Preparing for the Eventual Return of the Boeing 737 MAX

Member update: September 27, 2019

To our fellow AMFA members,

It has been two months since our last member update on the current situation involving the Boeing 737 MAX. We want to give you the latest information so we can provide full transparency on this important issue.

The status of the Boeing 737 MAX is one that involves all our members, as AMFA’s expert mechanics will be tasked with seeing through the reintroduction of the aircraft back into the Southwest Airlines fleet, as well as introducing it into the Alaska Airlines fleet.

Last month we sent Southwest Airlines letters outlining our recommendations we believe is solutions necessary training for our Aircraft Technicians in order to successfully reintroduce the aircraft into the fleet. This week we met with Southwest Airlines executives in person and presented our recommendations. We are cautiously optimistic our concerns have been heard and will be addressed, however we will hold the company accountable to follow through, as we know how important this will be for the stakeholders.

AMFA believes MCAS differences computer-based training should be required for all mechanics, inspectors and maintenance controllers to build our members confidence in this MAX aircraft, and suggest other operators to follow industry-wide. In addition, we believe hands-on training should be made available to this group as well. We also have suggested simulations including general aircraft walk-around, engine, flight deck and cabin and other scenarios.

The training we outlined recommendations with Southwest Airlines is the sort that could be used across the industry.

As developments continue regarding the 737 MAX, it is imperative AMFA’s expert mechanics are treated as key stakeholders in the reintroduction process, as safety is our highest priority.

Just today, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended “design changes or pilot training and procedures to minimize potential safety risks,” reports CNBC. Additionally, Boeing will be testifying “at an upcoming U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing on aviation safety.”

As we previously reported, Southwest Airlines has chosen to continue suing its own employees, despite our wish to use our long-awaited contract as an opportunity to focus on the important safety issues ahead of us.

This should be a time when both parties, AMFA and Southwest, enter the next chapter of working together, as mutual stakeholders and working collaboratively to resolve issues like the relaunch of the MAX, not spending invaluable resources in a federal court for litigation constraints in the future.

But we will rise above the corporate bullying being leveled against our union, and continue our singular focus on protecting the passengers and Southwest Airlines employees who will soon be flying again on the Boeing 737 MAX.

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