Skip to Main
June 21, 2023

Barragán and Espaillat Introduce the American Aviation Diversity Act

New bill aims to increase minority representation in the aviation industry


June 21, 2023

Contact: Kevin McGuire


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13)  introduced H.R.3689 – the American Aviation Diversity Act (AADA), key legislation intended to diversify the racial and ethnic makeup of the American aviation industry. 

“It’s critical that our aviation workforce reflect the diversity of our country and the communities served by air travel,” said Rep. Barragán. “I am proud to co-lead the American Aviation Diversity Act with Representative Espaillat to give young people of color at our Minority Serving Institutions new career opportunities in the aviation industry. These FAA internships will create mentorship and advancement opportunities in aviation, and help the industry identify talented young people eager to join the workforce.”

“If we are to truly make progress in how we discuss race in America, we have to ensure minority representation and diversity within every level of all industries, across the board,” said Rep. Espaillat. “It starts with our actions today and support of young people who will be the leaders of the future and ensuring they, especially minority youth, have access to the opportunities and training that would make them viable and successful applicants for these positions. Our bill would authorize federal funding to minority-serving institutions to bolster pipeline programs with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prepare these students to enter the aviation workforce following graduation, putting them on a career path within the aviation industry and supporting our national competitiveness within this field on the global scale.” 

Reps. Barragán and Espaillat’s American Aviation Diversity Act will authorize $7.5 million in federal funding for minority-serving institutions (MSI) intern program with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA MSI internship program serves as a pipeline to well-paying aviation careers for historically underrepresented minorities: Black or African Americans, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Latinos, and Indigenous Americans and Indigenous Hawaiians. Compared to their White counterparts, who comprise 72% of the FAA, historically underrepresented groups comprise a total 23% of the aviation workforce. Within this demographic, 9.7% of employees are Hispanic or Latino, 11.5% are Black or African American, 1.3% are Indigenous Americans, and 0.5% are Pacific Islander. The American Aviation Diversity Act is a significant step to coloring the skies: a commitment to reflecting the real, day-to-day face of America domestically and internationally in the aviation field.

Legislative highlights:

  • Addresses the underrepresentation of Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American, and American Indian or Indigenous Alaskan workers in STEM overall, and highlights the domestic and international benefits of a diverse workforce.
  • Promotes STEM training in fields that lead to employment in aviation careers for historically underrepresented groups, fields which report higher earnings compared to many non-STEM jobs.
  • Helps increase the annual household income for American working families of color, by increasing diverse representation in the aviation field.
  • Develops a diverse STEM workforce to maintain and strengthen the United States’ global competitiveness in STEM, an essential component of national security.


Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Bellflower, Carson, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Paramount, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, West Carson, and Wilmington. She serves as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Health, Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Minerals Subcommittees.