FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jenifer McCormick
FAA Avoids Critical Safety Issues in Repair Station Rulemaking
Washington, D.C. – TTD filed comments concerning the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed rules governing the safety and security of aircraft repair stations. Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD), AFL-CIO, issued the following statement:
“The FAA is abdicating its responsibility to hold foreign and domestic contract repair stations to the highest level of safety, security and oversight. We are shocked that the FAA would issue proposed revisions to its aircraft maintenance rules and not address significant safety loopholes raised by unions and the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General.
“A huge volume of aircraft maintenance and repair work is getting outsourced, including to stations not even certified by the FAA and the agency is turning a blind eye to issues that jeopardize safety and security.
“The FAA does not require foreign repair stations working on U.S. aircraft to perform drug and alcohol testing on their employees as is required in the U.S. In addition, mechanic certification requirements do not apply overseas as they do domestically and foreign stations are not inspected at nearly the same level as carriers’ own maintenance facilities. Risk-based analysis – what amounts to pointing to data on a computer screen – isn’t adequate. Safety inspections must be an in-person, up-close look at facilities where problems are cited and corrected.
“Perhaps the most egregious inaction is that post-9/11, the FAA and TSA have ignored Congressional mandates to write new security rules and conduct audits of foreign repair stations. This is a real security problem that needs to be addressed immediately.”
More than 50 percent of aircraft repair and maintenance work is performed by contract repair stations, according to a 2005 Department of Transportation Inspector General report. Despite growth in the aviation industry and a 345 percent increase of foreign repair stations since 1988, the number of FAA inspectors has not kept pace.
TTD’s full written comments on the proposed rulemaking are available at www.ttd.org.
TTD represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries.