This month, Aircraft Maintenance Technology's inaugural Next Gen Awards honor young engineers, technicians, mechanics, and support staff. Celebrating the future of aviation by recognition of budding careers is both noble and practical. With the complexity of modern aircraft and the regular dependability of air travel, the men and women on whom it all relies – the maintenance providers and those that support them – are overlooked. Honoring the best shines a bright light on the entire industry.
Air travelers may think only of “maintenance” when the word is followed by “delay,” and ironically that’s a great compliment. Taking flight truly is an act of faith: faith in physics and Bernoulli’s principle, faith in clear skies and tail winds, faith in the countless people that help bring the “miracle” back to earth. Thanks to trustworthy mechanics, technicians, engineers, and repairmen across the world, air travelers are free to focus on carry-on baggage and reclining seatbacks.
Regardless of how many awards bestowed, every technician is a hero – unsung – in whom we entrust aviation safety. We must put maintenance careers center stage, showing how vital the work is and making it clear that the turn of a wrench turns the world.
To be honored alongside the Next-Gen winners is humbling. It is a stark reminder not only of the important work our employer, the law firm and its clients, ARSA and ATEC do – relentlessly advocating on behalf of maintenance providers worldwide – but also of how much more needs to be done. None can stop relentless advocacy for better government and a stronger aviation community.
After decades of experience supporting the aviation industry, we can see how bad rules and ill-conceived laws create real problems for individuals and companies, slow down a global industry and keep the flying public stuck at the gate. When you master the details and comprehend the industry’s impact, the challenge isn’t just to make good points; the real test is to show the world those points are worth making.
Even though they deserve it, the honorees described in these pages cannot take a break to celebrate, and we stand right beside them. There is always a departure leaving the gate and an arrival waiting on the ramp. Components need overhaul, rules need review, inspectors need help, and the clock never stops. Passengers are safe in their seats and cargo is secure in the hold and AMTs are working long into the night to get them home.
To each one who carries this responsibility – not just those celebrated in this magazine, but every anonymous pair of hands we place our families’ lives in every day – thank you. We can’t fly without you.
Crystal Maguire and Brett Levanto are executive staff for Obadal, Filler, MacLeod and Klein, PLC and support both the Aeronautical Repair Station Association and the Aviation Technician Education Council. Both were recognized by the AMT Next Gen Awards for their service to the maintenance industry through these organizations.