- 07 Apr
Several technicians represented by the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) union tested positive for the coronavirus at the first affected facility—the tower at Chicago Midway International Airport—announced by the FAA on March 17.
“Like all public servants, we’re still on the job during this national emergency, ensuring that critical medical personnel and cargo are reaching their destinations even as commercial air traffic has been drastically reduced,” said PASS national president Mike Perrone. “Like employees at many federal agencies, however, our members received inconsistent and sometimes contradictory information as this crisis unfolded from the [Trump] administration and the Office of Personnel Management and for us, from the Department of Transportation and the FAA,” Perrone added.
The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) issued the following statement today regarding the situation at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport last night:
Upon learning that an air traffic controller tested positive for COVID-19 at McCarran International Airport, PASS is alarmed that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) technical operations employees the union represents were not immediately informed about the test results so they could take proper precautions. They found out about the exposure after the tower at McCarran was evacuated. PASS is not the employee representative of the air traffic controllers.
The health and safety of FAA employees is a top priority for PASS and the union wishes a speedy recovery for the impacted controller and his or her family.
Just yesterday, PASS cautioned that the COVID-19 outbreak at Midway International Airport was not going to be an isolated incident and urged FAA leadership to set a gold standard with its response to the Midway situation for other airports to follow.
The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) issued the following statement today regarding the situation at Chicago’s Midway International Airport:
The number one priority for PASS is the safety and well-being of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees we represent at Midway and around the country. Two technicians have tested positive for COVID-19 and three others are awaiting test results. Our thoughts are with them and their families at this challenging time.
Our representatives on the ground are cooperating fully with the Chicago and State of Illinois health departments and providing information as necessary to keep the disease from spreading locally.
We have been assured by the FAA that the facility is being cleaned and disinfected to the highest medical standards, even surpassing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Once that has been completed and thoroughly inspected with the assistance of PASS safety representatives, the FAA employees will return to the facility to ensure that the air traffic control equipment is running and functioning optimally for when full flight operations have resumed.
Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) expressed strong disappointment in the way the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prepared employees and, the agency itself, to cope with the coronavirus outbreak that has only spread in recent weeks and shows no sign of ending.
PASS represents 11,000 employees at the FAA and the Department of Defense, with the bulk of those employees at the FAA.
“The employees we represent are rightfully concerned about this global pandemic,” said National President Mike Perrone. “Many work at airports, others physically inspect planes and interact with flight crews. Yet the responses from the FAA and Department of Transportation to their concerns have been woefully inadequate.”
The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), welcomed the preliminary findings of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the two crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2018 and 2019. The union represents 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, and inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries.
The preliminary findings, titled “The Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft: Costs, Consequences, and Lessons from its Design, Development, and Certification,” were released on Friday.
“PASS, and the employees we represent, have been cooperating with the committee’s investigators and will continue to do so until all the factors contributing to the tragic accidents have been uncovered,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone. “We thank Committee Chair Peter DeFazio and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen for their leadership on this important issue,” he continued.