A4A/SAE Better Way Award Honors Innovative Aircraft Component Inspection Process Development

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2016 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, and SAE International, the ultimate knowledge source for mobility engineering, jointly presented the 14th annual “Better Way Award” at the recent Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Forum to a team comprising members from Pratt and Whitney Canada (PWC) and Vibrant Corporation for furthering the science and efficacy of nondestructive testing.

Working in close partnership, Pratt and Whitney Canada and Vibrant Corporation have found a “Better Way” to test newly manufactured aerospace components. The team developed and implemented novel applications of NDT processes that have reduced field failures, reduced testing costs, and helped to improve manufacturing processes. In order to reach this goal, extensive technical validation of efficacy was required, new standards had to be developed, and acceptance of a new method had to be achieved.

Members of the 2016 “Better Way Award” team include David Craig, Francesco Finzi-Contini, Josee Caya, Peter A Boyd, Daniel Gagnon, Daniel Girard and Albert G Whitty of PWC, and Greg Weaver, Leanne Jauriqui, Eric Biedermann and Tom Williams of Vibrant.

“A4A congratulates this year’s winning team for their innovative approach toward improving the aircraft inspection process, while further strengthening the U.S. airline industry’s world-class aviation safety record,” said Billy Nolen, A4A Senior Vice President, Safety, Security and Operations. “Working in partnership, this team of industry leaders reflects our commitment to utilizing the latest cutting-edge technology and innovation through all phases of flight to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience for the 2.2 million customers who fly on U.S. airlines every day.”

The A4A NDT Forum is marking its 59th year at a four-day conference held in San Diego, CA, where industry leaders are meeting to discuss current trends, issues and successes in NDT methodologies. The event features a number of presentations on achievements and lessons learned about technologies that help ensure the life and safety of aircraft structures by detecting defects well before they can be seen or cause a failure. This year’s topics showcase methodologies associated with composite structures, additive manufacturing and new repair methods for older aircraft models.


Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.

A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

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