September 14, 2017
As the Aircraft Engineers International (AEI) prepares for their 45th Annual Congress in November 2017, I would take this opportunity to update the AMFA membership on AEI’s activities over the past several months. As you may know AMFA has been an active affiliate of AEI for more than ten (10) years.
AEI’s Executive Board has been hard at work developing a new and improved website, which will hopefully be more user friendly and insightful for our affiliates: https://www.airengineers.org. The AEI website can also be accessed on the Useful Links page of the AMFA National website under Member Resources. We would like to encourage AMFA members to share interesting and relevant issues and/or photographs for inclusion on the new AEI Website; please contact me to help get that information to our website developer to share with the global community of aircraft maintenance professionals.
On the regulatory and legislative front, AEI has been participating with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) serving on rulemaking working groups as they craft new regulatory policies. EASA is the European Union’s equivalent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. The AEI Executive Board has concluded that the most important working group they are now participating on is dealing with the issue of licensing requirements for aircraft maintenance personnel that are authorized to sign an aircraft’s “Certified Return to Service” in the maintenance logbook. There has been a growing push from operators for regulatory relief regarding the authority of company licensed individuals to sign for an aircraft’s airworthiness and/or diminish the requirements for direct oversight of a properly EASA-licensed individual when they sign the return to service.
This issue sounds all too familiar. The AMFA Legislative Update from July 2017 regarding the FAA Reauthorization Bill states in part, “…there was an amendment related to the portability of the FAA Repairman Certificate, to which AMFA has reservations, chiefly that it could work to dilute the A&P license and erode the wages, benefits, and working conditions of the craft, not to mention reduce the overall safety of the flying public.” AEI and AMFA both strongly oppose these types of changes to current regulations.
As a global community of aircraft maintenance professionals, we are facing the problem of too few licensed engineers/technicians, and we are approaching a large wave of retirements in the industry. This shortage is a direct result of operators’ poor economic decisions, refusing to pay the necessary wages and benefits that are required to attract the skilled individuals that are necessary in this most complex profession.
AEI Secretary of the Americas