5,000 Mechanics at American Airlines Get FAA Recognition

The program honors training and safety commitments American Airlines, American Eagle, its regional airline partner, and more than 5,000 mechanics who work for both airlines were honored Monday by the federal government for their commitment to training and safety.

In ceremonies at American's Hangar 4 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, officials of the Federal Aviation Administration presented the FAA Diamond Award to representatives of American, America Eagle and the Texas Aero Engine Service LLC. TAESL is a joint venture between American and Great Britain-based Rolls-Royce that repairs and overhauls aircraft engines for clients of Rolls-Royce.

The Diamond Award is the highest level of recognition in a FAA program designed to encourage initial and recurrent training programs, said FAA spokesman Roland Herwig.

"The training is important, and we feel we need to recognize them for it," Herwig said in a telephone interview.

Diamond Awards are presented to aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) who complete at least 100 hours of training in the previous year. Employers are eligible for Diamond Awards when at least 50 percent of their mechanics qualify for Diamond Award certificates.

More than 5,000 American mechanics and 873 American Eagle mechanics, who are represented by the Transport Workers Union, were presented with the awards for nearly 313,000 hours of training at the two airlines in 2005, officials said.

"Safety is the cornerstone of our organization, and achieving the Diamond Award demonstrates the commitment by our professional AMTs and the company to provide a safe and reliable flight experience and working environment," said Robert W. Reding, American's senior vice president of technical operations, in a written statement.

"The "Working Together" process and the continued support of effective training by management and the TWU allows us to move forward in positioning our company to achieve a competitive advantage by doing most of our maintenance work in-house in a cost-competitive and efficient manner."

The FAA program honors training commitments made by airline mechanics: a Bronze Award for six hours of annual training; Silver Award for 12 hours; Gold Award for 26 hours; Ruby Award for 60 hours; and the Diamond for 100 hours.

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