Machinists Demand FAA Oversight of Overseas Aircraft Repair Stations

WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) General Vice President Robert Roach ,Jr., today testified before the United States Senate Commerce, Science andTransportation Committee Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security regarding the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) oversight of overseas aircraft repair stations.

"Airlines are utilizing these facilities to take advantage of low wages and lax regulations while there are many U.S. repair facilities available, including the state-of-the-art Indianapolis facility abandoned by United Airlines," said Roach. "Cutting back on food, pillows and other in-flight amenities is a business decision that only inconveniences passengers, but cutting costs in aircraft maintenance has serious safety implications."

The IAM's testimony focused on the lack of FAA oversight of independent repair stations, the shortage of FAA inspectors and the disparity inregulations for workers in domestic and foreign aircraft repair stations.

"Our members have seen aircraft return from independent repair facilities with the flaps rigged improperly, engine fan blades installed backwards, improperly connected ducting that resulted in pressurization problems, airspeed indicator lines disconnected, inoperable thrust reversers and over-wing exit emergency slides deactivated," said Roach. "These aircraft had all been deemed airworthy by the repair stations."

"There should be one standard for safety, security and FAA oversight at all aircraft repair facilities that perform work on U.S. aircraft, regardless of where those facilities are located," said Roach. "This must include equivalent standards for criminal background checks, drug and alcohol testing and security at repair facilities."

The Machinists Union was the only airline employee union testifying at today's hearing.

The IAM is the largest airline union in North America representing employees in almost every classification, including Mechanic & Related, Flight Attendant, Fleet Service, Customer Service and Reservation Agent. The IAM'scomplete testimony is available at

SOURCE International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

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