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More Rigorous Oversight Needed to Ensure Safety of Outsourced Aircraft Repairs

By Admin

WASHINGTON, DC—In comments submitted to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed rulemaking, TTD agreed with the agency that “deficiencies” exist with safety and oversight of contract aircraft repair stations and that new rules are needed to address this problem.

However, TTD still believes more needs to be done. If maintenance work is going to be outsourced, especially the most comprehensive “covered work,” it should be done at a certified Part 145 repair station.

“As the FAA correctly points out, our nation’s air carriers now contract out a full 70 percent of their maintenance,” said President Edward Wytkind. “How can anyone argue that outsourced work, much of it performed overseas, does not need to meet the same safety standards as in-house maintenance, or that employees do not need the same level of training and oversight?”

While TTD supports the overall increased oversight of these stations sought by the FAA, the proposal still falls short. For example, it should require an air carrier representative to be physically present to observe the work being performed.

“As we have watched maintenance outsourcing increase steadily over the past few years, there is no reason to believe this trend will not continue or that more deficiencies won’t be found. Congress and this administration have spoken on this issue — more rigorous oversight is needed,” said Wytkind.

TTD’s 31 affiliated unions include the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU), both of which represent mechanics, as well as the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) union, which represents FAA inspectors.


The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 31 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, motor carrier, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit us at or on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:  Jennifer Michels,, 202.628.9262, (m) 703.395-2195

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