NBAA Quick Turns

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NBAA Quick Turns

Resolve to Support Industry in 2009

By Jim Janaitis, IBM Flight Operations

It’s amazing how quickly 2008 flew by, and perhaps the rapid passage of time has a lot to do with the type of industry we are in. Between continual developments in technology, our unique relationship to businesses around the country and the instantaneous flow of information, time just disappears too quickly. Life in general seems to be moving at a fast pace. My youngest son is in college, but it seems like just yesterday he was borrowing the car for the first time.

At the beginning of each new year, I reflect on the past 12 months. But this year is different, in light of the added stress of the current global financial crisis and its effect on our industry and the rest of the world. My thoughts are focused on the future and my position in the grand scheme of things, as many of yours likely are.

But with challenges come opportunities. One of the great things about our current economic climate is that now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to share what we have learned and give back to our industry.

There are many technicians in situations right now that are tenuous due to the current financial crunch. Even if you have been fortunate enough not to be “downsized,” you probably know someone who has. Our natural inclination is to hunker down, maintain a low profile and hope for the best. I suggest that we do the opposite – reach out to our fellow technicians, work on improving our own skills and encourage others around us to do the same. We need to stick together, offer support and weather this storm as a group.

We also can help our peers and the people coming up to be successful, which in turn will raise our own level of professionalism and satisfaction. Now is the time to challenge the status quo and truly make a difference. The aviation world is at our feet, and each one of us has a chance to effect change at some level. If everyone did just one thing to give back, we would all profit.

During this turbulent year, keep your eye on the rapidly growing technician certification and advanced education movements. This is the way to go for our industry and every person involved in aircraft maintenance as one possible way to get involved. Training and education are excellent ways to help bring new people into the industry or assist existing technicians. There are numerous groups and committees working on ways to improve specific segments of the aircraft maintenance profession, and any one of them would love to have your help.

I want to thank all of you for your dedication and professionalism to this industry, and I wish you a healthy, prosperous new year.