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Why Have a Manufacturer’s Organization?

General Aviation producers of Type Certificated aircraft have GAMA. Light aircraft producers have LAMA, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association. LAMA represents Light-Sport Aircraft but also any aircraft which Sport Pilots may fly, and the organization includes all sorts of businesses, not only airframe producers.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

The answer is that pilot consumers benefit from an organization that represents the business. Call it a better business bureau for light aircraft, but in truth LAMA serves multiple interests with its mission.

To quicken your understanding of the mission and services provided by a manufacturers association, we list LAMA functions in various areas to illustrate the values LAMA brings to the LSA community.

Industry: LAMA Directly Assists Manufacturers

• Third-Party Oversight program leading to LAMA Compliance Audits

• Market Data (offered to government, industry, media, & public)

• Industry Communications (LAMA Newsletter with LAMA-EU Newsletter in planning)

• Industry-Wide Marketing (much work remains to communicate the methods of industry consensus  standards)

• Service to ASTM (the organization helping LSA producers devise and maintain the standards used to certify light aircraft)

• Interaction with Member Organizations on behalf of LSA industry (AOPA, IAOPA, EAA, GAMA, national aeroclubs)

• Hosting the annual LAMA Dinner at Sebring (the largest gather of LSA professionals in the world... 300+ attend)

 

Government: LAMA Represents Industry To Global Governments

• Cooperate with USA Organizations to provide LSA Industry Advocacy

• Separate Advocacy for European LAMA Members interacting with EASA and national CAAs (via LAMAEU director)

• Represent LSA Industry at meetings with FAA, NTSB, EASA, and national CAAs

• Communicating with FAA, NTSB, EASA, national CAAs (they do not know the LSA industry like LAMA does)

 

Media: Lama Helps Reporters Understand Light-Sport Aircraft

• Represent LSA Industry to Media (including frequent interviews for media coverage)

• Act as Spokesman for LSA Industry (media often prefers unbiased organizations to competing companies)

• Assist Media to Understand LSA Concept and to Locate Industry Participants

 

Consumer: Connecting Pilots To New Names And Programs

• Showcase of Industry Products at LSA Malls and other events (concentrated LSA Malls are very popular with visitors)

• LAMA Label (easy-to-understand Proof of Compliance to ASTM Standards)

• Support for airshows featuring LSA aircraft (several are operating in the USA; they regularly seek LAMA support)

 

LAMA Provides Exceptional Values

• LAMA is very efficient with money, operating with a small budget and staff with dedicated, motivated volunteers

• LAMA is the only organization 100% focused on the light aircraft industry

• LAMA works with the industry on the front lines. LAMA knows this industry better than any other organization

• LAMA has a very strong team of professionals to manage the enterprise and to achieve compliance auditing

• LAMA is well recognized in the USA and LAMA-EU will bring similar recognition in Europe

• LAMA has been active since 1982

 

LAMA ACTIONS IN 2009

In one of the toughest years anyone can remember, LAMA served an industry suffering through challenging financial environment. Here are some highlights of last year’s accomplishments.

LAMA achieved a good start on an independent (third-party) Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA) audit program. Four companies completed their audits successfully: Flight Design, Evektor, IndUS, and BRS parachutes.

A dozen more are in various stages of completion.

LAMA commissioned five teams of independent auditors, signing each to a contractual Memorandum of Understanding.

LAMA recruited Jan Fridrich to head LAMA-EU to explain and promote ASTM standards to European government authorities, to represent industry with such state entities, and to offer independent audits for LAMA member companies working toward SLSA qualification.

LAMA formalized audit procedures of ASTM standards compliance and established auditor conflict-of interest rules. (Auditors who are also LSA consultants may not audit companies that have received their consulting services and may not consult with companies they have audited.) LAMA also worked within ASTM’s LSA committee to prepare an ASTM audit standard that guides companies doing their own mandatory annual internal audit. The same standards guide LAMA third party auditing.

LAMA organized LSA malls at Sun ‘n Fun, AirVenture, and AOPA Summit. Every such effort has been a sell-out and visitors to these events love the convenience.

LAMA received official insurance company endorsement for the LAMA audit program from Avemco and Falcon (the two largest suppliers of insurance to LSA pilots).

LAMA presented the 18th annual LAMA President’s Award for individual achievement to EAA editorial director, Mary Jones, who was chosen by leaders of the light aircraft industry.

LAMA also introduced the new Lawrence P. Burke Trophy.

LAMA coordinated with EAA and AOPA in meetings and events.

LAMA established good interaction with FAA and NTSB to assist these large government agencies in understanding the participants in the LSA industry and to bring enhanced communications between industry and government.

As Light-Sport Aircraft continue to grow in popularity, LAMA will remain at the head of this parade to provide services to all participants in this newest and very exciting segment of aviation. LAMA expresses sincere appreciation to many who have assisted this worthy goal including significant sponsorship from the publisher of this magazine.

Light Aviation Edition April 2010

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