PASS to Congress: FAA Neglecting Air Traffic Control Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tom Brantley, national president of the Professional Airways Systems Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), warned members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Aviation, today that the FAA is neglecting the buildings and facilities that accommodate critical National Airspace System (NAS) equipment and the employees who operate and maintain those systems.

Brantley expressed concern over technicians in the field reporting instances in which employees fell through rotting floors and fell off unstable stairways. In addition, exposure to mold and asbestos is a serious issue at numerous facilities that has the potential to impact the health of employees for years to come. Many reports around the country also cite severe rodent infestations. “The FAA is often touting its safety record; however, when it comes to its own employees, safety appears to be low on its priority list,” said Brantley. “It is deplorable that the FAA would knowingly subject its employees to such heinous working conditions.”

During his testimony, Brantley called into question the FAA’s ambivalence over the severity and scope of the problems. “Why would the FAA allow these buildings and facilities to deteriorate so badly?” questioned Brantley. “These facilities are critical to safe and efficient air travel. The FAA cannot continue to deny the importance of these facilities and employees by ignoring the infrastructure problems plaguing the NAS.”

Even more troubling to PASS is that the FAA’s modernization plan seeks to spend billions upgrading systems and equipment housed within these deteriorating facilities. “Why would the FAA continue with a modernization plan that often includes placing new systems and equipment into facilities that are unacceptable for those systems and unsafe for the employees who use and maintain those systems?” asked Brantley.

“The FAA must immediately analyze all information regarding its most critical infrastructure problems and request the resources to fix them,” continued Brantley. “This includes beginning to listen to the people who are the true experts on the state of the NAS and its infrastructure – the employees who operate and maintain it.”

The complete testimony is available at http://www.passnational.org/.

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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 http://www.passnational.org/.

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