AMT Exclusive: An Interview with RAA President Roger Cohen

With nearly 50 percent of the nation’s commercial airline schedule operated by regional airlines, Roger Cohen provides his view on industry trends, regulators, and globalization.

AMT: Are you aware of any regulatory changes in the works from the FAA, EASA, or other regulatory agencies that will impact regional maintenance operations or individual aircraft maintenance technicians?

Cohen: There are always key issues, but the key to solving them has been our relationships with the regulatory agencies. In any regulated enterprise there is always going to be that give and take between the regulators and the regulated. However, the results that we are seeing point out just how well the system is working. This has been the safest period in aviation history. We are identifying and mitigating risk in advance and catching accidents before they happen. We are ensuring that small problems don’t turn into large problems. This is a real testament to everyone in the industry.

As for trends, I think that the regulators are also relying more on data and information when analyzing problems and trying to get out in front of things. They too are facing continuing resource challenges and I think that underscores the need for the government to make a greater investment in human capital. This would help people get careers in maintaining airplanes, as well as regulating the industry.

We really are all in the same business; the regulators, the maintenance professionals; the operations managers. We all have the same goal in mind and that is to ensure that the system operates as safely as possible — it’s all the same job.

AMT: Do you have any tips, suggestions, recommendations or words of advice for regional aircraft maintenance technicians or MROs?

Cohen: Yes I do. Get involved with the RAA. I recommend that any technician or MRO should come to our national convention in Montreal, May 6-9, 2013. AMT


AMT thanks RAA President Roger Cohen, RAA Media Relations Kelly Murphy, and Empire Aerospace General Manager Jim Culora. For more information visit and

Charles Chandler began his aviation career as a junior mechanic for American Airlines and retired after 27 years of service.

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