WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19) today introduced the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act. This bipartisan legislation establishes a global safety standard for American aircraft repairs and removes the incentive to offshore aircraft maintenance jobs. Rep. Molinaro introduced this bill alongside U.S. Reps. Julie Brownley (D-CA-26), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11), John Garamendi (D-CA-8) and 22 other Members of Congress.
There are nearly one thousand Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified maintenance and repair stations operating outside the United States. These stations service American aircraft, but operate at a far lower safety standard than their American-based counterparts, incentivizing businesses to move these jobs overseas.
Rep. Molinaro’s legislation requires minimum certification standards for mechanics and technicians, security checks of workers and facilities, annual unannounced FAA inspections, and drug and alcohol tests.
Rep. Molinaro said, “The FAA has certified nearly one thousand foreign maintenance facilities that service American aircraft. These foreign based facilities, however, are held to a lower safety standard, offshoring jobs that can be done in America. My bill establishes a global safety standard for maintenance facilities so the highest level of aircraft safety standards are upheld and removes the incentive to move maintenance jobs overseas. We can enhance safety and encourage quality high paying jobs here at home.”
Rep. Brownley said, “The U.S. has the safest air transportation system in the world, due to our rigorous standards for safety at all levels. It is past time that we close loopholes that allow foreign repair stations to undermine our safety standards. I am pleased to co-author this important legislation with Congressman Molinaro, Congressman Garamendi, and Congressman Malliotakis, which will ensure that aircraft maintenance that has been outsourced to foreign counties must comply with the same safety standards as U.S. aircraft maintenance facilities.”
Sean O’Brien, President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters General said, “The Teamsters Union strongly commends this effort to address the scourge of unsafe, outsourced aircraft maintenance. By putting an end to the two-tiered safety system, we can ensure that the planes we fly on are properly maintained and remove the incentives for airlines to endanger the flying public by sending work overseas. The passage of this legislation, alongside quality training efforts like the labor-management designed Calibrate program at United Airlines, will guarantee a bright future for union-represented technicians, the aircraft maintenance industry and aviation safety.”
John Samuelsen, President of the Transportation Workers Union International said, “The double standard found in overseas aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul work is the dirty little secret of U.S. air carriers. While these facilities outside the U.S. are FAA certified, the mechanics who work in them and the facilities themselves are not held to the same standards as their U.S. counterparts. This unlevel playing field encourages U.S. air carriers to offshore aircraft maintenance work, putting passenger and air crew safety at risk. The Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act is much-needed legislation that would close these gaps, increase the safety of our airspace, and return good jobs to the U.S.”
Richie Johnsen, Vice President for the International Association of Machinists said, “The traveling public deserves to know that commercial aircraft maintenance is done under the strictest standards possible. “As the largest air transport labor union in North America, we commend Congressman Molinaro for introducing the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act. The IAM will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul is performed by the best aircraft mechanics in the world under a standardized set of rules for U.S. carriers.”
Greg Regan, President of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department said, “For 20 years, we’ve called for greater FAA oversight of foreign repair stations where U.S. aircraft undergo maintenance. It’s simple: foreign repair stations should be held to the same safety standards as our domestic repair stations. We applaud Reps. Molinaro, Brownley, Malliotakis, and Garamendi for introducing this legislation to implement long overdue safety reforms.”