PASS Reacts to Closure of McCarran Air Traffic Control Tower

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) issued the following statement today regarding the situation at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport last night:

Upon learning that an air traffic controller tested positive for COVID-19 at McCarran International Airport, PASS is alarmed that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) technical operations employees the union represents were not immediately informed about the test results so they could take proper precautions. They found out about the exposure after the tower at McCarran was evacuated. PASS is not the employee representative of the air traffic controllers.

The health and safety of FAA employees is a top priority for PASS and the union wishes a speedy recovery for the impacted controller and his or her family.

Just yesterday, PASS cautioned that the COVID-19 outbreak at Midway International Airport was not going to be an isolated incident and urged FAA leadership to set a gold standard with its response to the Midway situation for other airports to follow.

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PASS Statement on Midway Airport

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) issued the following statement today regarding the situation at Chicago’s Midway International Airport:

The number one priority for PASS is the safety and well-being of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees we represent at Midway and around the country. Two technicians have tested positive for COVID-19 and three others are awaiting test results. Our thoughts are with them and their families at this challenging time.

Our representatives on the ground are cooperating fully with the Chicago and State of Illinois health departments and providing information as necessary to keep the disease from spreading locally.

We have been assured by the FAA that the facility is being cleaned and disinfected to the highest medical standards, even surpassing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Once that has been completed and thoroughly inspected with the assistance of PASS safety representatives, the FAA employees will return to the facility to ensure that the air traffic control equipment is running and functioning optimally for when full flight operations have resumed.

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FAA Employee Union Faults Agency For Inadequate COVID-19 Response

Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) expressed strong disappointment in the way the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prepared employees and, the agency itself, to cope with the coronavirus outbreak that has only spread in recent weeks and shows no sign of ending.

PASS represents 11,000 employees at the FAA and the Department of Defense, with the bulk of those employees at the FAA.

“The employees we represent are rightfully concerned about this global pandemic,” said National President Mike Perrone. “Many work at airports, others physically inspect planes and interact with flight crews. Yet the responses from the FAA and Department of Transportation to their concerns have been woefully inadequate.”

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PASS Welcomes House Committee Investigations into Boeing 737 MAX Accidents

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), welcomed the preliminary findings of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the two crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2018 and 2019. The union represents 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, and inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries.
The preliminary findings, titled “The Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft: Costs, Consequences, and Lessons from its Design, Development, and Certification,” were released on Friday.
“PASS, and the employees we represent, have been cooperating with the committee’s investigators and will continue to do so until all the factors contributing to the tragic accidents have been uncovered,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone. “We thank Committee Chair Peter DeFazio and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen for their leadership on this important issue,” he continued.

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PASS on Release of Boeing 737 Max Emails

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) issued the following statement today regarding the Boeing emails released to congressional investigators:

The dedicated men and women PASS represents at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are committed public servants who work on behalf of the American public to ensure the highest standards of aviation safety. They take their jobs seriously and are acutely aware that lives are at stake if they don’t.

It was disheartening to read the internal Boeing emails released to congressional investigators, some of which were to and from FAA employees. The aviation safety inspectors PASS represents in both the Flight Standards Service and Aircraft Certification division at the agency are highly skilled and trained. Many are military veterans and pilots themselves. They maintain the utmost professionalism in their dealings with Boeing and other industry stakeholders with whom they interact.

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PASS Applauds Introduction of Bill to Strengthen Aircraft Safety and Protect the Flying Public

The leader of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS)—representing 11,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees—today welcomed the introduction of the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act in the House of Representatives. The bill was introduced by Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The bill would protect the country’s ability to inspect FAA-certificated foreign repair stations that service U.S.-based aircraft. “Aircraft maintenance should be held to the same standard whether an aircraft is inspected abroad or in the United States,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone. “The aviation safety inspectors we represent at the FAA are tasked with ensuring that all repair stations comply with U.S. safety regulations,” he continued. “However, the agency currently lacks the funding and personnel to adequately conduct robust inspections.”

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