AEI Annual Congress Report
November 3, 2021
Dear AMFA Members:
Last month AEI held its 49th Annual Congress in Amsterdam, the capitol of The Netherlands. Our affiliate, the Dutch Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Association did a great job hosting this year’s Congress despite the challenges. The Congress was conducted using a hybrid format due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, and we had both in-person and computer-based attendees participating from across the globe.
During the Congress we had reports from delegate organizations regarding the situation in their areas with the main discussion inevitably revolving around the general state of aviation during the pandemic and the dynamics of the ongoing recovery with the associated challenges that brings to the operation. As delegates shared information several familiar themes began to emerge:
- There is currently a real shortage of qualified licensed personnel.
- There is extreme pressure to “do more with less” as airlines press to cut costs.
- Serious human factors issues are causing distractions as wages have been cut and technicians worry about their futures.
- Collective bargaining agreements have been trampled or re-interpreted as airlines push for new working conditions or work rule implementation that undermines the original contract.
The airline industry, and air-travel, has changed drastically over the past two years and things will be changing even more rapidly as we go forward. The presentation by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) drove this point home with an exclamation point! It is on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones and EASA’s current working group that is forming the regulations for their operation. The development and rapidly expanding use of these UAS platforms is going to be very interesting to watch. In fact, if you do a quick search on YouTube you will find out that the development is much further along that you probably realized.
Ken MacTiernan, Chairman for the 2022 Aerospace Maintenance Competition, has invited AEI to participate in next year’s event in Dallas, TX. I will be assisting AEI in this endeavour and reaching out to the AMFA NEC to explore opportunities for coordination.
The far-reaching relationships that we have built with other aircraft maintenance technician and engineer unions via our affiliation with the AEI benefits all of us. Please visit the AEI Website at www.airengineers.org to learn more and view the Post Congress Press Release.
AEI Secretary of the Americas