Levanto Shares ARSA’s Core Values in Miami
On June 8, ARSA Vice President of Operations Brett Levanto spoke at the Greater Miami Aviation Association’s (GMAA) monthly luncheon at Miami Springs Country Club. Levanto’s specific charge was to cover policy issues at play in Congress’ effort to reauthorize the FAA, which he did while reinforcing key elements of ARSA’s industry leadership.
“There are central principles that guide all of the association’s work,” Levanto said. “Whether the [ARSA] team is advocating before Congress, engaging a civil aviation authority, or working through member questions, we always focus on enabling certificate holders to take advantage of the flexibilities inherent in the plain language of the rules.”
After making this point, Levanto reviewed the state of Congress following its successful negotiation with the White House to raise the debt ceiling and explained the need for U.S. lawmakers to authorize executive agencies to operate. He then reviewed the priorities advanced by ARSA on the Hill as the current authorization of the FAA heads towards its September expiration.
Considering high level goals while noting the on-the-ground needs of aviation professionals dealing with their government, Levanto also walked through FAA leadership and management challenges resulting from the absence of permanent leadership. On the same day that President Biden designated Polly Trottenberg as the next acting administrator of the FAA, GMAA members discussed how the lack of a permanent organizational leader cascades down through agency management and hinders its ability to serve certificate holders and the public.
GMAA’s mission is to improve business and career development opportunities for aviation professions in South Florida. Each year, the association awards tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to students pursuing aerospace futures. Considering this focus, Levanto spent considerable time speaking about ARSA’s leadership on workforce development for the industry.
“We’ve got to change our thinking,” Levanto told the group, referencing an article in the previous day’s Daily Intelligence newsletter sent to ARSA primary contacts. “I see a headline proclaiming ‘non-traditional paths to recruit technicians’ and then the story is about AMT school students. That’s not ‘non-traditional’, it’s actually exactly traditional. I’m impressed by the students chronicled in the piece but would much rather focus our excitement on building every possibly pathway into and through an aviation career.”
Responding to that point about “non-traditional” recruitment, an attendee explained recently hiring a pastry chef whose cake icing skills made them excellent at applying sealant during a production process.
After taking questions, Levanto closed by returning to the point about protecting flexibility for certificate holders to show compliance. He encouraged attendees to help illustrate this core value by engaging directly with their elected officials, especially through facility visits or other community events, and focusing on long-term professional relationships with the government.
During the trip, Levanto visited the nearby headquarters of FEAM AERO. In 2022, FEAM Vice President of Safety and Quality Alison McHugh joined ARSA’s Board of Directors. The company has since become a leading member of the association, a Conference sponsor, and a proactive developer of programs to develop new aviation careers (even, as noted during the luncheon, earning an FAA workforce development grant in the agency’s most-recent round of awards.
The visit to Miami was made possible by ARSA Corporate Enterprise Member AAR Corp., which sponsored the luncheon and provided Levanto as speaker. AAR is one of the association’s longest tenured member companies, regularly investing time, expertise and resources in furthering the industry’s interests through ARSA’s leadership and its personnel are outspoken in advocating on Capitol Hill.
Previously from ARSA...
July 16, 2023
In Miami today for @ARSAWorks drinking very small cups of coffee & speaking to the Greater Miami Aviation Association. Thanks to @ARSAWorks member & #avmro leader @AARCORP (whose facility is visible in the background) for sponsoring the GMAA lunch! pic.twitter.com/C2Jool9HCp
— Christian A. Klein (@caaklein) July 10, 2019
ARSA Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein braved South Florida’s summer heat last week and traveled to Miami to speak at the Greater Miami Aviation Association’s (GMAA) member luncheon on July 10.
GMAA is one of the nation’s oldest aviation organizations, tracing its origins back to 1927. Among other things, the group serves as a forum for members of Miami’s aviation community to support workforce development, share knowledge, network, collaborate, and build public awareness about the aviation industry and its economic impact.
Klein provided GMAA members an overview of economic trends and policy issues impacting the aviation maintenance industry, as well as an update on recent ARSA activities. He also shared findings of association economic analyses that underscore the industry’s impact in the sunshine state. Florida has 574 repair stations (one out of every seven in the United States) that employ more than 18,000 people and contribute more than $2 billion annually to the state’s economy. He also pointed out that more than 300 repair stations in Florida have approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (the most in any state), underscoring the significant impact of international trade.
Klein’s appearance at the GMAA meeting was made possible by the generous support of ARSA corporate member AAR, which sponsored the lunch. He was recognized for his appearance with one of the great speaker gifts the association’s team has seen: a desk display/business card holder in the form of a vertical stabilizer bearing the ARSA logo (visible in the embedded tweet above).
As part of Klein’s visit, ARSA also coordinated a meeting with staff from the offices of Florida’s U.S. senators and Miami-area members of Congress. The meeting, which was hosted by HEICO, included a briefing on economic and policy issues, a roundtable conversation with ARSA members in Miami and a tour HEICO’s facilities.
July 28, 2015
From July 20-24, ARSA Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein carried the association’s flag to Southern California. During his four days on the west coast, Klein met with current and potential members during an outreach event in Los Angeles co-sponsored by PPG Aerospace and Fortner Engineering and then was the keynote speaker at the kickoff the 10th annual Quantum User Exchange Group (QUE Group) conference in San Diego.
Klein gave Los Angeles outreach event attendees – which included congressional staff from the office of Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) – an overview of ARSA activities and member benefits. The concerns expressed by attendees about the skilled technical worker shortage in particular underscored the importance of the association’s focus on the next generation of aviation professionals.
Klein told attendees at the QUE Group conference that the state of the aviation maintenance industry is strong but that there are clear risks on the horizon. He noted in particular the skilled technical workforce shortage, unnecessary and overlapping regulatory burdens from civil aviation authorities, micromanagement by Congress in the context of FAA reauthorization and political hostility to free trade.
However, Klein said, all these risks could be mitigated and managed by effective engagement by industry leaders. Klein then described the best ways to engage with key audiences, including lawmakers, regulators, workers and local government and school officials. He also discussed the many tools that ARSA provides to support engagement, including avmro.arsa.org, the association’s go-to site about the industry for journalists, policymakers and the general public, and arsaaction.org, the association’s grassroots action site.
Klein also played the association’s new documentary about the aviation maintenance, “You Can’t Fly Without Us”, which is playing on PBS stations around the country. He encouraged the audience to use the video as part of outreach efforts.
ARSA was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the QUE Group conference. To learn more about Component Control and ARSA’s other preferred providers, click here.
June 15, 2015
On June 11, ARSA’s Managing Director and General Counsel Marshall S. Filler moderated the maintenance panel at the 2015 FAA-EASA Conference in Brussels, Belgium. Joined by regulators and industry representatives, the discussion addressed interim and long-range mechanisms to reduce redundant requirements and surveillance activities for Approved Maintenance Organizations (AMOs).
In addition to Filler, the panelists were:
- Juan Anton, Maintenance Regulations Section Manager, EASA
- Steve Douglas, Manager Aircraft Maintenance Division, FAA
- Flavio Izzo, EAQG MRO Relationship Growth Str. Leader, International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)
- Todd Duncan, Chairman, Duncan Aviation
- Rainer Lindau, VP Quality Management, Lufthansa Technik
Though the group’s suggestions covered a broad range of strategies, many focused on involvement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or some other body that could play the role as single oversight authority. Specific proposals included development of guidance, creation of oversight networks and establishment of more international agreements for joint certification and surveillance.
The association’s leadership in the important discussions of international maintenance issues is leverage for every ARSA member to help build a healthy, global future for the industry. Keep track of aviation industry events by visiting the association’s industry calendar.
May 19, 2105
On May 13, ARSA’s Vice President of Communications Brett Levanto presented at the Regional Airline Association’s (RAA) 40th Annual Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Levanto was joined by Amy Kienast, vice president of the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) and career director at MIAT College of Technology, to discuss Policy Solutions for a Stronger Technical Workforce.
The panel discussion was developed based on the jointly-released study of the same name performed by researchers at the College of William and Mary. In addition to the analysis presented in the original report, Levanto and Kienast explored a series of initiatives intended to help grow the aviation workforce of the future. The pair not only described the work undertaking by ARSA and ATEC, they also outlined steps for industry members to strengthen their own talent pipelines.
To see the presentation, and learn what your business can do to shore up future talent, visit potomac-law.com/raa2015.
Levanto took advantage of his visit to the Buckeye State by touring Component Repair Technologies’ facility in Mentor, Ohio. At CRT, he was able to see first-hand the world-class aviation workforce discussed at the RAA convention. Through dedication to its people and commitment to excellence, CRT has forged a place as both a vital part of the global aviation community and a leading employer in its own community.
For CRT, empowering its people is a key facet of its dedication to customer service. A sign on the wall reminds each employee: “Our signatures are a reflection of our commitment to quality.”
This “on the road” experience is vital to connecting Washington policy with business reality. Contact us to learn how to bring the association to your facility and show off your commitment to the flying public.
April 21, 2015
From April 14-16, Miami was the center of the aviation maintenance world. On the exhibit floor and in the lecture halls, ARSA was there.
Vice President of Operations Crystal Maguire and Director of Operations Brett Levanto attended Aviation Week’s MRO Americas. They visited association members, met with industry and media allies and took in the energy of the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC).
Of course, the association also provided substantive value to the event’s agenda; Managing Director and General Counsel Marshall Filler joined the Tuesday-afternoon panel “Regs and Reality – The Status of the FAA’s Plans for the Future.” Alongside representatives from the industry, the FAA and ICAO, Filler brought his decades of experience to the table as the group explored how to better deal with safety challenges facing commercial aviation.
The association has invested considerable effort championing the value of event attendance. Whether through the voice of Executive Director Sarah MacLeod or on AviationPros or in the discussions on Aviation Week’s IdeaXchange forum, the message is clear: the business of the aviation community cannot be done without the personal interaction possible at professional events.
Getting out of the office is a great way to get things done.
“We’re a tiny piece of the big work of keeping the world flying safely,” Levanto said. “Here [at MRO Americas] we can put ourselves right in the middle of everything. Not only is it professionally rewarding, it’s personally gratifying to be face-to-face with the industry members whose work is so vital to our lives and livelihoods.”
Levanto and Maguire were on hand to celebrate AMC’s victors during the competition’s awards ceremony on April 16. Recognition was given to teams across six categories in a series of events that tested the skill, stamina and focus of both the professional mechanics and AMT students who had come to Miami to compete.
At an event like MRO Americas, the work of the association comes together. Through personal engagement and substantive excellence, ARSA represents the interests of the aviation community from the convention hall to the maintenance line.
July 22, 2014
The call comes in from Fort Lauderdale. On the other end of the line, a customer details how the tropical and humid Florida air has caused corrosion on a private jet engine. They request immediate assistance with a turnaround timeframe of 24 hours. The order is taken; the phone is clicked back on the receiver. The planning and scheduling department at Wilmington, Delaware- based Dassault Falcon repair station gears up. It’s time to get to work.
On July 16, ARSA staff took a road trip to Dassault Falcon to engage with a great member and get a firsthand look at how busy their day-to-day operations are. With servicing capabilities for all Falcon models within any of their four large hangar bays totaling more than 300,000 square feet, there are a multitude of work orders on their road to completion. An international list of repair station certificates allows for an expansive customer base that ensures these facilities are bustling around the clock. The heavy service center is open 24/7 and its employees work day and night to accommodate rush orders and time zone differences for international clients.
Constant attention creates a product that is 100 percent safe before it goes out the door. “The audits are a continuous process,” said Ron Crosler, quality assurance supervisor. “They never stop.” With the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within their walls five to six times a year and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) once a quarter, they have easily 50 audits a year when combined with internal audits as well. One work order takes up half a row of a filing cabinet, demonstrating the painstaking documentation required to ensure safety and compliance.
Whether ARSA staff was getting a demonstration of how the station receives parts, observing mechanics identifying corrosion on an aircraft, or watching the painting of a private jet, it was a great opportunity to interact with what Michel Menard, vice president and general manager, called the “most complex business environment you can find.” After receiving a firsthand account of their offering of an extensive collection of world-class services, ARSA’s pride to work with Dassault Falcon was further solidified. After all, as Menard said, “If it can be done to an airplane, we can do it here.”
ARSA works every day on behalf of our members and we will take every opportunity to engage with them. Got a story to tell? Contact us, we can help.