After eight years of litigation, a legal battle between ExxonMobil and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over mandatory pilot retirement age has concluded with a ruling by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The appeals panel upheld the previous ruling that the energy company’s policy on mandatory retirement for its corporate pilots at age 60 (later 65) does not violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
D’Shannon Aviation has become the first out-of-state corporation to announce plans to relocate their engine overhaul operation to the Oshkosh Aviation Business Center in Wisconsin. The company is a major STC holder and manufacturer of upgrades for the Beechcraft fleet of Bonanzas, Debonairs and Barons. Scott Erickson, president of D’Shannon Aviation, told AIN, “We’re moving our engine business from ‘Race City’ (Mooresville), N.C., home of the world renowned Nascar engine shops to Oshkosh to take advantage of the highly skilled workforce and support.
The Greater Rockford (Ill.) Airport Authority (GRAA) and Rock Valley College (RVC) broke ground on a new RVC Aviation Maintenance Technology Program site. The 40,000-sq-ft facility, which will be located on the grounds of Chicago Rockford International Airport, will house the RVC educational course of study for aeronautical maintenance and repair and will allow RVC to expand and enhance its current program. Rockford is a major center of aerospace activity, with more than 200 aerospace suppliers operating in the region.
Though not often mentioned among aerospace centers of excellence, Rockford, Illinois, home to five major tier 1 aerospace suppliers, deserves a top spot on the list, according to the Rockford Area Aerospace Network (RAAN). The organization is making that case here at the Farnborough Airshow and points out that every single airplane flying today contains at least one part manufactured in Rockford, according to RAAN (Hall 2 Stand 23).
The FAA is proposing a $295,750 civil penalty against SkyWest Airlines for allegedly violating DOT drug-and-alcohol testing regulations. The agency alleges SkyWest failed to include more than 150 safety-sensitive employees in its random drug-testing pool. Further, SkyWest allegedly failed to receive verified negative drug test results for two other employees before hiring one for and transferring the other to safety-sensitive positions.
French aerospace industry lobbying association Gifas (Hall 1 Stand A15) is foreseeing another excellent year in terms of revenue and orders. In an economy bombarded with bad news, France’s aerospace sector is often cited as an example. A thorn in its side, however, has been the euro/dollar currency exchange rate. Recruitment remains a tricky issue, too.
Kevin Boardman, who was the aviation director/chief pilot for Elmer’s Glue parent company Berwind Corp. from 1998 until earlier this year, was formally indicted by a grand jury of defrauding his former employer to the tune of at least $2.7 million. According to a release issued yesterday by the Eastern Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office, Boardman allegedly “devised numerous methods to embezzle money from his employer” between 2006 and last year.
Northeast State Community College (NeSCC) and Bell Helicopter Piney Flats have announced an educational collaboration to develop the next generation of aircraft technicians and aviation professionals. The collaboration is the foundation of a long-term strategy to promote advanced technical training throughout the region.
At its annual Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Conference, held last week in West Palm Beach, Fla., NBAA recognized the 42 recipients of the 2014 Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Scholarship. The association established the program to help business aviation flight attendants/flight technicians develop their careers. Member companies such as AirCare, FlightSafety International, MedAire and Universal Weather & Aviation donate monetary and training awards for the scholarships. NBAA’s flight attendants committee chooses the recipients.
Last week Embraer eliminated 83 of its 560 Nashville maintenance facility employees. An Embraer spokesman told AIN, “The business cycles of the aviation industry periodically require companies to adjust their workforce to match their customers’ requirements. Such was the case recently at our Nashville commercial aircraft maintenance facility.”