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|NMB Board Member name
National Mediation Board
Washington, DC 20572
I am a certificated Airframe and Powerplant mechanic (A&P) and I am concerned about your definition of my class and craft. My eligibility to test for this certificate was earned by completing at least (1700 hours of classroom / 5000 documented on-the-job) training hours. Imagine my surprise when I found that the NMB defined my career field to include aircraft cleaners, aircraft fuelers, and almost anyone whose job responsibilities included "aircraft" in the title. This is an affront to the accomplishments of my federal certificate.
In my opinion, the class and craft of "mechanics and related" should be changed to "aircraft maintenance technicians" and "other mechanical and related". Clearly, the requirements to obtain the certification of A&P are much more than what is required to "fluff pillows" and "vacuum carpets", or to connect the hoses and check the fuel gauges. In fact, the requirements to practice my chosen profession are greater than that required to obtain a bachelor's degree (at least 1350 classroom hours) or even meeting the requirements of a major commercial airline pilot (a bachelor's degree of 1350 hours, an air transport pilot certificate which can be obtained with as few as 100 hours in the cockpit, and a few thousand hours of on-the-job training flying aircraft).
I realize that there are differences between my profession and that of other aircraft-related professions -- most passengers and customers do not wish to think of the major maintenance functions that take place on a regular basis, whether transporting themselves, their families, or their parcels. How many airline passengers would get on a certified-airworthy aircraft if they knew that one of two engines had been replaced just prior to their flight or that this aircraft had experienced hydraulic failure on the previous flight? However, this happens on a daily basis with passengers none the wiser.
This confidence in air transport is due to the continuing professionalism of the ATP pilots, but even more so due to the perseverance of the professional technicians that certify the aircraft for flight on a regular basis. However, this airworthy condition has little or no relationship to the fueling, cleaning, or servicing of the aircraft. How, then, can we classify these other job categories as being related to the mechanical workings of the aircraft and the certification of its airworthiness? I believe that this would be better served if the classification were to be changed to "technicians" and "other mechanical and related".
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.