June 7, 2018
Contact: Denise Romano, TWU Communications, 202-719-3837
Washington, DC – Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA) and Dan Donovan (R-NY) put aviation passengers, workers and safety first by introducing the Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act of 2018 (H.R. 6028 S. 3026) earlier today.
This commonsense, bipartisan legislation requires public reporting of U.S. airline maintenance practices. The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), which represents thousands of workers who maintain U.S. aircraft, is proud to endorse this bill.
Each year, millions of air travelers that fly U.S. airlines are in the dark about where their plane’s mechanical maintenance was performed – and there’s a strong probability the aircraft they’re flying on was repaired on foreign soil. But overseas aircraft maintenance facilities do not receive the same level of government oversight as those in the U.S., nor is there any guarantee that certified aviation mechanics made the repairs. Yet, U.S. airlines regularly outsource to these facilities. This bill would change that by allowing air travelers to know the location where heavy maintenance was performed, prior to purchasing their airfare. The bill would require airlines to list on their websites the cities and countries in which their aircraft undergo heavy maintenance. That same information also would be provided to consumers as they shop for flights, as well as on ticket confirmation and boarding passes.
“The American public deserves truth when flying. When deciding which airline to fly or which flight to buy, it shouldn’t be a privilege to know where airlines are maintaining their aircraft,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “This legislation allows the flying public to make informed purchasing decisions, while supporting regulators’ efforts to ensure all aircraft maintenance work is held to a uniform high standard of safety and security.”
“I believe travelers should have the right to know whether the planes they’re flying on were serviced by qualified aviation mechanics in the United States, or whether maintenance was outsourced to foreign countries with lower labor, technical, and safety standards,” Rep. Garamendi said. “This legislation empowers consumers, prioritizes transparency and also offers an opportunity to bring back good-paying manufacturing jobs.”
“No one should ever get onto a plane unsure of whether or not the aircraft they are boarding has met proper safety standards,” said Rep. Donovan. “Unfortunately, airlines have increasingly outsourced their maintenance practices to overseas facilities, which are not held to the same standards and oversight as U.S. repair shops. This bill is a strong step forward in protecting consumers, strengthening job opportunities for American workers and creating much needed transparency.”
A series of Inspector General reports and a recent study from former-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge’s firm show that foreign repair shops servicing U.S. aircraft are not held to the same level of scrutiny or standards as American shops, even though they perform extremely vital repairs.
“When airlines offshore this work, they eliminate the jobs of qualified workers who comply with strict FAA and TSA regulations,” Samuelsen said. “American families fly on these planes, and our families simply deserve better. The thousands of highly skilled American aviation mechanics who have been competing on this uneven playing field deserve better – and the working communities that are built on solid, blue-collar jobs like these deserve better.”
“Before someone buys a ticket or boards their flight, they ought to know when and where that plane was last serviced—and whether it was done here in this country by the finest mechanics in the world, or done abroad by foreign workers,” McCaskill said. “This is a commonsense step to give consumers some peace of mind.”
“Senator McCaskill has been a leader on efforts to improve U.S. maintenance standards and practices and we commend her continuing this work. The TWU applauds Senator McCaskill and Reps. Garamendi and Donovan for standing up for aviation safety and American workers by introducing this bill. We look forward to working these lawmakers to turn the Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act of 2018 into law,” Samuelsen concluded.