Beyond mechanics: the strategic side of aircraft maintenance
With theoretical and practical knowledge of aviation, Luis Minaya skillfully oversees aircraft maintenance processes for LATAM in Peru
Planes go through several processes before takeoff. One of the most basic is aircraft handling, something that an aeronautical engineer like Luis Minaya is very familiar with. It was his first job in the backstage of aviation. When he started to work at the LATAM hangar, five years ago, he was a production maintenance supervisor: a professional that has technical knowledge and the right tools and gets their hands dirty to guarantee a pleasurable, safe flight.
Born in Lima, Minaya took an interest in planes at an early age. He used to do small repairs every once in a while. After finishing high school, he chose to study the two universes, combining mechanics and aeronautics. It was the beginning of a career that has spanned 15 years so far. 'I like to be in contact with planes, perform maintenance procedures, handle aircraft,' he says.
Since last May, however, his job has been less physically demanding and a little more strategic: Minaya has become the head of station maintenance for LATAM. Now his job consists of managing aircraft that takeoff from different states in Peru. And he can do it from his office, where he can see the airplanes arriving for maintenance, as well as in meetings outside of Lima.
Nevertheless, accuracy and expertise remain essential to the position: 'good communication skills, responsibility, and ability to work in a team' are characteristics that stand out. With all these qualities, as well as the spirit of a leader, he frequently travels to Cusco, Arequipa, Iquitos, and other cities to meet with different teams, offer support, and manage the maintenance tools.
In addition to all this, he’s also a private pilot and flies as a hobby. Just like fishing and soccer, flying is one of his favorite activities. 'I find freedom when I’m flying,” he affirms. “You can see beautiful landscapes that make you relax and keep you fascinated throughout the flight.'