PASS Highlights Safety Concerns at Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO, the union that represents more than 11,000 FAA employees, including aviation safety inspectors, participated in the 2008 Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Summit. The summit, which was hosted by the Business Travel Coalition and International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was an opportunity for several members of the aviation community to come together and discuss the outsourcing practices of the U.S. airline industry and the increased use of foreign repair stations. PASS Regional Vice President Linda Goodrich served as a panel member and highlighted several areas of concern regarding FAA oversight of outsourced maintenance.

Her remarks follow:

“More and more major air carriers are outsourcing critical maintenance work to non-certificated domestic and overseas facilities, which are not subject to the same level of oversight, scrutiny and inspections as certificated repair stations. PASS and the inspector workforce we represent have serious safety concerns regarding this escalating trend and the FAA’s ability to oversee the outsourced work.

“While the FAA is outsourcing much of its oversight to the airlines, it is allowing its inspector workforce to shrink through attrition. Currently, 50 percent of inspectors will be eligible to retire over the next several years. The FAA has done nothing to address the staffing situation and is ignoring industry expert’s warnings that an increased inspector workforce is crucial to maintain adequate oversight of the airline industry. PASS has repeatedly warned the FAA that it must take steps to significantly boost its inspector workforce to meet the demands of the aviation industry. Instead, the FAA is choosing to cut back on federal government oversight, promoting self regulation of the industry. In keeping with this failed logic, the FAA neglected to include funding to hire additional inspectors in its FY 2009 budget request.

“The House version of the FAA reauthorization bill (H.R. 2881) contains a number of provisions to address PASS’s concerns regarding contract maintenance, including oversight of foreign repair stations, inspector staffing and the use of non-certificated repair facilities. This legislation is critical to the safety of the flying public, and we are hopeful that it will be enacted so that we can continue to defend this country’s reputation as having the safest aviation system in the world.”

For more information or questions, please contact Kori Blalock Keller at (202) 293-7277 x110.

###

 

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.

Members News