Since 2004 I have been working at Aviation Maintenance – first as managing editor and then, starting in 2006, as editor-in-chief. I met a former editor-in-chief of this publication, Matt Thurber at the 100th Anniversary of Flight celebrating the monumental accomplishments of the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He was without a managing editor at the time and learned I was looking for work. He offered to have me out for an interview and said he’d rather teach someone who knew aviation to run a magazine than to try to teach a journalist the intricacies of our unique and complex industry.
When he left for greener pastures, I became editor-in-chief and have been ever since. I did take a brief hiatus to work as editor-in-chief of another aviation publication, Rotor & Wing. I had left that magazine due to a family relocation and when the interim editor of this magazine also found another position and left, I quickly returned to Aviation Maintenance – that was five years ago.
For a total of ten years I have followed, written about, rooted for and been amazed by the dedication and hard work put in by each and every person in this industry. It has been my honor and pleasure to head up this magazine and cover the amazing things you do.
I have never been at a loss to find things to write about – quite the contrary. I am constantly challenged to find room to include all the news, features and information I would like to. From continuous improvement to Lean to software to borescopes to refurbs to high-velocity maintenance to innovation, there never seems to be a lack of things to write about.
During the last ten years I have seen good times and bad times in the aviation industry. The magazine itself has had its ups and downs as well. I have also seen the publication change ownership from a large media company owner to its current owner, Adrian Broadbent, an entrepreneur with a keen eye toward new opportunities.
But one thing has remained constant. Airplanes fly and airplanes break. Helicopters fly and helicopters break. Drones fly and drones break. Maintenance is needed on a regular and continual basis. Without the people who dedicate their lives to making certain maintenance plans are developed and adhered to, procedures are followed and every detail is remembered, the aviation industry would be grounded. Never forget what a crucial and integral part of our industry you are or how the contributions you make to our industry enable it to be as safe, reliable and efficient as it is.
It is a privilege for pilots and passengers around the world to fly on aircraft that are as well maintained as they are today. According to A4A, the association representing U. S. airlines, commercial aviation represents 5.1 percent of the U. S. gross domestic product (GDP) and creates more than 11,200 jobs. United Airlines boast more than 80,000 employees of which more than 10,000 work in technical operations. Other mainline airlines report similar numbers. Tens of thousands more work in independent MROs throughout the world.
Now I am off to start a new adventure of my own and I will miss my many friends in the maintenance industry and all the readers of Aviation Maintenance. I wish you all the best as you continue to do what you do best – solve the challenges of keeping the aviation industry safe and reliable. All of this is to say that ten years later, I am still in awe of what everyone in this industry does. You keep us flying. Thank you for your dedication and hard work.
And now, please meet the new editor-in-chief of Aviation Maintenance, Andrew Drwiega.
I am delighted to be taking over the editorship of such a strong and vibrant magazine as Aviation Maintenance. Joy Finnegan leaves having set the bar very high and I will have to work hard to match her achievements over the last five years.
I have been a journalist and communicator for over 30 years, the last 15 of which have been spent addressing a wide variety of issues in aviation and defense. Having reported on the international aviation market for many years, I am very familiar with many of the industry leading corporations but also appreciate the vital role that the supply chain holds, which frequently come under pressure as the world economy ebbs and flows according to the political and financial pressures put upon it (I write this on the morning of Brexit)!
My belief in print magazines is a traditional one. While social media and online cannot be matched for delivering breaking news quickly, it also contains much comment by the uninformed and those without responsibility. I firmly believe that in-depth commentary and analysis are key attributes of the specialist press.
Finally I would like once again to congratulate Joy Finnegan on a job well done and look forward to editing the next issue of Aviation Maintenance.
— Andrew Drwiega