OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT CONFIRMS ALARMING INCREASE IN OUTSOURCED AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE, REPAIR

Oversight of Non-Certificated Repair Stations Called Into Question

WASHINGTON, DC— Professional Airways Systems Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the union that represents FAA safety inspectors, today reacted to a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) confirming a steep rise in aircraft repair and maintenance being performed at non-certificated facilities.

According to the report, the FAA claimed that non-certificated repair facilities, which operate with virtually no FAA oversight, were only performing minimal repair and emergency services. However, the OIG found that these repair stations were performing scheduled and regular repair services, which are normally limited to certificated repair facilities because of the oversight given by the FAA. “How can the FAA provide adequate oversight of the airline industry when it is completely oblivious as to the operations at these repair facilities? The FAA needs to open its eyes to the work performed at these facilities and provide adequate FAA inspector oversight,” said PASS National President Tom Brantley

Currently, non-certificated repair facilities are not subject to the same safeguards and quality controls as certificated facilities. “We have been concerned about this for years and the potential threat to aviation safety,” said Brantley. “In an industry where over 50 percent of air carriers are outsourcing critical maintenance and repair of aircraft, it is imperative that the FAA know exactly what is going on in all domestic and foreign repair facilities. We hope that the FAA recognizes and addresses the major deficiencies pinpointed by the OIG to ensure that the safety of the American flying public is never jeopardized.”

PASS was pleased to see Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), Ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, request that the OIG conduct the study. “Representative Oberstar continues to serve as a tireless advocate for air safety and we can only hope this report will cause other members of Congress to take note and force the FAA to close these loopholes that threaten the safety of the flying public.”

The full report is available at http://www.oig.dot.gov/item.jsp?id=1729.


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PASS represents more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures and perform quality analyses of the aviation systems. For more information, visit the PASS website at www.passnational.org.

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