Aviation Safety Inspectors Grounded During Government Shutdown

PASS National President Mike Perrone released the following statement regarding the partial government shutdown’s impact on aviation safety.

“Once again Congress has missed funding deadlines for the federal government and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspectors are off the job as of midnight last night. These PASS-represented employees—more than 4,000—are responsible for the oversight, certification and surveillance of the entire American aviation system, including all general aviation and commercial aircraft, pilots and flight instructors, and repair stations both in this country and abroad. Furloughing this critical workforce during the busy holiday travel season is neither in the best interest of the nation’s economy nor the oversight of the U.S. aviation system."

“In addition, the employees we represent in the Air Traffic Organization of the FAA will be on the job during this busy holiday travel season, but not knowing when they will receive a paycheck, causing undue stress on their families.

“While this is not a complete government shutdown as in January, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is one of the critical departments affected. For each day the DOT is closed, aviation safety inspectors at the FAA will not be providing oversight of commercial and general aviation aircraft, pilots, flight instructors, and domestic and foreign repair stations; conducting in-flight cockpit inspections or ramp inspections; overseeing third-party designees performing critical work on behalf of the FAA or air carriers; or issuing new or renewing current certificates.

“Manufacturing inspectors will not be providing production approval and certification, will not be evaluating aviation mechanics, facilities, training programs and equipment, or addressing issues related to manufacturing facilities.

“Modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS) will be stopped in its tracks, with training and progress of initiatives suffering delays and considerable setbacks. Every FAA employee will be impacted by the shutdown, whether it is being forced off the job or continuing to serve the agency and their country without pay.

“Aviation plays a critical role in the nation’s economy and provides invaluable services to the flying public and the military. The aviation system provides $1.5 trillion through the commercial aviation industry and 12 million American jobs. It is crucial that such a major aspect of this country’s economic engine have the necessary financial resources it needs through stable funding for the FAA. We applauded the bi-partisan effort in Congress to pass a five-year reauthorization bill for the FAA. However, that bill cannot be fully implemented if the agency is not funded.

 “The safety of the flying public depends on aviation safety inspectors, and it should never be compromised. PASS calls on members of Congress to work swiftly to end the shutdown and allow all employees at the FAA to get back to work to ensure the safety of America’s aviation system.”

For more information, contact Communications Director Liz Doherty

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