For flight department managers, the work necessary to locate the best qualified temporary pilots, flight attendants or maintenance technicians has become easier over the past decade, thanks in part to the communications technology of the Internet. However, for the handful of staffing companies that actually serve as the go-between for employers and employees, the job has become considerably tougher as those companies assume much more of the risk than before.
Finding skilled welders is an industry-wide challenge, causing AAR to rethink the answer with a public-private partnership with Goldsboro, N.C.’s Wayne Community College. Working in partnership, the two have designed an eight-week welding certificate program to address a shortage of welders at AAR Mobility Systems. A spokesman for the company said it typically takes a year to earn a welding diploma at Wayne.
The pilots of Horizon Air voted last month to extend their current labor contract for three years, creating a new six-year pact. The new contract, negotiated on behalf of the 610 pilots by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, includes wage increases, so-called quality-of-life and productivity improvements, and better job security, said the Teamsters in a statement. Among pilots who returned ballots, 77 percent voted in favor of ratification.
In a decision opening the way for Hawker Beechcraft to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court today approved the Wichita OEM’s joint plan of reorganization. “Today’s ruling marks the final significant step in the restructuring process,” said Hawker Beechcraft CEO Steve Miller. The company said that, as part of the reorganization, it will be rebranded Beechcraft Corp.
At press time Hawker Beechcraft was expected on January 31 to seek confirmation of its plan of reorganization from bankruptcy court, allowing the company to emerge [from bankruptcy] some time in February, which is when the name change to Beechcraft Corp. will also become effective.
With Hawker Beechcraft attempting to clear the final hurdle in Chapter 11 proceedings and emerge from bankruptcy, Judge Stuart Bernstein said earlier today that he would approve the joint plan of reorganization for all but one of the subsidiaries currently under Chapter 11 protection. Bernstein reserved judgment regarding the Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
Hawker Beechcraft, in what it hopes is the final phase of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, saw its employment level in Kansas drop to 3,372 as of December 31, triggering an automatic reduction in the annual incentive payment from the State of Kansas. In 2010 the company was granted $45 million in incentives by the state, based on an agreement to maintain employment in Kansas at 4,000.
As the economy slowly improves, the industry is again experiencing a shortage of technical personnel, and many MROs are finding that the demand for service exceeds their capacity to provide it. Chicago-based AAR has gone on the road recruiting for 200 technical positions in the Duluth, Minn. facility, and Premier Aviation of Trois-Rivieres, Canada, is also feeling the pinch.
The Boeing bargaining unit of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) has set a date of February 4 for sending strike ballots to its members, union director Ray Goforth told AIN last Wednesday. Members of the Bargaining Unit Council (BUC), consisting of all the company’s “relevant” shop stewards, reached the decision on Tuesday night, during a meeting in which the council agreed to support the negotiating team’s rejection of the company’s “best and final offer.”
If you’re an aircraft mechanic and you love the outdoors, you might like to know that AAR is in Minneapolis today interviewing for positions at its Duluth, Minn. single-aisle MRO facility. AAR is holding walk-in interviews from 1 to 7 p.m. today at the Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America.