October 1, 2015
The AEI Congress, hosted by AMFA, took place in Seattle, Washington USA on September 22-25th at the Hilton Seattle downtown. It was attended by Representatives from 14 Countries and 18 organizations. This is the first time in AEI’s 42 year history that their Annual Congress has been held in the United States.
The Congress started out with an opening by our AEI President, Mr. Robert Alway, some general business matters, and into the following reports:
AEI Secretary General, Mr. Fred Bruggeman
AEI Secretary Asia Pacific, Mr. Paul Cousins (ALAEA)
AEI Secretary Europe and Africa, Mr. Ahamed Mohamed (SNMSAC)
AEI Secretary Americas, myself Mr. Timothy Cullen (AMFA)
AEI Treasurer, Mr. Mustafa Colak Bucan
AEI Auditor, Mr. Norbert Beuing (BPvL)
AEI ATAC Chairman and Vice President, Ola Blomqvist (SRAT) via Skype
We were fortunate this year to have a number of excellent guest speakers with a focus on the US FAA self-reporting systems. The following is a list of our speakers along with a brief overview of their presentation topics:
Mr. Ken MacTiernan, Aerospace Maintenance Competition. Mr. MacTiernan discussed the AMT competition, its history, and future.
Mr. Kurt Kinder, Director of Maintenance for Alaska Airlines. Mr. Kinder discussed the role of certificated staff from his unique perspective having worked in every step from apprentice to Director of Maintenance.
Mr. Jim Phoenix, Principle Maintenance Inspector USA FAA. Mr. Phoenix gave a detailed overview of the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program (VDRP), a self-reporting system offered to the airline which has greatly improved transparency and safety.
Mr. Kevin Jurasinski, AMFA Aviation Safety Action Program Event Review Committee Representative. Mr. Jurasinski gave a detailed presentation on the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), a voluntary non-punitive self-reporting program for certificated staff.
Mr. Peter Lake, Chief Mechanic 737MAX program Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Mr. Lake gave a detailed presentation on the 737MAX systems from a maintenance perspective. This was quite a treat given that the 737MAX is still in development.
We then moved into more specific topics and discussed the following in detail:
Logbook inspections/pocket write-ups: Fred Bruggeman discussed the overall findings on our initiative to perform a basic review of logbooks and determine the percentage of pilot write-ups in staffed vs unstaffed stations. He reported that our review has revealed 85-95% of all write-ups occur inbound to staffed stations. This is indicative of widespread pocket write-ups by flight crews worldwide. We then discussed how this adversely affects air safety, maintenance personnel staffing, and strategies moving forward.
Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA): We discussed the potential impact of this trade agreement on aviation worldwide, issues with sources and information, and strategies moving forward. Given that this agreement is still being negotiated, it was determined that a letter writing campaign to political leaders would be the best approach at this point in time.
Human Factors/Just Culture: We discussed various aspects of HF, schedule, environment, overtime. How this contributes to maintenance errors and strategies to minimize the effects. We then discussed the recently signed European Corporate Just Culture declaration.
AEI’s Occurrence Reporting System: We reviewed the new occurrence reporting system that was launched last year and is providing a reporting system to those groups that have no other system. This system was setup by AEI to provide a place for occurrence reporting for statistical analysis and for those who don’t have an occurrence reporting system available. The system can be found on the AEI website, or follow this link: https://www.airengineers.org/ors/
Certified Release to Service (CRS): We discussed the CRS issue, the meetings with EASA, and the soon to be released EASA interpretation. This issue was regarding the release of aircraft by unlicensed staff in the heavy maintenance environment.
Mr. John Harris of ALAE spoke about his role on the Safety and Standards Consultitive Committee (SSCC) an EASA advisory group. This position involves the forming of committees to review and provide feedback on potential EASA regulation changes.
The Future of AEI: We discussed reestablishing contact with several affiliates that have not been participating, as well as making contact with several groups that showed an interest in the past. After much discussion, it was agreed that the current path is the correct path.
The Economics of Outsourcing and strategies for insourcing: I gave a presentation on outsourcing, the economic justification for outsourcing, and what we can do to even the playing
field and turn things around by understanding the economic justifications, use them to our advantage, and creating a future culture of insourcing.
PR Committee Chairman Report: AEI President, Mr. Robert Alway gave a report on our website, press releases, promotional film status, employee surveys, and social media.
Congress venue for next year: Our affiliate in Iceland, FVFI has agreed to host next year’s Congress in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Congress ended with a closing statement by AMFA National Director Mr. Louie Key. He thanked the participants for their continued dedication to our organization, expressed what an honor it was to host the AEI Congress, and emphasized our common goals and interests.
I would like to end this report by thanking our Guest Speakers for their informative presentations, our AMFA National Director Louie Key for his efforts, our AEI Officers, Representatives, and affiliates throughout the world, the observers who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Congress, and finally you for the day to day work that you do to ensure air safety. If you have questions or would like more information about any of the topics mentioned here please don’t hesitate to drop me an email.
AEI, Secretary Americas
AMFA Local 14, President
The Aircraft Engineers International (AEI) is the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Associations (AMFA) International affiliate and represents the collective interests of over 40,000 Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in over 30 countries. The mission of AEI is to be the global voice of the Licensed Aircraft Engineers (Technicians) by providing representation and support in order to promote the highest levels of aviation safety and maintenance standards worldwide.