The recently published 2012 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook prediction of demand for 185,600 pilots and 243,500 new aircraft technicians in the Asia-Pacific region through 2030 has a potentially significant impact on the U.S. industry.
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
The eagerly awaited proposed changes to the FAA’s Part 145 rules that govern repair stations domestically and abroad are finally out. Talk about years in the making! Twenty-three years if we go back to the first public hearings in 1989, a mere 13 from the 1999 issuance of the original NPRM that first proposed many of these same requirements.
Just northwest of Tucson, Ariz., sits a 1,200-acre plot of ground with a 460-acre facility dedicated to aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul. It has been in operation for more than 30 years and is generally considered to be the world’s largest MRO dedicated to maintenance, repair, painting, storage and end-of-life services for passenger and cargo aircraft.
Avjet has been offering aircraft sales, acquisition, charter, management services and oversight of completion and refurbishment projects since 1979. Headquartered in Burbank, Calif., the company maintains a presence in Washington D.C., Seoul; Abu Dhabi; Moscow; Tokyo; and other locations around the world. Avjet also owns and operates an FBO in Pagosa Springs, Colo.
A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court of Jacksonville, Fla., has indicted Franklin Williams and Stacy Willis on three counts of fraud involving aircraft and space vehicle parts in interstate commerce and one count of smuggling goods from the U.S. The aircraft, a Piper PA-32R-301T, was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and written off as a total loss. According to the indictment, an unidentified Brazilian national purchased the Piper from a salvage company in 2008 and arranged for Williams have it exported to Brazil.
The FAA recently released a Notice of Policy titled “Policy Clarifying Definition of ‘Actively Engaged’ for Purposes of Inspector Authorization,” and industry comments on the new definition are mixed.
The FAA has issued a Notice of Policy that clarifies the term “actively engaged” for the purposes of application for and renewal of an inspection authorization, and industry groups have expressed concerns about the definition.
The most recent FAA FAASTeam Maintenance Safety Tip conveys the FAA’s growing concern about fatigue, in this case technician fatigue. The issue has long been associated with pilots but rarely with technicians.
Finally, after several years of friction between organizations competing to represent aircraft technicians, the key players seem to have put the past behind them. In a recent meeting, representatives of the AMTSociety, the NBAA Maintenance Committee and the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) agreed to work cooperatively in the future.
I never wanted to be an aircraft mechanic. That’s probably a good thing, because I would never fly in anything I worked on.