2014 Strategic Leadership Conference – Maintenance in Montreal

ARSA’s 2014 Strategic Leadership Conference (SLC), the Association’s annual invitation-only gathering of aerospace executives, industry allies and policymakers, featured strategic discussions about the future of the maintenance industry and the Association’s role in serving the political, operational and economic needs of the aviation community.

This year’s conference was hosted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at its Montreal Conference Center. ARSA continued a tradition it began in Hamburg, Germany in 2012 – an international venue and focus for even-year SLCs.

For ARSA, 2014’s SLC was also a perfect opportunity to celebrate its 30th birthday. In October of 1984, the association’s board of directors convened its inaugural meeting. Attendees observed this milestone with a celebratory reception and dinner on Oct. 15.

The full SLC program began in earnest on Oct. 16. After a brief welcome and introduction, Kevin Hiatt, senior vice president at IATA, provided the keynote address. Hiatt described IATA’s core values and highlighted the ways that they aviation community can “increase value through partnership.”

The day’s agenda included panels on public relations as well as international business and an open-forum assessment of ARSA’s work and discussion of key issues for the association to address moving forward. Panelists from IATA and ICAO joined industry representatives and ARSA moderators to discuss how to grow a skilled, technical workforce as well as identify and manage the risks facing the aviation community.

Attendees were treated to the world premier showing of the aviation maintenance documentary that ARSA produced in association with Leading Edge Television Series. Stay tuned for full rollout of the video, along with guidance as to how your company can make the most of it.

To re-live the 2014 SLC, visit; all event materials, including speaker presentations, are available for download.

Mark your calendars for the 2015 Annual Legislative Day and Repair Symposium: March 18-20 in Arlington, VA.

Previous SLC Wrap Ups

2013 - Aviation Maintenance Leaders Analyze Landscape of Industry

October 24, 2013

Executives from aviation maintenance companies around the world convened in Washington, D.C. today to hear how industry, regulatory, and legislative changes will impact their bottom lines in 2014.

The Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) annual Strategic Leadership Conference (SLC) kicked off last night with a dinner and reception featuring House Aviation Subcommittee member Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), who discussed the latest legislative issues under consideration by his panel. This morning, U.S. Department of Transportation Principal Assistant Inspector General for Auditing and Evaluation Lou Dixon delivered the group’s keynote address, focusing on the department’s audits to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Aviation Administration’s safety programs.

A regulatory panel, featuring high-level figures at the Transportation Security Administration and Airlines for America, zeroed in on the latest regulatory and security issues confronting the MRO industry. The second discussion group provided insights from some of Washington’s most experienced aviation lobbyists, who discussed current legislative issues affecting the maintenance community. The final segment, led by ARSA Vice President of Communications, Policy & Planning Eric Byer and Executive Vice President Christian Klein, analyzed what the association is doing to capitalize on the Positive Publicity Campaign’s victories and what members can do to spread the message of the industry’s contributions to safety.

“Aviation maintenance is a dynamic sector constantly adjusting to meet the needs of a growing global market,” said Klein. “ARSA’s SLC is the only program of its kind to keep the industry’s leaders abreast of what’s happening in Washington so they can focus more on the important things: business and continued safety.”

2012 - ARSA Wraps up a Successful SLC

October 24, 2012

ARSA’s 2012 Strategic Leadership Conference, the Association’s annual invitation-only gathering of aerospace executives, featured strategic discussions about the future of the maintenance industry and the Association’s role in improving the business, legal, and regulatory climate for aviation maintenance.

This year’s conference was held in Hamburg, Germany to join celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of Lufthansa Technik’s FAA certificate. It was ARSA’s first time hosting an international event.

The keynote speech was delivered by Bruce Dickinson, who in addition to his role as lead vocalist of the chart-topping metal band Iron Maiden, is a commercial pilot and aviation entrepreneur – recently launching an MRO operation in Wales. Joining Dickinson in addressing attendees were the U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip D. Murphy, Lufthansa Technik CEO August Wilhelm Henningsen, and Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, who delivered a video message.

Key highlights include:

  • ARSA’s Positive Publicity Campaign is shaping public opinion. Industry leaders gave ARSA kudos for its efforts to guide general media reporting with strong consensus that ARSA can and should be another important voice on maintenance-related stories.
  • Industry and regulators are growing increasingly impatient with TSA’s foot-dragging on the repair station security rules. ARSA discussed the likely political landscape in 2013 and outlined plans for a legislative push to lift the ban on new foreign repair station certificates in light of the growing risk that civil aviation authorities will retaliate against U.S. companies.
  • International aviation cooperation is a key component to safety. “International partnerships, private and public, are the key to sustaining these [safety] gains,” Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told attendees in a video message. CEO of Lufthansa Technik August Wilhelm Henningsen, added, “With open cooperation, all parties involved have made sustainable contributions to safety and reliability, cost-effective aviation, and the preservation of the environment.”
  • During his keynote, Bruce Dickinson described plans for his new company, Cardiff Aviation, which will offer heavy maintenance and other services from a decommissioned RAF base. Dickinson joined industry colleagues in pushing the envelope to achieve better safety and reliability. Simply complying with regulations isn’t enough. “When you put complacency next to compliance, you have a recipe for disaster,” Dickinson said.
  • Lufthansa Technik Vice President of Quality Hanno Loss was recognized for his two years as ARSA’s president. Loss enhanced the Association’s international visibility and drove efforts to grow ARSA’s public relations capabilities.
  • In conjunction with the SLC, ARSA’s Board elected 2013 officers. Gary Fortner, vice president of quality control at Fortner Engineering, was elected ARSA’s president; Gary Jordan, president and CEO of Jordan Propeller Service, was elect vice president; and Jim Perdue, vice president and manager of sales at SONICO, Inc., was elected treasurer.

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