On Nov. 13, Evita “Evie” Garces, managing director of Maintenance Operations Control at American Airlines, was named the company’s new FAA-certificated director of maintenance (DOM). American is making history by selecting Garces to be the first female and the first Latina team member to occupy the position.
As the new DOM, Garces is responsible for ensuring that all work on the airline’s aircraft is performed in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs); staying up to date on, and maintaining access to, all FARs; and serving as the main maintenance liaison between the FAA and American. She and her team also oversee the day-to-day technical operations of American, which includes oversight of aircraft maintenance, vendor operations in more than 150 cities, ownership of the aircraft maintenance deferral process and the management of out-of-service aircraft. The role was previously occupied by Steve Bobzin, who recently announced his retirement effective at the end of the year.
Garces started her career on the aircraft maintenance track, earning her Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license and continued to work her way up within the company, serving in various positions, including manager of Aircraft Maintenance and managing director of Line Maintenance. Prior to her current position, she served as the managing director of Maintenance Planning — Base and Strategic. It was in this position that she led the efforts around Base Maintenance operations, including the launch of several successful initiatives such as domestic satellite Wi-Fi modifications and Boeing 737 cabin retrofits.
With the support of her parents, who are originally from the Dominican Republic, Garces’s love for airplanes was nurtured at a young age. She was fascinated with aviation and started down the path of a career in the industry as early as high school when she attended Aviation High School in New York City. She continued to expand her knowledge at the College of Aeronautics in Flushing, New York, and later went on to obtain her Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University.
There are five key positions essential for any airline to operate as required by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Code of Federal Regulations: chief pilot, director of operations, director of safety, chief inspector and director of maintenance. Now, American says Garces is recognized as the designated team member to move the company’s maintenance strategy forward, ultimately helping to improve the airline’s operations.