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LOC and Key

By Mike Speidel

    He admitted to me, "I was very skeptical that you guys would be able to teach me anything I didn't already know after 25 years painting our airfield - but I learned A LOT from your training".

    While this was nice to hear from a seasoned paint foreman of an airport maintenance crew, the events leading up to this point were the most promising.

    It was July of 2011 when I received an inquiry about our on-site training services. It was from an airport who had received a letter of correction (LOC) from the FAA listing paint training as a requirement. Once I thoroughly inspected my office for would-be candid cameras and checked the date to confirm it wasn't the 1st of April, it dawned on me that the email could be genuine.

    You see, this was a first (for me, anyway). In my relatively short career working in the industry, I had never heard of the FAA requiring an airport to receive training to paint their airfield. It meant that the FAA is serious about improving the quality of markings. It meant that six years of our ranting in this newsletter is paying off. It meant that I should stop thinking there are cameras carefully hidden in my office.

    The on-site training was arranged and executed. The airport's crew is now armed with the best practices and the investment made in the required training will reflect in the marking system for years to come. I applaud the FAA Inspector who not only recognized the discrepancy, but required something be done about it to fix it once and for all.

    This is not to say that you should wait until the FAA sends you a LOC. To the contrary, if you want to improve your marking culture on your own merits, email me... I'll resist the urge to look for hidden cameras.

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