PASS Praises House Passage of FAA Reauthorization Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) AFL-CIO, the union that represents FAA systems specialists and inspectors, applauded the House of Representatives today for passing critical legislation, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R. 2881), by a vote of 267 to 151. “H.R. 2881 is a pivotal piece of legislation to PASS and the aviation community,” said PASS President Tom Brantley. “We are pleased to see that lawmakers overwhelmingly recognized many of PASS’s issues and fought for their passage,” said PASS President Tom Brantley.

The House-passed legislation includes binding arbitration language for contract disputes, providing for a fair collective bargaining process between the FAA and its unions. “The House was vigilant in its efforts to improve the negotiating process,” said Brantley. “By passing a bill that creates a fair collective bargaining process, House lawmakers have sent a clear message to the FAA that it cannot unilaterally impose working conditions on its employees.”



Language was also included directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study of systems specialist training and the National Academy of Sciences to examine the staffing needs of the workforce. “We commend House lawmakers for recognizing the men and women who maintain, install and certify the air traffic control system, a workforce fundamental to the future of the FAA,” said Brantley.
Lawmakers also passed language requiring that foreign repair stations be inspected at least twice a year by FAA inspectors and demanding that foreign repair stations be held to the same standards as those in the United States by mandating drug and alcohol testing. “Using a different set of standards for foreign authorities working on U.S. carriers is senselessly endangering the lives of the American flying public,” said Brantley.

In addition, the House bill calls for the FAA to issue regulations, within three years after enactment, requiring that air carrier maintenance (substantial, regularly scheduled or required inspection items) only be performed by a certificated facility. “This language will greatly improve the oversight of air carrier maintenance,” said Brantley. The bill would also require that the FAA hire additional inspectors to meet the growing needs of the industry.
 
“Today, House lawmakers passed legislation that is critical to maintaining the safety of the flying public,” said Brantley. “We applaud the leadership of Chairman Oberstar and Subcommittee Chairman Costello on this significant legislation and are appreciative of lawmakers’ swift actions in ensuring its passage. The actions of the House today will continue to protect this country's reputation as having the safest aviation system in the world; for that, we are all grateful.”

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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 www.passnational.org.

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