On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and the hundreds of thousands of aviation and related workers represented by our affiliated unions, I write to urge you to support the FAA Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2881) when it is considered today. While we shared our specific concerns related to amendments to this bill earlier this week, I wanted to reiterate our unequivocal support for the underlying bill and the manager’s amendment.
This bill, and the changes incorporated in the manager’s amendment, address long-overdue safety priorities. Specifically, we are pleased that the manager’s amendment includes basic workplace safety protections for flight attendants. It also enables the FAA to bring fire and rescue standards at airports up to par with national consensus industry standards. This is a major step forward for life safety and rescue operations at airports. The bill includes important runway incursion reduction provisions, robust staffing of critical FAA safety positions, mandatory inspections of foreign aircraft repair stations and requirements to improve safety at contract repair facilities. Several significant studies are also included to better understand the effects of flight crew fatigue, cabin air quality and temperature, and staffing models at the FAA.
Additionally, H.R. 2881 fixes a broken collective bargaining system at the FAA and promotes fairness in union organizing for ground package delivery workers. The legislation also sets in motion a reasonable plan for modernizing our air traffic system and expanding capacity at both our airports and in our skies. Enhanced federal investment is critical to maintaining the safety of our aviation system, growing capacity and expanding the capability of our aviation network. Furthermore, the bill reaffirms U.S. laws pertaining to ownership and control of U.S. airlines – a position that transportation labor has long argued is essential to our domestic aviation industry and airline workers.
The U.S. aviation system is a cornerstone of the global transportation network and H.R. 2881 is critical to improving the safety and efficiency of that system. We urge you to support final passage of the bill and reject any motion that would prevent this important legislation from moving forward expeditiously.