April 25, 2008
Senate Must Pass Improvements for an FAA in Turmoil
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following statement was offered by Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, concerning the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill:
"Now that Senators Rockefeller and Baucus have reached an agreement on how to fund aviation modernization and improvements, it is now up to the full Senate to advance a badly needed FAA bill.
"It's no secret to the flying public that the FAA is in chaos. Passengers are delayed and sitting on tarmacs for hours. Thousands of flights were grounded just this month due to the FAA's own failure to provide safety oversight. A wave of mergers will reshape this industry like never before. Reports of safety inspectors being silenced and a cover-up involving misreported air traffic control errors reveal an FAA culture of mismanagement.
"Congress must step in and address important safety, security and labor issues that have been left unresolved for too long. Restoring collective bargaining at the FAA, ensuring one standard of aircraft repair whether done in-house or at foreign repair stations, providing health and safety protections to flight attendants, increased staffing for air traffic control and safety inspectors, updating firefighting standards at airports, and addressing flight crew fatigue are critical issues that can't wait.
"It's up to the full Senate to advance a bill that corrects misguided policies and demands accountability from this floundering agency. Aviation workers and the traveling public deserve nothing less."
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.