Thu, Jan 12, 2006
AMFA Applauds Move... But Wants Checks Overseas, Too
The FAA ruled Wednesday
that, effective April 10, all employees at outsourced repair and
maintenance facilities in the US must undergo the same drug and
alcohol testing procedures as those directly employed by domestic
airlines. The move was met with approval by the Aircraft Mechanics
Fraternal Association (AMFA), but union representatives also say
more must be done.
On Thursday, AMFA called on the FAA to close another safety gap,
by extending the testing program to cover repair shops outside of
the US as well. According to the union, the FAA has responsibility
for overseeing work performed on US commercial aircraft anywhere in
the world -- but has been repeatedly criticized in reports from the
Department of Transportation's Inspector General for poor oversight
of outsourced repair shops in the US and abroad.
"In the post-9/11 era, it's shocking that the planes Americans
fly on are increasingly being worked on by individuals whose
backgrounds have never been checked, and who have not been tested
for drug and alcohol abuse," said AMFA National Director O.V.
"AMFA provided commentary urging the FAA to extend the testing
program to repair shops. We're glad the FAA has taken this
important additional step to help protect air passengers, flight
crews and all of us who work in, on and around planes,"
Delle-Femine continued. "Now the FAA needs to extend the testing to
non-US repair stations."
As has been reported in
Aero-News, AMFA also supports a congressional bill
that, if signed, would require FBI background checks for all
employees at overseas outsource facilities.
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