Last month, the AMT team was in Atlanta for the 2007 National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) annual meeting and convention. This year’s show hit record-breaking levels for attendance and exhibitors. And why wouldn’t it? The corporate segment of the industry is a-buzz with new models coming to market at the high end, as well as a huge contingency of jets being introduced in the very light jet (VLJ) arena.
If you think that VLJs are a thing of the future, take off your safety glasses and earplugs – DayJet, an upstart charter operator based out of Florida, is very close to offering the world’s first per-seat, on-demand jet service. The company received authorization from the FAA on Sept. 5 to operate Eclipse 500 VLJs in its operations as an on-demand air carrier. Initial service will include flights originating from five “DayPort” locations in Florida that will serve Florida and areas in the vicinity of northern Florida. As of this writing, operations are scheduled to begin soon.
What’s significant about this from a maintenance perspective? Besides the fact that the aircraft are being operated in a totally paperless maintenance environment and that DayJet has firm orders for 239 Eclipse 500s and options for an additional 70 aircraft over the next two years, the Eclipse presents a new maintenance concept of totally line replaceable units (LRUs).
In addition, there is going to be a significant requirement for mechanics, training, education, etc. It will be interesting to see how companies such as Dayjet will find and train maintenance personnel!
At NBAA, mechanics were busy training and receiving credit for their IA certification. Lest we all forget, if you want to maintain your IA rating, you still need to get 8 hours of approved IA renewal training each and every year prior to each March 31. The requirement for 8 hours a year has not changed — only the requirement to turn in your proof of training to the FAA to renew your IA rating each odd year beginning 2009.
Note that AMTSociety’s IA renewal roadshow advertised in the last issue of the magazine has been scaled back to begin January of 2008. The dates and locations of these seminars will be posted on www.amtsociety.org. We apologize for any inconvenience these changes may have caused.
Look for a number of IA renewal opportunities not only via AMTSociety’s IA renewal roadshow, but also on AMTSociety.org. AMTSociety will also have IA renewal opportunities at the Aviation Industry Expo show next March in Dallas, TX.
Speaking of Aviation Industry Expo, AMTSociety is in overdrive working on plans for next year’s show. Positioned as “The Aircraft Maintenance Show,” it will incorporate more maintenance training, maintenance events, and networking opportunities than ever before!
Events will kick off with a golf outing on Monday, March 17. The event is designed to raise funds for AMTSociety’s scholarship fund. Beginning on March 18 (the first day of the show), AMTSociety will host two days of IA renewal training, an AMTSkills competition (another fund-raiser for the AMTScholarship fund), AMTSociety/NATA leadership seminars, a Career Fair, maintenance exhibits, and more. Aviation Industry Expo is sure to be THE EVENT of the year for aircraft maintenance professionals.
Entry into the show to include IA renewal training, which also includes your AMTSociety membership dues, will be only $49! The golf outing and skills competition will require additional fees (that will be applied toward scholarships).
We look forward to seeing you at the show.
Proud to be an A&P