VP Honoured

David Latimer, HAECO Americas Vice President of Regulatory Compliance, recently received the Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) oldest and newest honours. David has been presented with the Leo Weston Award for Excellence in Service in Aviation Safety and he is also ARSA’s first recipient of the Executive Director’s Golden Shovel award, which honours aviation professionals who can “see past the difficulty of the work before them to connect with the higher calling of the business”.


David’s aviation career took flight in 1976, when he joined the Navy at 18. “Rather than follow my siblings’ footsteps to a four-year college degree, I explored the world with the Navy,” he says. It was during this time that he gained technical skills that inspired him to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mechanic’s certificate after completing military service, so beginning an illustrious career in aviation.


David joined the company in 1994 and has now been with HAECO Americas for almost three decades. He is proud to be a part of the organisation, and believes that HAECO Americas, by example, has changed the way many MRO operations in the US focus on safety today: “Many years ago, safety in the workplace was accepted without programmes in place to continuously improve. The organisational drive to make HAECO a safer workplace for our employees has been a welcome change. HAECO does not simply say “We believe in safety”, rather it is part of our company DNA,” he explains.


David has words of wisdom for those who are considering a career as an aircraft maintenance professional. While he acknowledges that the profession is not for everyone, he believes anyone with integrity and a willingness to work hard can achieve almost anything. “Aircraft technicians are the most passionate, talented, and dedicated people I have ever known. We all try to live by doing the right things the right way and operate with pride of workmanship. Working beside people like this every day is a true honour. And honestly, I cannot think of a more rewarding profession. The calling of the business is to make aviation safe for the travelling public. At the same time, we have the opportunity to perform maintenance on multi-million-dollar machines with the latest technology, while learning something new every day”.


David has been on ARSA’s Board of Directors since 2004, serving nearly 20 years as a Director, and rotating through each leadership position multiple times – including two terms as President. With the FAA, David was involved in the establishment of the first large maintenance organisation Certificate Management Unit. Another achievement was creating an FAA-certified air agency for military programmes in under two weeks.