Overhaul & Maintenance Awards: Manuel Lopez Aguilar of Iberia Maintenance and Joe Sirico of Pratt & Whitney

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- AVIATION WEEK has awarded its 2008 Overhaul & Maintenance (O&M) Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) to two professionals for exemplary leadership: Manuel Lopez Aguilar, executive vice president, maintenance and engineering, Iberia Maintenance; and Joe Sirico, manager, Regulatory Compliance Office, Pratt & Whitney. The Air Transport Association Engineering, Maintenance and Materiel Council (ATA EMMC) also awarded its 41st annual Nuts & Bolts Awards to William E. Banks Jr., manager, Certificate Management Office, Federal Aviation Administration; and Mitch Nichols, vice president, Operations-Air Group, United Parcel Service, and chairman of ATA EMMC, at the ceremony, which was held at the MRO North America 2008 Conference & Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, FL, yesterday, April 15.

The O&M Awards honor managers and executives who have improved the efficiency, profitability, reliability and safety of MRO at their companies and for the MRO industry as a whole. Similarly, the ATA Nuts and Bolts Awards recognize outstanding service and contributions to the airline industry. The two groups, AVIATION WEEK and ATA, have partnered since 2001 to bring the awards ceremony to MRO North America, facilitating incomparable networking opportunities for participants and aviation industry leaders at the annual tradeshow and educational event.

"Excellence in aviation safety is a must, and maintenance, repair and overhaul plays an integral role in ensuring consistently safe, efficient and reliable aircraft," said Tom Henricks, president, AVIATION WEEK. "This year's MRO North America Conference & Exhibition, a hub of activity, networking and important discussions around today's top issues -- safety inspections, fleet groundings and major mergers -- is an ideal venue to bring together and honor the achievements of these MRO professionals who have succeeded in impacting all levels of their businesses, from safety to profitability, as well as the industry's regulatory environment."

Over the past few years, Mr. Aguilar has helped lead Iberia Maintenance's capability expansion and third-party growth, based on enhanced customer-oriented service and technology capabilities. By increasing efficiencies, reducing maintenance costs, and investing heavily in the business, Mr. Aguilar has increased both customer loyalty and third-party revenue, with the latter showing a 260% increase from 2004 to 2007. This year, the company will open a cargo conversion line and a joint-venture landing gear facility in Madrid with ST Aerospace. At the awards ceremony, Mr. Aguilar said Iberia Maintenance anticipates future growth through acquisitions. For a video tour of the Iberia Maintenance engine shop, visit http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/video.

A highly regarded regulatory compliance expert, Mr. Sirico not only manages Pratt & Whitney's regulatory compliance office; he also is the co-chairman of the Manufacturing & Maintenance Subcommittee of the Aerospace Industries Association's (AIA) Civil Aviation Regulatory & Safety Committee. In this role, he represented AIA to the Joint Aviation Authorities Maintenance Sectorial Team during the transition to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). He was an alternate member on the 2001 Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Advisory Committee, and he represented AIA on a 2001-02 FAA-convened Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee. He has also worked with EASA, Transport Canada and FAA to harmonize definitions of "overhaul." Mr. Sirico began his 40th year of service at Pratt this past February.

Mr. Banks, who won ATA's award in the non-airline category, was recognized for his "outstanding professionalism in overseeing commercial aviation maintenance, ... exemplary leadership and innovative achievement in guiding airlines through challenging mergers and acquisitions, ... and (for) his exceptional expertise and effectiveness as manager of the certificate management office at the FAA," said Joe White managing director of engineering and maintenance at ATA.

The ATA winner in the airline category, Mr. Nichols, was honored for "over 20 years of outstanding leadership in avionics, aircraft engineering, and maintenance management, ... exemplary achievements in guiding his airlines through flight and freight operations, ... exceptional commitment as an industry spokesman, and ... for his dedication and four years leading the ATA Engineering, Maintenance and Materiel Council," Mr. White continued.

MRO attendees and industry leaders, including past Nuts & Bolts winners (2007 - Tony Charaf, Delta Air Lines; 2006 - Hal Heule, US Airways; 2005 - Dennis Manibusan, ABX Air; 2005 - John Banbury , Boeing; 2003 Robin Wohnsigl, Air Canada; 1999 - James Davey Alaska Airlines; and 1994 - R. T. Rendleman, United Airlines) applauded this year's winners. The O&M Awards were presented by Frank Jackman, Lee Ann Tegtmeier and Ed Hazelwood of AVIATION WEEK.

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