How often does someone try to do something good for the mechanic? It seems that several times a year, new initiatives, award programs, groups, etc., are begun for pilots. These typically are welcomed with open arms and looked upon as value-added to the pilot community. Wings, flying clubs, fly-ins, societies for each aircraft model, AOPA, EAA, to name but a few.
It has been interesting to try to add just one more group to the anemic number of clubs and organizations that service the maintenance community. As soon as we launched AMTSociety, an initiative to contribute more to the aircraft maintenance professional, some in the industry objected on the premise that it "must be aggressively trying to take over PAMA (Professional Aviation Maintenance Association)." Some commented that "there is no room for another association," or that "mechanics only have $49 to sign up for PAMA and we would be taking that $49 away from PAMA."
Here's something to consider. First, there are not nearly enough societies, associations, clubs, etc. that service and honor the aviation maintenance professional. Any new entrants that bring value-added should be welcomed with enthusiasm.
AMTSociety brings value, and it's not at the expense of PAMA. First of all, AMTSociety is not another PAMA or a replacement for PAMA. AMTSociety is a "buyers club" of sorts that was designed to give mechanics a number of great benefits (to include IA renewal online access) for a minimum investment. If you look at PAMA's mission and vision statements, you will note that AMTSociety's mission is quite different. PAMA's mission statement, according to its web site is: To enhance professionalism and recognition of the Aviation Maintenance Technician through communication, education, representation and support - for continuous improvement in aviation safety. AMTSociety's mission is simply to bring new resources and benefits to maintenance professionals - in addition to what's already out there.
With regards to mechanics only having $49 to join an association - I'm not sure this is worth responding to except to say that many of the state-run IA renewal meetings are charging upwards of $100 - and they're getting it. It's not the price - it's the value.
PAMA clearly states, in its purpose statement, that one of its purposes is to "collaborate with other organizations in aviation." This being said, AMTSociety and PAMA are currently working together on what may be a collaborative effort toward providing more resources and benefits to members of both PAMA and AMTSociety. We're not talking about a zero sum game here folks. More to come.
Despite the noise in the industry (both positive and negative), the fact is - AMTSociety is here to stay. Aircraft mechanics continue to join at a rapid pace, and new sponsors are being added weekly - contributing everything from discount coupons to tools, and tool certificates.
AMTSociety looks forward to providing more to the mechanic - more resources, more benefits, more prizes. We also look forward to working with PAMA and any other trade association that wants to give more to the maintenance community. We want AMTSociety to be a great value, but also to be fun.
We look forward to growing AMTSociety, continuing to publish the No. 1 publication in the industry, and to being a generous contributor to the aviation maintenance community.
Publisher, AMT magazine
Proud to be an A&P