What You Should Know About FAA Drug & Alcohol Testing Requirements
The Making of an Aircraft Maintenance Technician
National Convention – 2020
AEI Annual Congress Report
Know Your AMFA Number? There's an App for That
Welcome Horizon Air
Horizon technicians surprised everyone with their grassroots effort to get AMFA back as their collective bargaining agent. Most of AMFA may not be aware that a few technicians took on the task of collecting adequate authorization cards to file for a representation election with the National Mediation Board (NMB). Thank you to the dedicated organizers for your tenacity and persistence to make this vote happen.
The NMB conducted the election and on August 22, 2019, AMFA was declared the collective bargaining agent for the mechanic and related class and craft at Horizon Air.
Our next step is to hold elections for positions specific to representation of the Horizon Air membership: Airline, Area, Shop, and Aviation Safety Action Program Representatives. The Airline Representative (ALR) is the most important position to be elected as the ALR is responsible for facilitating all of your contract needs, including grievances, minor and major problems, and is the point of contact for your Area Representatives. Horizon members are encouraged to monitor the Local 14 website and bulletin boards for details about the upcoming elections for these positions.
The NEC has traveled to Portland, Seattle, Redmond, Paine Field, Boise, and Spokane to welcome our new members, and we plan to visit these stations again in the very near future. If there are members from any station who wish for a National Officer to visit your station, please let us know. We are honored to greet this group back to AMFA and are excited about what the future holds.
What You Should Know About FAA Drug & Alcohol Testing Requirements
By Lucas Middlebrook, Esq.
Every aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has, most likely, been tested for drugs and/ or alcohol at some point during their career. However, despite requiring submission to these tests, airlines tend not to explain the process or the substance of the testing programs. The attached article is intended to serve as a short introduction on the FAA's drug and alcohol testing requirements.
By Scott King, National Safety and Standards Director
Recently there have been security events across the country that have involved some of our members. Some of these events have led to violation enforcement actions by the respective airport authorities. Anyone that has been issued a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge has agreed to abide by the regulations and policies for the airport at which they work. It is extremely important to be aware of what the regulations are as variations may exist between airports. Most of the time these regulations can be found on the airport’s website and often there is information on the back of the SIDA badge that has been issued to you. If you encounter difficulties in obtaining SIDA information, contact your local supervisor. If they cannot help, utilize your company’s safety reporting system.
In addition to performing our maintenance tasks, we have an obligation to acknowledge our part in what is expected of us if a security concern is observed. The first basic rule is, “See Something, Say Something.” If you observe someone not displaying a badge in a SIDA area, politely challenge them. If there is a serious concern, contact a Lead, Supervisor, or in the extreme case, local airport authorities.
In closing, be cognizant that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has the responsibility of performing audits and any SIDA badge holder could be tested or contacted by them. If this occurs, please be courteous and professional.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone at 720-744-6630.
The Making of An Aircraft Maintenance Technician
By Jay Johnson, National Secretary/Treasurer
How do airplanes fly? As a child, you may have asked yourself that question. Seeing these magnificent, almost magical airplanes in flight may have sparked your curiosity. It may have even led to you choosing to become an Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT). I know it did for me.
Whether you started your career in the military and transitioned to the private sector after leaving, or, like me, you enrolled in an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) school to advance your career, you are now part of a team that is inspiring the next generation.
When I was in A&P school, I was lucky enough to witness, in person, the 1981 landing of the space shuttle Columbia. That day stuck in my mind as one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. It heightened my resolve and inspired me as I pursued my career.
A few years later, I then witnessed the tragic 1986 Challenger explosion that killed seven crew members: five NASA astronauts, one payload specialist, and a civilian schoolteacher. Watching the streaks fall through the sky I prayed for the families and support personnel while I wondered if all safety precautions had been taken.
Both of these events affected me and have shaped my attitude towards performing my day-to-day duties. Being an AMT isn’t an easy job. Everything we do must be done with accountability, skill, and precision.
You may remember the line from the movie Spider-Man when uncle Ben tells Peter, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
That quote may seem a little silly to apply to our profession, but it’s true, we do hold a great deal of power and responsibility. The safety of the flying public is in our hands and it is our responsibility to ensure that the aircraft we maintain and certify is worthy of handing over to our pilots to fly.
I may not have understood the aerodynamics and physics of flight when I was a kid staring up at the sky daydreaming about flying. I just knew I wanted to do something in the field. Being an AMT isn’t an easy job, but it is very rewarding, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What about you? What made you want to become an AMT?
As we move into the holiday season, AMFA leaders are preparing for the Association’s biggest event – the AMFA National Convention – which only occurs every four years. The AMFA National Convention will commence on May 4, 2020, in Las Vegas, where your Local delegates will consider proposals to amend the AMFA National Constitution, nominate candidates for National Office, and discuss Association business.
Even though the Convention is not until May, each Local has to prepare ahead of time. Local Delegate and Alternate Delegate elections are either currently underway or have recently concluded. Each Local is also responsible for collecting Constitution Amendment Proposal Forms from their respective members and then submitting them to the Rules Committee; therefore, it is important to check with your Local to confirm their deadline to submit proposals. If you would like to make changes to the AMFA Constitution, this is the time to draft amendment proposals. The Constitution Amendment Proposal Form can be downloaded from the AMFA National Website or from your Local.
Additionally, because the Constitution allows each Local to submit only one nominee per National Office to the Convention, Locals who receive more than one name for any given position will need to conduct a runoff election.
Upon conclusion of the National Convention, the National Officer election will be conducted and all delegate approved proposals will be sent out for a membership ratification vote. We are excited for all the Association business and changes 2020 will bring.
Please stay tuned to the National Website and your Local’s Website for further details regarding elections and the upcoming National Convention activities.
AEI Annual Congress Report
By Louie Key, AEI Secretary Americas
The Aircraft Engineers International (AEI) held their 47th Annual Congress in Berlin, Germany on October 8-11, 2019. Aircraft Maintenance Technicians/Engineers from around the world gathered again to address the business of AEI: amending the AEI Constitution, electing members of the Executive Board, and attending presentations on a variety of relevant topics for our craft. Approximately 44 delegates from four continents, 15 countries, and 17 affiliate organizations attended this year. Our host was the German Professional Association of Aircraft Engineers, Berufsverband Prufer von Luftfahrtgerat e.V (BPvL).
Mr. Gene Painter, AMFA Assistant National Director, and I attended the Congress on behalf of AMFA. I had the privilege to present on AMFA’s activities including the contract ratification at Southwest Airlines, transition agreement at Alaska Airlines, representation certification at Horizon Air, as well as an overview of our legislative efforts in Washington, D.C.
AEI has been successful this year with their efforts to have seated members participating on some of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) working groups, such as the Part 66 and Part 147 – Rule Making Groups covering the training and certification of aviation technicians/engineers. Our representatives continue working on the “Certified Release to Service” issue under the EASA system where there has been much disagreement on what level of direct supervision and oversight must be accomplished before a licensed engineer is legitimately capable of signing for work accomplished by others.
We had an outstanding surprise guest speaker this year. Our affiliate from India’s Jet Airways, Amit Kelkar asked his co-worker, flight attendant Nidhi Chaphekar, who became known as the “Face of the 2016 Brussels Airport Terrorist Bombings,” to speak at our Congress. Mrs. Chaphekar was traveling to give a presentation at the International Victims of Terrorism Conference in Nice, France. She has given TED Talks, is releasing a new book, and shared with us her amazing story of recovery and narrowly surviving the suicide bombing attack. Her body and mentality were in tatters and she reminds us to never take the next moment for granted, and with the proper mindset and an abundance of determination, each one of you can accomplish the most remarkable goals.
The day prior to the start of the AEI Congress the Executive Board released a press release listing some of the topics to be addressed during our meetings, with the issue of Self-Regulation being the headline. The two Boeing 737-MAX accidents took a combined 346 lives and exposed the vulnerable and dangerous practice of self-regulation.
Incidently, on October 11, the final day of the AEI Congress, the New York Times released an article covering the Joint Authorities Technical Review of the contributing factors of the accidents. It’s not just the manufactures that share a close relationship with the regulators, it’s also the operators. Apparently, airlines and regulators around the world have a revolving door where persons leave one side then gain employment on the other, thus creating more of an atmosphere of colleagues than that of a regulator and regulated participants.
In closing, Mr. Painter and I agree that our participation in AEI is important and a vital opportunity for AMFA to be part of the global voice of the Aircraft Maintenance Technician and aviation safety.
Know your AMFA Number?
There’s an App for That
AMFA has a mobile device app for its members. Available for both Android and Apple tablets and phones, the app is a quick link to the latest news and information from your Union. With built in GrievTrac access, the app also gives our contract representatives private access to file grievances on behalf of our members.
In addition to being a great tool to get Association news, the AMFA app is a quick and easy way for members to access their AMFA Number. The AMFA app is only available for download from the AMFA National Website; it is not found on iTunes.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union. It is not an industrial union and represents only airline technicians and related employees in the craft or class in accordance with the National Mediation Board Rules and their dictates. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in the wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled craftsmen and women it represents. (see our brochure)