Whose Job Is It?

By Mike Broderick

Just finished reading an article written by Arron Karp published in the March/April issue of Avionics International: “Aviation Maintenance Technician Shortage Threatens Post Covid Rebound”.  The article begins: “As demand for aviation roars back generally—and for passenger airline services in particular—demand for aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) is rapidly rising. Now, a long-feared AMT shortage has arrived, according to experts and industry forecasts, and is not expected to get better anytime soon.” 

Ya think? “Now a long-feared AMT shortage has arrived…?!”  Several experts are quoted and reasons cited but the common thread is all seemed to be surprised.  If we have known and “feared” this AMT shortage for a long period of time why are we now all surprised?  One of the reasons of course is the global interruption of life as we knew it caused by COVID and our global multi-pronged response to mitigate its effects upon our health, commerce, education, and social interaction.  Next is the generational disparity between the aging “Baby Boomers” and younger “Gen Zer’s”. It appears the Gen Z folks are not motivated in the same manner as the previous generations.  Next of course, we all have been busy just mak’n a living.  

“The supply of new AMTs “is flat and it has been flat for a long time,” Crystal Maguire, executive director of the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), told Avionics International. ‘With the trends we're looking at moving forward—the number of folks retiring [and robust and growing passenger demand]—the gap is just going to widen.’… ”

So it seems that this technician shortage which has been pulling at our collective industry sleeves for quite a while, has been totally ignored…til now!  Now we have come out of the anesthesia and are making strides towards fixing it….but whose job is it to “fix-it”?

Whose responsibility is it to find replacement technicians for the aviation industry?  Is it the FAA? Or the Air Carriers? Or the OEM’s? Or it must be those guys,  the Industry’s organizations: HAI, NBAA, PAMA, AOPA, EAA…? Or maybe, how bout the folks we see in the morning mirror?  Yup! In truth it is all of our responsibility, beginning with us.  Because as Professional Aircraft Maintainers we have a responsibility to encourage and motivate our replacements.  There are plenty of reasons why we have been slow to respond.  And like a lot of maintenance items in Aviation once again we have waited until this like an A.O.G. (Aircraft On the Ground) only in our case it is an O.A.M. (OUT of AVIATION MECHANICS)…….causing the A.O.G.

I am interested in your thoughts on resolutions, if we have the skills to keep pilots and passengers safe, we for sure have the skills to keep our profession safe contact me at:  rotordoc1223@icloud.com, let’s talk.