Veterans groups representatives and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) have raised concerns about legislation that would cap the educational benefits of the GI Bill for those pursuing careers as pilots, discouraging interested veterans at a time when aviation faces chronic pilot shortages in the U.S. and around the world.

The military has been a source of new pilots for private and commercial aviation for decades, but changes to pilot training programs at the Navy and Air Force, and a change in tactics favoring unmanned aircraft, have made it much harder for the military to train and retain qualified pilots. As a result, fewer trained pilots are available to serve, fewer are available to train, and fewer will be available to join the private sector in the future.