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A measure tucked into the latest FAA Reauthorization will establish a pool of $240 million to lower the cost of flight training and expand the pool of prospective candidates. The new money was championed by Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock. “This is a long-term issue,” Warnock told Yahoo Finance. “We’re pulling from too short, too narrow a pool of applicants.” The money will be funneled to flight schools and groups focused on flight training but it’s not clear if diversity hiring will be a condition of the funding. Its also not clear how the money will be disbursed.

The pilot shortage has eased considerably, largely because of an airplane shortage that has resulted from issues at Boeing, but Warnock said the money is a long-term investment. “I’m making the business case for diversity,” Warnock told Yahoo. “It’s in our enlightened self-interest to find that talent and create a robust pipeline so that they can become pilots.” Congress had originally earmarked $120 million for flight training initiatives but Warnock lobbied to double that and include provisions to promote diversity across all aviation careers.

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