The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on April 25 presented Alaska Airlines a Diamond Award with the distinction of Special Recognition, recognizing the airline's training program for maintenance technicians. This is the fifth consecutive Diamond Award for Alaska and the second award given with Special Recognition for the airline having 100 percent of its eligible employees participate in its Aviation Maintenance Technician Awards program.

"This year's Diamond Award is a special honor for our Maintenance and Engineering Division and our employees' technical expertise," said Fred Mohr, Alaska's vice president of maintenance and engineering. "The award reflects our deep commitment to our people and to having the highest standards for technical excellence."

During the awards ceremony at the Alaska Airlines Seattle hangar, the FAA honored a total of 758 Alaska aircraft technicians and managers with Aviation Maintenance Technician Awards. Together, the recipients completed 56,665 hours of initial and recurrent training during 2005. Among those recognized, lead line aircraft technician Thomas Thomson was presented with an individual Diamond Award for completing more than 100 hours of training in 2005.

The FAA also presented Alaska Airlines maintenance inspector Tada Yotsuuye with the 2005 FAA Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award, which recognizes the lifetime contributions of certificated mechanics. At 78, Yotsuuye is a 40-year veteran of Alaska Airlines and the airline's most senior maintenance employee. His name will be placed in the Role of Honor at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Aviation Maintenance Technicians Awards program began in 1991. Its purpose is to provide incentives for aviation maintenance technicians to participate actively in initial and recurrent training programs, either on their own or in programs subsidized by their employer.