Why You Should Support the PPC
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and the Positive Publicity Campaign (PPC) is the aviation maintenance industry’s proactive effort to improve the operating climate for repair stations.
It is no secret that airlines have begun to follow the model general aviation has used for years: why repair it yourself when a certificated, professional, contract provider of maintenance services can do it more efficiently, and just as safely? As a result, airline’s maintenance programs have become more efficient and their passengers, the flying public, have reaped the benefits through lower airfares.
Aviation maintenance services are a $50 billion global business, safely delivering millions of flights every year and employing hundreds of thousands of workers (more than 274,000 in the U.S. alone!). However, for all of its positive contributions, the industry is under attack.
Airline unions see contract maintenance as a threat to membership rolls. Rather than embrace the savings that contract maintenance services deliver to airlines and the flying public, these interests have spread fear through xenophobic and false safety arguments that cast doubt on the industry’s impeccable safety record. While their claims are utterly lacking in validity, propped up wholly through speculation, accusation, and anecdotal stories, the sensationalist media has been receptive. They’ve created an environment on Capitol Hill that has given rise to legislation that would make it harder for airlines to use repair stations and unnecessarily drive up costs for the maintenance industry. Ironically, that would make U.S. air carriers less competitive and potentially cost airline employees (including union mechanics) their jobs.
For all the distortion a simple fact remains: the rise in contract maintenance has coincided with the safest period in the history of civil aviation. That outcome is no mistake; rather, it is the result of an effective – and ever improving – network of industry controls in concert with existing regulations. Indeed, regardless of where the work is done, all U.S.-registered aircraft are inspected and repaired to the same stringent FAA standards. Safety is vital to the aviation industry. There is no incentive for any airline or repair facility to deliver an unsafe product; doing so would result in certain economic failure.
The push to disparage the aviation maintenance industry through hyperbole and inaccuracies demonstrates the need for the industry to engage lawmakers and the media through enhanced public relations efforts. If we don’t raise our voice we risk allowing others to define the industry. That is why ARSA started the PPC.
The aviation maintenance industry must come together to educate policymakers and the public about the benefits of contract maintenance and the economic impact our industry has in communities throughout the country. ARSA can’t do it alone. We need the entire industry to assist our efforts by supporting the Positive Publicity Campaign.
For more information about the PPC, please follow these links: