FAA Management Paying Employees to Stay Home Rather Than Perform Safety-Critical Work

SAN ANTONIO, TX - This week, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), which represents aviation safety inspectors, discovered that inspectors have been ordered to stay at home with full pay rather than perform their safety-related jobs. Essentially, management decided it was better for these employees, who are responsible for ensuring aviation safety, to stay at home at the expense of taxpayers rather than protect the flying public.

Management in the San Antonio Flight Standards District Office refused to permit an inspector to report to work while his management attended a meeting in Washington, D.C. He was informed that without proper "babysitting," management did not want him in the office. As a result, the safety inspector is currently spending the week at home with pay.

This type of mismanagement is specifically disturbing since inspectors are a highly trained and specialized professional workforce with a corresponding high salary. "This action is just another example of wasting taxpayers' money as the FAA has arbitrarily decided to take this inspector out of public service," said Frank Gentile, the PASS Southwest region representative. Management's only response to PASS regarding this action is that they are uncomfortable with this inspector being unsupervised. This is a particularly remarkable pronouncement considering all principal inspectors work in an environment with tremendous autonomy and accomplish job functions independent of direct supervision.

"This is plain and simple mismanagement," added Gentile. "And, unfortunately, the loser here is the flying American public." Considering last year's revelation that the FAA had failed to adequately oversee Southwest Airlines and recent reports that the FAA is allowing maintenance facilities in San Antonio to hire foreign workers at lower wages to perform many safety-related functions, the situation is especially alarming. "Aviation safety inspectors are the only people trained and able to perform specific safety-related functions. It is imperative that they be allowed to perform their work and satisfy their obligations to the flying American public."

For more information or questions, please contact Kori Blalock Keller at (202) 293-7277 x110.


For 36 years, PASS has represented 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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