Dave Spero, national president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), issued the following statement on the impending retirement of Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.):
“As chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. DeFazio has long recognized the importance of frontline employees working to secure the world’s largest, safest and most complex air traffic control system. His support of the dedicated public servants PASS represents at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense (DoD) has been unwavering.
“In fact, he was one of our key allies in the fight against privatizing that system, a misguided scheme that would turn it over to a corporate entity.
“Rep. DeFazio leaves office with an incredible accomplishment: the infrastructure bill that was signed last month, a once in a generation investment in the nation’s aiports, seaports, roads and bridges. The influx of funds throughout the transportation sector will have a substantial and lasting impact on all Americans and the $25 billion provided for airports and air traffic control facilities will be critical for our workforce.
“He was tireless in his efforts to secure much needed staffing, funding and resources for the FAA. His efforts to secure passage of the Aviation Funding Stability Act, which would protect FAA programs and personnel from future government shutdowns, will benefit all Americans who depend on the aviation system, not just our workforce.
“The entire transportation industry is losing a fierce advocate and will always be grateful for his leadership.
“On behalf of the 11,000 employees PASS represents at the FAA and DoD, I want to thank Rep. DeFazio for his decades of service to the nation and wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement.