Printed headline: Mechanic Standards
Mechanic Airman Certification Standards (ACS), expected to be published in 2020, will set forth the minimum knowledge and skill requirements for FAA-certificated mechanics, replace Practical Test Standards (PTS) and govern development of the written, oral and practical mechanic tests. This summer, the FAA/industry working group charged with development of the standard solicited public feedback. It received more than 50 comments; the majority were adopted and incorporated into the Mechanic ACS.
The most notable differences between the new standard and its predecessor are the incorporation of risk-management and human-factors elements. Industry response to those changes were vastly positive, evidencing support for the new, all-encompassing testing standard.
Several improvements were made to the Mechanic ACS in response to public comment, including changing the title of the document from Aviation Maintenance Technician ACS to Mechanic ACS, in line with regulatory language. The working group also removed, clarified or adjusted several subject areas to include the removal of nearly all welding knowledge and skill elements.
Questions remain about whether the agency will adopt the testing standard as the driver for aviation-maintenance-technician school curriculum requirements. The working group has formally recommended to the FAA that the Mechanic ACS be used for both training and testing, to ensure correlation and avoid schools having to adhere to two standards. Regardless, mechanic technical programs will certainly need to incorporate ACS elements into their training programs, since its subject areas will be the basis for the oral, practical and written FAA mechanic tests.
Until the standard is officially published, the aviation maintenance technician PTS (FAA-S-8081-26A, -27A, -28A) remains in effect. Applicants, instructors and evaluators will continue to use those documents as the basis for the oral and practical tests.
The FAA mechanic written test bank is currently under review to ensure existing questions are within parameters set forth in the Mechanic ACS. Changes made to the test bank are communicated to the public through a semiannual “What’s New” document published on the FAA Airman Testing web page.