WASHINGTON -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Jan. 12, 2006 -- The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) applauded yesterday's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ruling that on April 10, 2006 will extend drug and alcohol testing to every employee of outsourced aircraft repair shops in the United States. For more than a decade, the FAA testing program has been mandatory for aircraft technicians directly employed by U.S. airlines.
AMFA called on the FAA to close another safety gap by extending the program to cover repair shops outside of the U.S. as well. The FAA has responsibility for overseeing work performed on U.S. commercial aircraft anywhere in the world, but has been repeatedly criticized in reports from the Department of Transportation's Inspector General for poor oversight of outsourced repair shops in the U.S. and abroad.
"In the post-9/11 era, it's shocking that the planes Americans fly on are increasingly being worked on by individuals whose backgrounds have never been checked, and who have not been tested for drug and alcohol abuse," said AMFA National Director O.V. Delle-Femine. "AMFA provided commentary urging the FAA to extend the testing program to repair shops. We're glad the FAA has taken this important additional step to help protect air passengers, flight crews and all of us who work in, on and around planes. Now the FAA needs to extend the testing to non-U.S. repair stations."
AMFA's craft union is the largest labor organization in the airline industry representing aircraft maintenance technicians and related support personnel with over 18,000 members at carriers including Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, ATA, Independence, Horizon and Mesaba Airlines. AMFA's credo is "Safety in the air begins with Quality Maintenance on the Ground". To learn more about AMFA, visit: www.amfanatl.org.