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This month we introduce a new column by the new president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association, Dale Forton.


DALE FORTON has worked in aviation for more than 32 years and as a licensed A&P

Technician has been an active PAMA member for more than 26 of those years. For the past seven years he has served on the PAMA Board of Directors as vice chairman of the Board of Directors, Great Lakes Regional Director, Membership Committee Chairman, Governance Committee Chairman, and Strategic Planning Committee Chairman.

Formerly a director of maintenance for 135,145, and 147 operations, he has also held positions as service manager, parts manager, technician, and director of product support. Dale has owned his own businesses as well.


am honored to have been recently appointed as president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). As a member of PAMA for over 25 years I have watched

the organization go through some pains in the past. There are those in the industry who have not heard from PAMA recently, it is not for the lack of growth. It is that PAMA has been refining its message. I, as the spokesperson, have been directed to deliver it to the industry. Following I want to address some of the past history as well as the future direction of PAMA and how you can be a part of it. As the only non-profit organization representing aviation maintenance technicians at present, you can help your industry and profession continue to grow. The last couple of years for PAMA have been transitional. In 2004, PAMA joined forces with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). During our partnership, SAE helped the PAMA Board of Directors formulate a structured form of governance to run the organization by. This included ends statements (goals), a strategic plan, and a structure for the organization which are now crucial elements to PAMA’s future. In June 2009, PAMA transitioned away from SAE and hired

a staff support team with the Board of Directors (BoD) setting a priority to hire a leader for the organization. As a member of the Board of Directors for more than seven years, I submitted my name as a potential candidate amongst some other very qualified candidates to the BoD for consideration. After I was appointed, Chairman of the PAMA BoD, Clark Gordon noted, “PAMA has now completed its transitioning and is moving forward with a leader at its helm.” One of my first accomplishments as president occurred at the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Maintenance Managers Conference in San Diego. Clark Gordon and I met with leaders of the NBAA Maintenance Managers Committee and AMT Society. We set forth a plan to work on agreed upon industry issues together. The first being a day of national recognition for the AMT on May 24th, the birth date of Charles Taylor. The House has passed this resolution and now the Senate needs to do so.

50 Aviation Maintenance | | June / July 2011

Another big item on PAMA’s agenda is the upcoming annual Symposium, the Great Lakes Aviation Symposium, which will be held at the birthplace of aviation, Dayton Ohio on September 29th and 30th. This symposium follows up our very successful symposium last fall with the theme of professional development. The symposium is constructed to educate AMT’s from a management perspective enabling the individual AMT to enhance their career. In addition to the professional development classes offered at our regional symposiums, remember to watch for our chapter’s IA renewals in your area. More information and registration for the upcoming symposium can be found at A top priority of mine is to increase communication to our members, chapters, and the industry. Under this initiative we have completed a new chapter handbook to allow formation of more chapters as well as a social media presence on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter to allow for more direct communication on industry issues. Our technical committee has been actively utilizing these resources for their discussions on current industry topics, for example, duty time.

In addition to our technical committee, several of our other committees are marching onward with new PAMA initiatives as well like our education, membership, and awards committees. If you have an interest in joining the many others who work with PAMA please contact me. As the only non-profit organization representing AMTs, we long ago set up the only Professional Aviation Maintenance Foundation (PAMF) to handle any scholarship donations we receive. The PAMF has several scholarships available for students and AMTs to start or enhance their careers. Finally I would like to thank Aviation Maintenance and Joy Finnegan for their constant support of PAMA and its members for many years! For all the AMTs out there looking for a resource, an advocate, and a promoter of your industry, join forces with the many others who look to PAMA as an association who will help you in all you do to keep the lives you are responsible for safe!


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