Just in time for Heli-Expo’13, online employment information provider JSfirm surveyed hundreds of its client companies about their hiring expectations for the remainder of this year. And the results are positive; maintenance and avionics technicians, pilots and sheet metal workers and fabricators may find this year to be one of the best in a long time.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) announced on January 23 that it is initiating an audit of the FAA’s ADS-B “information security controls.” While some concerns about insecurity of ADS-B signals have surfaced, it is not known if these concerns drove the decision to require the audit. The audit itself stems from a requirement in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
According to the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO union, 70 percent of airline maintenance is conducted by outside contractors, and some of the most comprehensive work on transport aircraft “should be conducted only by Part 145 certified repair stations,” according to TTD president Edward Wytkind.
Recognizing there is a global lack of qualified aviation technical personnel, Mubadala Aerospace has signed a $1.3 million agreement with UAE University (UAEU) to train the next generation of Emirati technicians to work at Strata’s aircraft composite production facility.
Members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) returned a split decision on Boeing’s offer for a new four-year contract. Engineers agreed to accept the offer by a count of 6,483 to 5,514, but technical workers voted to reject by a tally of 3,203 to 2,868.
Pilots at Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional provider Avantair voted for organization under the United Transportation Union (UTU) on Thursday. Among the pilots who participated in the election, 80 percent voted in favor of the union. The pilots are now represented under UTU’s transportation division, which represents only one other pilot group–at regional airline Great Lakes Aviation. “We have assured our pilots that negotiations will be made in good faith,” Avantair said.
The Transportation Trades Dept. of the AFL-CIO union group says the clock is ticking toward a March 1 federal “sequestration” deadline the organization says will imperil the U.S. National Airspace System, with $483 million in cuts to the FAA’s operations budget. Sequestration will entail mandatory furloughs among agency employees, including air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors and systems specialists.
Lufthansa Technik Switzerland in Basel has been unable to sustain its operations and will be closing its two line maintenance and logistics services businesses at the end of April.
“We will no longer have any operations at Basel Airport. We’re leaving the facility permanently,” a spokesman for the MRO told AIN. According to the company, the plant closure will lead to 31 job terminations, though another 29 employees will transfer to Swiss at the Basel site.
For flight department managers, the work necessary to locate the best qualified temporary pilots, flight attendants or maintenance technicians has become easier over the past decade, thanks in part to the communications technology of the Internet. However, for the handful of staffing companies that actually serve as the go-between for employers and employees, the job has become considerably tougher as those companies assume much more of the risk than before.
Finding skilled welders is an industry-wide challenge, causing AAR to rethink the answer with a public-private partnership with Goldsboro, N.C.’s Wayne Community College. Working in partnership, the two have designed an eight-week welding certificate program to address a shortage of welders at AAR Mobility Systems. A spokesman for the company said it typically takes a year to earn a welding diploma at Wayne.