FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2022
Contact: Denise Romano, firstname.lastname@example.org
TWU-Supported Bill to Raise Standards for Aircraft Maintenance Passes Committee
Washington, DC – Today, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced the Global Aircraft Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 7321, formerly known as the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act) by an overwhelming, bipartisan. Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), the nation’s largest airline union, strongly supports this essential bill to eliminate safety loopholes which allow U.S. aircraft repaired outside of the country to be maintained on significantly lower safety standards and return good mechanic jobs to the U.S.
The TWU has been the leading voice for this legislation since it was first introduced in 2019. The legislation will raise safety standards for U.S.-flagged aircraft maintained abroad to bring them in line with domestically maintained aircraft. This will not only better ensure the safety and security of frontline aviation workers and the flying public, but also remove incentives in our regulations for airlines to offshore aircraft maintenance.
We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Representative John Katko (R-NY) who have tirelessly fought with us for these changes since the beginning. We also appreciate the partnership of Ranking Members Sam Graves (R-MO) and Garrett Graves (R-LA), who worked with us to find common ground to advance this consensus legislation with five votes in committee.
The Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act closes all five regulatory gaps that allow a lower safety standard for aircraft maintenance and incentivize airlines to offshore this work:
- Drug and alcohol testing for safety sensitive personnel
- Background checks for workers at maintenance facilities
- Security threat assessments for these facilities
- Unannounced inspections for maintenance operations
- Minimum qualifications for aircraft mechanics
“The TWU is the union who fought and won, bringing back offshored American Airline aircraft maintenance work back into the U.S. Every airline in the country should be living up to the same standards for maintenance and this bill will finally make that ideal a reality. This Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act will help ensure that all U.S. aircraft maintenance work, no matter where it’s preformed, is held our safety and security standards,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen.
“The FAA should never have allowed these loopholes to open in the first place. Each of these gaps incentivizes airlines to offshore maintenance into countries with lower safety standards, putting lives at risk,” he continued. “The overwhelming, bipartisan vote in the committee demonstrates the widespread support we have for returning airline mechanic jobs to US soil. The Transport Workers Union is now calling on Congress to pass this bill immediately to ensure one level of safety and security in our airspace.”
The Transport Workers of America, AFL-CIO, represents more than 155,000 members across the airline, railroad, transit, universities, utilities and services sectors