PASS Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, PASS celebrates its 35th anniversary! Thirty-five years ago, more than 50 FAA Airway Facilities (AF) technicians gathered in Chicago and PASS was created.

Over the past 35 years, PASS has grown and changed-enjoying victories and facing challenges, experiencing good times and battling difficult moments-but the solidarity that first went into the union's inception is just as strong today as it was in 1977.

Meeting in Chicago in 1977, the original PASS delegates were ready to vote on the first PASS Constitution after only three days. A little over a month later, 586 new members had joined the union and Chicago O'Hare became the first local to receive a PASS charter. By the end of 1977, 27 locals were chartered and PASS represented 1,200 members. In 1978, PASS organized a nationwide "show-of-interest" campaign as the union prepared to challenge the National Association of Government Employees/Federal Aviation Science and Technological Association (NAGE/FASTA) in an open election for exclusive representation of the bargaining unit. PASS won the election in 1981 by a four-to-one margin. In 1983, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) officially notified PASS that union consolidation was complete and that all segments of the AF bargaining unit were now unified with PASS as their exclusive representative.

PASS soon opened its doors to other bargaining units. In 1985, the Office of Aviation Standards (AVN) became the second PASS bargaining unit. In 1987, PASS acquired its first Department of Defense bargaining unit when the union unanimously prevailed in an election for exclusive representation of the systems specialists at the United States Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, N.C. In 1991, the second largest PASS bargaining unit, Flight Standards (FS), voted in favor of joining the union and, by September 15, nearly 300 FS employees had joined PASS. In 2000, employees in the Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) bargaining unit joined PASS.

"Happy anniversary not only to PASS but to all the members who have made the union a success over the years," said PASS National President Tom Brantley. "I know there is much more to come as PASS continues its journey."

Over the years, PASS has maintained a concentrated focus on ensuring the very best for all represented bargaining unit employees. From defending and promoting the union on Capitol Hill to filing grievances and working to get the best for employees in the workplace, PASS will always be committed to the members. As the union enters a new segment of its history, all members are encouraged to continue participating in union activities, working to help the union grow and maintaining the spirit of solidarity that is at the heart of PASS.

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

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