The TWU has been the main advocate against the effects of toxic cabin air for the past three years. We’ve taken the bull by the horns and have spearheaded the issue via a multi-pronged approach:
- Legislatively, by calling for the passage of the Cabin Air Safety Act
- Raising awareness on the ground, with our Cabin Crew members documenting toxic fume events, and
- Taking preventative measures, with our Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) members at American Airlines who have ensuring that aircraft is maintained properly so toxic fume events are less likely to happen.
‘Engaged and Respected’
Local 514 member Brad Brugger and Local 591 member Harry Charalambous are both AMTs employed by American Airlines. They explained the work they perform to help prevent toxic fume events from happening at the source.
Brugger and Charalambous, who are members of the TWU Flight Safety Team, have been working with American Airlines Engineering, Tech Ops planning and the aircraft manufacturers to understand and mitigate the root cause of fume events.
“This includes, improving maintenance and servicing procedures also contributing to design improvements in the affected systems of the aircraft,” Brugger explained. “Sometimes the simplest approach is the most effective, so cleaning Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) intakes have yielded good results for reducing events.”
“The TWU prides itself in leading the charge when it comes to the Safety and Health of our flight crews and passengers on the aircraft we maintain,” Charalambous noted. “The TWU understands that we have an important role when it comes to identifying and correcting risks in the daily operations of commercial aviation.”
The TWU and American Airlines have led the industry in the efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic fume events. In fact, over the last few years there’s been over a 50% reduction in toxic fume events on aircraft maintained by our AMTs. Largely, the aircraft systems and design are the reason for fume events.
“The TWU International has continually provided the support and resources for the Flight Safety team to be engaged and respected in the industry by the regulators, airlines and fellow labor groups,” Brugger said.
Click here for the latest updates on the TWU Toxic Cabin Air Campaign.