- Published: July 18, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, Ray Baggett, regional vice president of the Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS, AFL-CIO), the union that represents FAA technicians, issued the following statement welcoming Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to Los Angeles Airport and in reaction to the persistent outages that have occurred there over the course of the last month:
"We welcome Senator Boxer's fact-finding visit to LAX today to investigate the string of system failures plaguing our airports. We hope one of the topics she addresses with the FAA is the issue of technical workforce staffing levels.
"The FAA has allowed the number of system technicians to drop below its own minimum standard nationwide. As illustrated through recent events, FAA technicians, many of who are responsible for multiple facilities in multiple locations, are stretched too thin. These specialists are increasingly denied the time necessary for adequate inspection and monitoring of systems to identify and correct problems before malfunctions occur. Inadequate staffing is resulting in more outages, longer recovery times, mounting delays for air travelers and a decreased safety margin.
"We hope Senator Boxer will urge the FAA to comply with its own minimum staffing level requirement so that technical specialists are on-hand to respond to outages and keep critical air traffic control systems in proper working order at LAX and around the country. It is a matter of safety."
PASS represents more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures and perform quality analyses of the aviation systems. For more information, visit the PASS website at www.passnational.org.