fragmented across North America. One can add into this situation the various unions who have many AMTs and AMEs in their union memberships. For many years I was a member of the International Machinists and Aerospace workers; a good union representing many other aviation trades and jobs. However, it seemed to be difficult to get maintenance technician issues addressed because so many union members are not in an aircraft certification trade. Unions seem to be more interested in working condition, salaries, classification and promotion matters rather than being involved in who certifies the aircraft work or releases the shop work. Many regulatory bodies, such as

the FAA, like to deal with national organizations that represent an industry segment. It can make for far better legislation and rules as all areas of the country are represented. Most national regulatory bodies have a public comment component to their rule making. This is accomplished by printing the rules in national legal governmental journals, however such public consultation across the entire population is rather hit and miss. Unless you are a legislator who is interested in the subject matter at hand, it falls to the affected industry population segment to be vigilant and effectively participate in rulemaking. That is why AMTs and AMEs around the world need good professional associations. Currently, I do not see any influential national associations representing aviation maintenance personnel from across North America which have the numbers, financial and political strength to vigorously defend us.

PAST EFFORTS In 1972 at Pittsburgh, PA, USA, the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association was born. Over the years

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it expanded to several thousand members, both individual and company members. They tried various alignments over the years and today PAMA contracts with a dedicated operations manager and has its operations in Jenks, OK. I recall attending some of its trade shows in the nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties. It is still representing the interest of maintenance personnel but does not seem to have a large enough membership at this time to be a sought-after voice in the rulemaking system in the USA. “Since 1972, PAMA has been dedicated to promoting professionalism and recognition of the aviation maintenance technician through communication, education, representation, and support of continuous improvement in aviation safety. Our mission is to promote continuous improvement in aviation safety through communication, education, representation and support of our members.” The preceding mission statement

is taken from PAMAs website and is a noble cause. This statement could be applied to many such endeavours in the USA and Canada. Credit to PAMA! In Canada, the AME Associations began in Quebec, way back in the 1960s when a group of airline AMEs formed an association. It lasted for a few years but never moved across Canada. In the nineteen seventies, the Atlantic AMEs formed the first of a long line of successful associations. They spread across the country and later formed a loose federation known today at the Canadian Federation of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Associations. It still exists today, and its goals and purposes as stated on its website, are as follows.

“To hold in high regard the safety of those persons affected by the Aviation

Maintenance occupation, to promote safe practices in the workplace and to recognize that safety is the cornerstone of the aviation industry. To provide a national forum for Canadian AME Associations and more particularly to promote that type of knowledge, which distinguishes the occupations of Aircraft Maintenance Professionals. To constitute a body through which the views and objectives of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, Technicians, AMO’s and others may be represented at a national level. The Association will be available for advice or consultation on all questions, policy matters, and all other areas of the aviation industry which affects or may affect the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and all members in the aircraft maintenance professions. To constitute a body which will be recognized and will be available for consultations regarding the regulation of any matter in the aviation industry, which affects, or may affect, the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and all other persons in the Aviation Maintenance Professions. To influence and obtain recognition government departments which touch upon the aviation industry. To facilitate the interchange by Members of the Federation of their views relating to the aviation industry, or to any other matter which is of common interest to the members. To print, publish and disseminate technical or other information which relates to the occupation of Aircraft Maintenance Engineer or to the aviation industry professionals in general. To maintain a high standard in the aviation industry, and the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and all others in Aviation Maintenance

Professions.” Now who can not agree with the aims of such organizations.

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