Reliance Aerotech Releases 5th Annual Aviation Maintenance Industry Survey Results – Contract Labor Risks Not Well Understood

Nashville, TN – General Manager of Reliance Aerotech Services Inc. (RAS), Ron Jordan, today announced the results of RAS’ fifth annual Aviation Maintenance Industry Survey.  Jordan released the results in a special presentation on “Assessing Risk in Contract Maintenance Labor” at the 7th annual Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Conference for the Americas.  “The survey confirms what we have suspected, many aircraft organizations in a rush to get “warm bodies” overlook key risk factors in choosing vendors to supply contract personnel,” stated Jordan in his presentation.

Contract Maintenance Labor Highly Valued, But Risks Not Well Understood

79 percent of major airline respondents believe that contract maintenance labor is an extremely or very important part of their MRO supply chain.  While aircraft maintenance managers highly valued contract maintenance personnel, well over half of the survey respondents did not know what types of insurance and the levels of insurance were carried by the aviation staffing firms that provided their labor.

In selecting potential vendors, 59 percent reported having no process in place or chose the company who could “get me people the fastest”.  This rush for “warm bodies” resulted in respondents reporting incomplete screening investigations of personnel with only 40 percent reporting their staffing firms used reference checks on prospective personnel and only 67 percent had FAA drug testing completed.  A further 70 percent reported they were unsure if their staffing firms used screening methodology to ensure worker compatibility in their workplace, a key to determining the performance of maintenance personnel as reported in RAS’ 2004 survey.

“Given the importance maintenance organizations place on contract labor in the supply chain, we were surprised by the seemingly casual approach many organizations take towards this critical resource,” stated Jordan.  “Maintenance organizations need to implement processes around contract labor that keep pace with its growing importance in the supply chain.”

Performance of Aviation Staffing Firms Not Well Analyzed

When it came to analyzing the performance of the staffing firms in their maintenance facilities, 19 percent of respondents said they did not perform an analysis.  48 percent said they only analyzed the performance of individual workers.  A further 83 percent of respondents in the major airline sector reported no performance programs were in place with the staffing firms in their facilities.

“With contract labor being such a key part of the supply chain for maintenance organizations, we have long advocated that organizations take a ROI approach to evaluating vendors to ensure risks are mitigated,” said Jordan.  “We were pleased that 15 percent of respondents reported using this type of model to guide their decision making process so initiatives such as our ROI workshops appear to be having an impact.”

Audit Procedures Oriented to Aviation Staffing Industry Need to Be Implemented

56 percent of respondents reported having no audit process in place to review the procedures of the staffing firms that were present in their facilities.  Only 14% reported auditing the procedures of staffing firms in third party facilities where they outsource work.

“Maintenance organizations need to fully understand the risks associated with this important part of the MRO supply chain and implement audit procedures to mitigate risks and increase performance”, said Jordan.  “To help create a path of professionalism for the contract labor industry, we have developed a proprietary audit process to guide maintenance organizations in their decision making process and to ensure the highest quality of performance by staffing firms.”

The Reliance audit process addresses six critical areas for risk mitigation and program success: FAA program compliance, liability insurance, screening procedures, workers compensation, quality assurance programs and program performance.

“We have long advocated that the quality of contract maintenance labor can be as high as or higher than permanent workforces,” concluded Jordan in his presentation.  “By working together with maintenance organizations to strengthen key processes, we can ensure contract labor continues to be a highly valued part of the MRO supply chain.”

To learn more about Reliance Aerotech Services’ Aviation Maintenance Industry surveys, go to

About Reliance Aerotech Services

Founded in 1998, Reliance Aerotech Services is a leader in the provision of outsourced aviation maintenance personnel and integration solutions for the commercial, defense, government, and business aviation markets. RAS leverages technology and processes to provide the highest quality personnel through innovations such as its industry leading employment center, total value assessment program and annual industry surveys.

RAS is a member of the Team Reliance™ Group of Companies, providing dependable repair and overhaul, maintenance, private equity and advisory service solutions for the aerospace industry.


Ron Jordan
General Manager
P. (850) 912-4698
C. (615) 308-3522