Aviation Maintenance Professionals
Performing in the Hidden Backyard of Aviation
The general public is well familiar with the cockpit crew, flight attendants and passenger service personnel. Little attention is given to the professionals who work in the maintenance of the aircrafts. Two recent stories merit consideration because of the forecasted shortfall of AMTs, and due to the critical safety function, which is performed in the hidden backyard of aviation.
Almost everyone in aviation bemoans the much forecasted shortfall of mechanics. In contract, Delta is doing something.
It named Lansing Community College (LCC) as one of 43 Aircraft Maintenance schools to partner with Delta Air Lines. The community college was selected among 177 Aviation Maintenance Programs across the United States. The major US carrier based its choice on over 100 criteria; the DL team assessed LCC’s equipment and facilities, level of hands-on-training, and quality of teaching.
Delta’s partnership does not just involve a plaque. The company’s stewardship will identify areas for continuous improvement and its presence will broaden access for LCC graduates to become the next generation of aviation maintenance professionals.
“By providing students from these top-notch schools real-world training and direct support from Delta, we have a unique opportunity to generate awareness and interest in a very promising and enriching aviation career,” said Joe McDermott, Delta’s managing director of Cabin Maintenance, Training and Support Services.
“This partnership is a great opportunity for our students and their careers,” said LCC President, Dr. Brent Knight. “As our program continues to evolve, Delta will play a role in shaping our training to anticipate and meet the needs of the industry. To have a partner as well-renowned globally as Delta Air Lines is very powerful for our students and our community.”
That is a partnership which will produce long term returns for aviation maintenance and safety.
Setting and attaining high safety standards are goals to assure safety in the maintenance hangars. To encourage such excellence the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) created the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH™). That accreditation is a global, voluntary code of best practices for business aviation ground handlers. It incorporates a safety management system (SMS) in all aspects of FBO operations and is aligned with International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) standards.
American Aero FTW, a fixed-base operator serving Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth, became the first FBO in the Western Hemisphere to earn Stage I certification in 2015. American Aero FTW continues to lead the way in private aviation safety by becoming the first FBO in Texas, and one of only a handful in the world, to earn the new rigorous Stage II safety and ground handling certificate
In order to earn the IS-BAH accreditation, an IBAC qualified auditor completes a detailed review of an FTW’s safety management systems, emergency procedures, organizational structure, administrative elements, security procedures, training protocols, and operating procedures. IS-BAH™ is based on the industry’s best practice standards.
Riggs Brown, American Aero FTW general manager, commented “The American Aero FTW team is committed to delivering the highest standards of safety and ground handling practices…As the only Stage II registered FBO in Texas and one of the first in the world to achieve this milestone, the American Aero FTW team continues to deliver the best and safest services in the industry.”
IS-BAH™ is an example of how industry cooperation can effectively enhance safety in a time when FAA resources are scarce. IS-BAH™ was jointly designed by IBAC (from the aircraft operators’ perspective) and the National Air Transportation Association (which represents the FBOs). IS-BAH™ incorporates the NATA Safety 1st ground audit program and follows the long-established structure of the IS-BAO program.
As an aviation professional, you may have already known about what goes on in the back yard and are already deeply appreciative of the skill, knowledge and dedication of the people who work in this sector.
Those, who sit in the back of the airplanes, may not be aware of the extraordinary effort to make these vehicles safe. By sharing these stories and other similar, your customers may become more comfortable on their next trip.
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