PASS Statement on the NOTAM Outage Issue

Today, Dave Spero, National President of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), released the following statement on the outage issue at the FAA:

The widespread outage that began yesterday and led to the ground stop ordered this morning did not directly involve the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees represented by PASS. However, the underlying issues with antiquated and outdated systems at the FAA stretch across the agency and can have a dramatic impact on the National Airspace System (NAS), as we saw today.

This further highlights the need to ensure that the equipment and technology are maintained by those who have the knowledge, resources or skills to work on systems that are so tightly woven into the efficiency and safety of the NAS. It is PASS’s position that while the government should be good partners with contractors, the nation’s air traffic control system is an inherently governmental function which should come under the purview of the highly skilled and trained technicians such as those we represent.

Lack of funding for the FAA has been a consistent source of frustration for our members as they know what resources they need to maintain the largest, safest and most complex system in the world. In addition to securing additional FAA funding in the omnibus bill signed last month, PASS has been working closely with Congress and the agency to develop a realistic workforce plan for our technicians in the Air Traffic Organization. Having the right number of federal workers with the best training and resources to oversee these complicated systems is the best way to prevent such an outage from occurring in the future.

Contact Liz Doherty, PASS Communications Director

Since 1977, 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

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