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Sunday, August 1, 2004


Winners of the PAMA Olympics and SR Technics buys FLS Aerospace.

Third Time's the Charm for PAMA Olympics Winners

After diligently competing in the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association Olympics competition for three years, the Midcoast Aviation "Arch Rivals" came away with top honors at the Aviation Industry Week show May 18 to 20. Team members Bill Shelton (coach), Barry Griffin, John Paterson, and Vinnie Venditto happily accepted their gold medals and the handsome traveling trophy at the PAMA Chili Cookoff on the evening of May 19.

This year, the Delta TechOps "Torque It" team took the silver medal, thanks to team members Zachary Hachem, Alan Hill, Lyle Lelm, and coach Scott Dunkin.

Glenn Burks, Duane Furr, Paul Feitor, and coach John Richter of the General Dynamics Aviation Services team came home with bronze medals.

FLS Aerospace Acquisition Completed by SR Technics

On June 28, SR Technics announced that it finalized the purchase of FLS Aerospace, creating an MRO provider with 5,350 employees and annual revenues of $1.14 billion. While SR Technics will retain the FLS Aerospace brand during a transition period, the plan is that once the two companies are fully integrated, the FLS brand will disappear. Most of the integration of the two companies should be complete by the end of this year.

SR Technics, backed by venture capital investing firms 3i and Star Capital, bought FLS Aerospace because of its European customer base and strong Boeing and Airbus maintenance capability, plus opportunities to serve airlines that are moving away from traditional business models.

With the financial backing of 3i and Star Capital, SR Technics is able to offer airline customers not only airframe, engine, and component maintenance and engineering services but asset management as well. This will enable customers to minimize their investments in technical resources and assets, according to Hans Ulrich Beyeler, president and CEO.

Airlines are shifting to new strategies in order to survive, and SR Technics is positioning itself to provide technical services so that airlines can focus on transporting passengers instead of managing non-core functions. "The financial strength and commitment of our investors allows us to expand our total solutions concept on a global scale," said Frank Turner, chairman SR Technics Holding.

The new combined company has three main locations, although it offers services in any part of the world. The U.K. operation will focus on Boeing maintenance, Ireland on Boeing and Airbus, and Switzerland on Airbus and MD-80, DC-10, and MD-11 services.

Aviall Introduces Web-Based eStock

Aviall Services has introduced eStock, a new web-based inventory management system. eStock allows aviall.com customers automatic replenishment of their inventory without physically entering orders. Customers of eStock set desired minimum and maximum inventory levels for parts purchased through the website. Then a PDA device is used to scan the inventory at their location and transmit the information to aviall.com.

When inventory on a specific piece falls below the preset level, a replenishment order for that part is automatically shipped out. "This is an example of the innovative ways we use technology to provide value to our customers," said Dan Komnenovich, Aviall Services president and chief operating officer. The eStock program is expected to be in wide release by year's end. "We know that by saving customers time, we help them become more productive," Komnenovich added.

Informational Picketing by AMFA Causes Sparks to Fly at Northwest Airlines

On July 2, 2004 approximately 100 members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association Local 33, representing Northwest Airlines mechanics, conducted informational picketing at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. AMFA national director O. V. Delle-Femine and AMFA Local 33 president Jim Atkinson attended the picketing.

The picketing took place after heated exchanges between AMFA Local 33 and Northwest Airlines vice president labor relations Julie Hagen Showers. In a letter dated June 18, 2004 addressed to Jeff Mathews, airline contract administration coordinator, Showers cautioned AMFA members that they "may be putting their careers at risk, because disparagement of the safety, security, or quality of Northwest's operations constitutes a violation of Northwest's Rules of Conduct for Employees." She went on to warn that AMFA risked violating the Railway Labor Act by the use of public economic coercion. Outsourcing of up to 38 percent of the company's maintenance is expressly permitted in the contract between Northwest and AMFA. "Any suggestion that safety or security has been compromised at Northwest is both false and highly damaging to Northwest's business," Showers stated.

Mathews responded in a letter to Showers dated June 25: "Contrary to your allegations, AMFA members at Northwest have no desire to inflict economic harm on their employer. Nor will they be asserting, on July 2, that Northwest's operations are currently unsafe. They will, however, communicate to the public their conviction that the industry-wide trend toward outsourcing of aviation maintenance to foreign facilities is harmful to both American workers and the safety of American aviation." He also said, "notwithstanding these threats, AMFA Local 33 members will engage in informational picketing as planned."

Once again Showers replied, " Northwest Airlines recognizes and respects the rights of its employees to engage in lawful informational picketing in public areas." She further stressed that indicating that Northwest's aircraft and operations are unsafe would expose employees to risk. The picketers carried signs and handed out leaflets to passersby.

Atkinson confirmed that no one was disciplined or terminated subsequent to the picketing and added, "several passengers expressed their concern over the security loopholes that currently exist." — By Joy Finnegan

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