Avionics News January 2016 - 12
In this monthly column, Ric Peri of the AEA's Washington, D.C., office, informs members of the latest regulatory updates.
R I C
P E R I
A EA V I C E P R ES I D E N T O F G OV E R N M E N T & I N D U ST RY A F FA I RS
No more apologies
'm tired of hearing about the high cost of maintenance,
the high cost of avionics, and the high cost of aviation - as
if we are responsible. Enough already. During the 2015
NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las
Vegas, the topic of ADS-B and NextGen was central to most
conversations, and nearly every conversation contained some
talk of "it's too costly." Immediately, someone was apologizing and/or justifying the cost of avionics and avionics maintenance. Enough already, we have no reason to apologize!
You can't read a book on successful financial management without first starting with a budget. I believe
it is human nature to manage a personal budget and
price shop where practical. I remember growing up and
watching my father barter nearly every time he had the
opportunity. He received great joy by being able to negotiate the price, even if it only saved a few cents. One time, he
was shopping for an air chuck at a West Coast swap meet, or a
flea market to the rest of the world. After searching all morning, we found one for sale at about 50 cents on the dollar, but it
was a fixed price and the owner wouldn't negotiate. My father
passed; he wasn't interested in buying if he couldn't negotiate.
According to my father, the air chuck owner should have raised
the price so he could negotiate it down. For some people, negotiating the price is half the fun of buying.
Having a customer who negotiates isn't personal. An avionics shop should not apologize because its value is higher than
the competition and, therefore, has higher prices. Every industry
has low prices and high prices; low value and high value. You
don't see Mercedes Benz apologizing because the price of its
cars is more than a Tata Nano. The Harrods stores in London do
not apologize because of lower pricing offered in the "- mart"
stores. As is often said, you get what you pay for. There are
low-value options, and there are high-value options. No apologies, it's just the way of commerce. There are times when shopping at the "marts" satisfies your needs: low cost/low value is
why you shop there. Other times, you want a higher value, and
you choose to shop elsewhere. Avionics shops need to focus on
our value and not worry about our cost.
Avionics shops need to focus on our
value and not worry about our cost .
What is our value? For starters: the appropriate housing,
facilities, equipment, materials and data (Part 145 subpart C);
employees with the proper training, knowledge and experience
(Part 145 subpart D); and a quality control system that ensures
the airworthiness of the articles on which the repair station
or any of its contractors performs maintenance (14 CFR
145.211). This looks like solid value to me.
If an aircraft owner or pilot flies in instrument meteorological conditions and relies on instruments for navigation, then
he or she may be (or should be) a value shopper rather than
a price shopper. If they rely on avionics to ensure safe family passage, then they should be a value shopper rather than
a price shopper. If they fly for business, then again, they're
likely to be a value shopper rather than a price shopper.
There are places for low-cost and low-value products and