The management department at Vaughn College welcomed John M. Allen, president of Allen Aviation and Safety Consultants, LLC and vice president of safety at JetBlue (Ret.) to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, Allen discussed the changing culture of safety management systems within the aviation industry and shed light on certain skills that students will need in order to be a successful aviation safety consultant. At this event, students learned the importance of safety and how the benefits of earning Vaughn’s Safety Management Systems Certificate can put them on the right path towards a futureproof career.

About John Allen

For more than 40 years, John Allen has set the pace for having made significant contributions in the areas of leadership and safety management systems, as well as setting industry standards for improving aviation safety at every level.

His impressive career began in the United States Air Force, where he served for 31 years in both active and reserve duty. During that time, he held several command positions that included vice wing commander, squadron commander and ultimately the rank of brigadier general. This was the position he held at the time of his retirement. Allen’s passion for aviation safety led him to the Federal Aviation Administration , where he held several high-ranking positions over his 22-year career. Prior to retiring from the agency in 2013, Allen served as the Director of Flight Standards Service (AFS-1). In this position, he led an organization of over 5,600 inspectors and aviation professionals to oversee global aircraft operations under U.S. authority or responsibility. Shifting his unparalleled expertise to the business side of the industry, Allen accepted the position of vice president of safety at JetBlue Airlines. For the next seven years, he led the way to growing and strengthening the effectiveness and practice of the airline’s safety program. Today, Allen is president of Allen Aviation and Safety Consultants, LLC, which specializes in aviation safety, safety management systems, quality management systems, Federal Aviation Administration and leadership consulting.

The ‘art of safety’

One would think that safety is on the minds of everyone when it comes to flying on an airplane. Allen stated otherwise. “It’s harder to implement safety than anything,” he said. “Management doesn’t understand the ‘art of safety’.” He explained how it takes money, discipline and research findings to convince management officials about the importance of safety. “Technology is changing so rapidly, security management systems need to be customized to the organization,” he said. “We need to work with the culture and train from the top-down—teaching from their perspective in a way they will understand. It’s all about showing the appeal that safety is about money, too—not just saving lives.” And when it comes to passenger perspective on safety, Allen said that only about 30 percent of the flying public are fearful flyers. Check out his book, “Airline Safety Is Not by Accident… (Well Maybe Sort Of, I’ll Explain), A Memoir.”

Life tips for student success

Allen offered life tips on what students should take away from the college experience. To succeed in life, he explained how his own time in college was to broaden his thinking to learn, innovate and communicate. Have you ever wondered if you’ll ever use some of the information you’re learning in the classroom? Allen said it wasn’t until he graduated decades ago that he figured it all out. Here are the three principles which he believes are not only important in school, but are also critical for overall success in life:

  • Learn to learn—and learn quickly: Professional success is all about keeping up with the competition. Learning faster than your peers will help you rise to the top.
  • Learn to think critically, innovate and expand on what you learn: It’s important to analyze what you learn, think critically about it and improve on it. The key lesson is that it is okay to fail. Develop a passion to improve upon what you learn.
  • Learn to communicate and help others learn from your ideas: Nurture your communication skills, both written and spoken. The best innovative ideas will have no value if you cannot communicate them effectively with others.

Effective leadership techniques

With over 40 years of leadership experience, Allen knows there’s more to be being an effective leader than just “managing.” Here are some of his top leadership techniques for success:

  • When you enter a room, light it up—don’t bring it down.
  • Treat everyone as you would want to be treated. Be humble, yet confident and committed.
  • Don’t fake leadership. Crewmembers can spot a fake a mile away.
  • Provide guidance and vision, and then stand back. Trust and verify. It’s important not to micromanage. Use any shortcomings as teaching moments.
  • Recognize individuals for a job well done.
  • When meeting anyone, always look them in the eye, smile and greet them by name—if possible.

Vaughn’s Aviation and Management Programs

Vaughn offers a range of bachelor’s, master’s, associate and certificate programs in aviationmanagement and aviation maintenance. As a leading institution in these industries, the College is setting the pace by providing its students with the skills they need to land jobs in these in-demand fields. Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of a lifelong position through one of our programs. Apply today!

As the pilot shortage continues to be a focus in the media, the airline industry is facing yet another shortfall which has received less coverage: A shortage of aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) – the people who maintain, repair, inspect and overhaul aircraft every time they are grounded. Without sign-off from an AMT, a plane cannot fly. With air travel approaching pre-pandemic levels, the demand for AMTs is greater than ever before. So, how dire is the shortage?

This month, we take a closer look at the demand for aircraft mechanics and why now is the best time to train for an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certification at Vaughn.

Soaring demand

According to Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2022-2041, the industry will need as many as 610,000 new civil maintenance technicians over course of the next 20 years. That’s an even greater demand than for new pilots (excluding business aviation), which is projected to reach a need of 602,000 during the same time frame. Adding pilots to the workforce is useless without also adding maintenance technicians. How do you capitalize on this surging demand? If becoming an aviation maintenance technician interests you, then Vaughn’s A&P certificate program can be your ticket to this futureproof career.

What is the role of an aircraft mechanic?

Essentially, aircraft mechanics oversee the operations of various types of aircraft—which include jets and helicopters—by maintaining and repairing their systems and components. Just imagine: For every flight that lands in the United States, there is a crew of aircraft mechanics who must inspect the plane and sign off on each protocol to make sure that every facet of its mechanics is working properly and efficiently before it can take flight again. Without these highly skilled professionals, planes cannot fly. Talk about an in-demand career!

How Vaughn can get you there in as little as 16 months

At Vaughn’s Aviation Training Institute (ATI) students are trained to become aircraft mechanics. Vaughn’s Aviation Maintenance (Airframe and Powerplant) certificate and Aviation Maintenance Associate in Occupational Science are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. What could this decision mean for your future? Check out these amazing benefits of a career in aviation maintenance:

  • Great starting salary and overtime – AMTs in New York can earn up to $37 per hour in just their first year and have many opportunities for overtime.
  • Flight benefits – AMTs can receive discounted or even free flights, depending on the employer.
  • Sectors of aviation – in addition to working in commercial, general (e.g., personal, business or emergency transport) or military aviation, AMTs can also work in other sectors such as theme parks or wind turbines.
  • Keeping people safe – at the end of the day, AMTs keep airplanes running smoothly which saves lives.
  • Opportunities for growth, continued learning and advancement – the aviation industry is constantly evolving and expanding as new technology is developed, which creates a continuous pipeline new jobs and opportunities. There is no limit to where this career can take you, as long as you work hard and continue to hone your skills.

Want to know what it takes to become an aircraft mechanic? Check out our blog, “A Day in the Life of an Aviation Maintenance Technician.”

What’s the next step?

What are your plans for the future? As noted above, Vaughn’s ATI program can prepare you for a job in the aviation industry in as little as 16 months. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at our Aviation Maintenance Info. Session on Thursday, December 15 at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there!