AMFA concerned with the deteriorating state of aviation reaches out to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

October 24, 2022

The Honorable Maria Cantwell Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 254 Russell Senate Building Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Roger Wicker Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 254 Russell Senate Building Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chair Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker:

The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) is troubled by the deteriorating state of aviation safety in the airline industry due to outsourcing of maintenance to foreign repair stations. Due to improper Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight, less qualified and unvetted technicians continue to work at foreign repair stations. The safety of air transportation must always be more important than increasing profit and shareholder value through cheaper labor. U.S. FAA-certificated aircraft mechanics and businesses should operate on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts to ensure safety, a robust workforce, and the preservation of critical infrastructure.

AMFA fully supports H.R. 7321, the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act, to accomplish these goals. U.S. airlines increasingly outsource heavy maintenance work to aeronautical repair stations outside the United States — including facilities in El Salvador, Mexico, and China — where workers are not subject to identical safety standards. Under FAA rules, workers at U.S. repair stations are subject to screening for drug and alcohol use; workers at foreign repair stations are not. Workers at U.S. repair stations are subject to background investigations; workers at foreign repair stations are not.

The Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act, which passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, will address weaknesses in the FAA’s application of safety rules to foreign repair stations by requiring annual unannounced inspections, mandating the reporting of mechanical issues, and problems attributable to foreign repairs. This will compel the agency to conduct required background checks of foreign repair station employees, along with a drug and alcohol testing program. As the 117th Congress comes to a close, AMFA fully supports adding H.R. 7321 as part of the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act. AMFA stands by a sooner than later approach when it comes to the safety of U.S. aircraft and the flying public.

Sincerely,

Robert Cush

Director of Government Affairs

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AMFA National

We are independent Aircraft Maintenance Technicians committed to the highest safety standards. Safety in the Air Begins with Quality Maintenance on the Ground.