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Aircraft Parts, Distribution, Labor and Personnel Issues

PMA Holders Can Help Prevent Harm from a Boeing Strike

Boeing and its union are posturing for upcoming labor negotiations, and there is some threat of a strike. PMA companies manufacturing parts for Boeing aircraft could find that a strike represents an opportunity for them to demonstrate the value of their support to the air carrier community.

Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group chief executive Scott Carson said Boeing will propose a “good and fair offer” to the union, and that the proposal would be proffered on Aug. 29 in order to give employees the Labor Day weekend to consider it. But he apparently has also told Boeing management that the proposal will be a final one, and that Boeing will not improve on its best and final offer if there is a strike.

Union leaders are reported as saying that a strike is likely if the company’s position on certain economic issues does not change.

Shutting down production through a strike could make certain OEM parts difficult to obtain by air carriers. Although many parts are available from Boeing-licensed PMA holders or through Aviall, a strike could still make it difficult for certain operators to obtain needed parts, especially for unscheduled maintenance events.

In addition to slowing down 737 production, a Boeing strike would also further delay the 787 program. 787 delay, in turn, delays retirement of aircraft that the 787 is expected to replace.

Although such a strike would not be good for anyone, it may represent an opportunity for PMA companies to demonstrate to their air carrier customers that they are committed to keeping the system working, even in times of strife at Boeing. Unexpected need to delay fleet retirements leads to an increased need to support aging aircraft with replacement parts. And this is the area where the PMA Parts community can help keep the operations costs manageable.

The full story is reported in the Seattle Post Intelligencer: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/374873_boeinglabor14.html

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About Jason Dickstein

Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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