancellor – Mr. Hank Huckaby, expressing your support for this FVSU Proposal. Chancellor@usg.edu
Send e-mails to the Honorable Nathan Deal Governor of Georgia at http://gov.georgia.gov/webfo…/contact-governor-domestic-form expressing your support for this FVSU Proposal.
Tell everyone you know about our collective need (for pilots) and this FVSU opportunity. Ask them to contact the Georgia Board of Regents and the Georgia Governor.
Check the Peach County Chamber of Commerce Web site for program updates.
TALKING POINTS ON PROPOSED FVSU AVIATION PROGRAM
FVSU is seeking authorization from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to offer a Bachelor’s degree program in Aviation Management as part of strategic efforts to increase enrollment and expand opportunities for the University’s client base. If approved, the first Freshman class will enter Fall 2015.
Unprecedented Industry Need
Unprecedented Career Opportunity
Impact on Similar Programs at other USG Institutions
End of letter
What can you do to help?
Boeing Airplane Company. (July 2014). Boeing Current Market Outlook (2014-2033), Retrieved from http://www.boeing.com/…/commercial/cmo/pilot_and_technician_ outlook.page
Federal Aviation Administration. (Dec 31, 2013). FAA Aerospace Forecasts Fiscal Years 2014–2034, Retrieved from http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_ offices/apl/aviation forecasts/aerospace_forecasts/2014-2034/
Jasmine Wang & Simone Baribeau. China Lures U.S. Pilots Tired of 14-Year Wait for Airline Captain’s Seat, Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/…/china-lures-u-s-pilots-tired-of-…
Georgia Department of Labor, (Sep 2014). Occupational Wages. Retrieved from: http://explorer.dol.state.ga.us/mis/wages.htm#
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics. (2013). Job openings due to growth and replacement needs, 2013-2022 Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers & Commercial Pilots. Retrieved from: http:// data.bls.gov/oep/noeted
Aviation Industry Stakeholders. (Nov, 2012) Pilot Supply Industry Study Proposal, Request for GAO Study submitted by key industry leaders in response to looming pilot shortage crisis, Retrieved from: http://www.aabi.aero/…/Pilot%20Supply%20and%20Demand%20Stak…%20position.pdf
Federal Aviation Administration. (Aug 2011). The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation on the U.S. Economy, Retrieved from: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/media /FAA_Economic Impact_Rpt_2011.pdf
Federal Aviation Administration. (Dec 2011). Economic Impact of Civil Aviation by State, The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation on the U.S. Economy, Retrieved from: http://www.faa.gov/…/publications/reports/econom…/media/FAA_ Economic_Impact_Report by_State_2011.pdf
Federal Aviation Administration. (15 Oct 2014). Integrated Airmen Certification and/or Rating Application (IACRA), Commercial and ATP Certificates issued in Georgia for the past year to date, Retrieved from: https://iacra.faa.gov/iacra/
Smith, G., Embry Riddle Air University. (Mar 2011). Pilot Supply Gap Analysis, 2011 National Training Aircraft Symposium Briefing, Retrieved from: http://ntas.erau.edu /proceedings/downloads /2011/NTAS-2011-GAP-Analysis-(Dr.-Guy-Smith).pdf