What's in it for me?
The value of the association
By Brian Finnegan
Brian Finnegan — President, Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) met in Las Vegas in May and raised many questions about the future of our industry. Consensus was not always forthcoming – and therein lays the value of PAMA. The issues we drive are not always obvious. We must continue to work together to move forward as one. Our message is that maintenance professionals must continue to cultivate themselves professionally to survive in aviation’s growing safety/security/education-centric economy.
The PAMA annual membership meeting met with a good cross-section of new, veteran, and founding members. The show was the right time to recognize the PAMA board of directors and the staff for their landmark improvements in member communications with our monthly JetBlast! e-newsletter to the membership and monthly LeadAIRship email update to PAMA’s more than 30 Chapter leaders nationwide. Advancement with these important tools will continue to enhance our essential regulatory and legislative communications.
We learned a few things, too. We’re already beginning to implement changes for next year’s PAMA Symposium, March 8-10, 2005, also in Las Vegas. FAA training on many subjects will take on a much higher priority. Also, training for specific segments will be more in evidence. Light general aviation and sport aircraft maintenance will be addressed. Approved Part 145 repair station training topics as well as other air carrier subjects will be integrated with the corporate and business aviation training agenda.
The PAMA Aviation Maintenance Olympics (PAMO) was a huge success, as it again became the rallying point on the tradeshow floor. Charter PAMO supporter Midcoast Aviation took top honors after placing third at our inaugural event and winning the silver medal at last year’s 2nd Annual Olympics. In a nail-biting final showdown, Midcoast beat defending PAMO champion Delta TechOps by a matter of seconds – our closest competition to date. More teams are already planning to compete in next year’s event. Are you?
During the next year, PAMA plans to introduce Golden Eagle Advanced Recognition, a program designed to quantify and recognize training, experience, and industry involvement for career development.
Coming soon our web site will house a professional career board, a speaker’s bureau, and opportunities for individuals to request and receive their own background checks. The future is indeed bright, but we must have the full support of all maintenance technicians.
"What’s in it for me?" continues to be the mantra of the aviation maintenance professional looking for a convincing argument to join PAMA. It seems everyone is waiting for PAMA to be really successful before they decide that joining will be worth it. Maintenance technicians must rally around this organization, set its agenda, and assure that the leadership in place accomplishes your goals. So consider this – we’ve already shown you what we can accomplish with practically nothing. Just imagine what we could do with 30,000 – 40,000 – 50,000 members, instead of 3,000! We’d be tough to ignore and tougher to beat. Be smart – Stay Strong and Support PAMA!