WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Tom Brantley, national president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the union that represents more than 11,000 employees at the FAA, including technicians and inspectors, released the following statement regarding his testimony today before the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security:
"Reauthorization of the FAA is essential to ensuring that the agency has the ability to provide proper oversight of the aviation industry and guarantee the safe modernization of the air traffic control system. PASS is extremely concerned over some of the changes the FAA has made to its time-tested certification program that prohibits the certification of any system, subsystem or service it does not own. PASS is eager to collaborate with the FAA to modernize the system, but believes legislation is needed in order to ensure that new and current systems are properly maintained and certified by the FAA. In addition, PASS is hopeful that FAA reauthorization legislation will assist in improving labor-management relations at the FAA by repairing the contract negotiations impasse process within the agency, which will help improve productivity and ensure that the FAA has the very best men and women working together to protect the safety of our aviation system.
"PASS is also concerned with the need for increased oversight of the work performed at FAA-certificated foreign repair stations. In order to uphold the highest safety standards at all FAA-certificated facilities, FAA inspectors must be permitted to physically inspect foreign repair stations at least twice a year, regardless of any agreements it enters into with the global community. The FAA has a responsibility to maintain oversight of all aspects of aviation safety, including where and how repair work is performed on U.S. aircraft. The United States has the safest aviation system in the world due to a committed focus on safety. In order to uphold the highest safety standards, FAA inspectors must be permitted to physically inspect foreign repair stations at least twice a year."
The complete testimony is available at www.passnational.org.