PASS speaks out against shutdown at aviation rally

October 11, 2013

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the union that represents aviation safety inspectors, systems specialists and other aviation professionals at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), rallied on Capitol Hill against the government shutdown on 10 October 2013. PASS National President Mike Perrone released the following statement:

“Today [10 October 2013], PASS stands alongside the aviation community with one single, unified voice to urge Congress to put an end to this shutdown. As we near the end of the second week of the shutdown, thousands of dedicated Federal Aviation Administration employees, including aviation safety inspectors, systems specialists and support staff, are caught in the middle of a congressional standoff.

“Thousands of essential aviation safety professionals are off the job, forced to the sidelines while important work sits untouched. All the while, there is no federal oversight of the aviation industry: no aviation safety inspectors providing oversight of the commercial and general aviation industries; no manufacturing inspectors overseeing the building of aircraft parts, facilities, equipment and training programs; no pilot flight checks; and maintenance restrictions preventing technicians from fully addressing equipment and system issues nationwide. Unfortunately, this list goes on, and so does the economic impact. Today, there are no registration certificates for aircraft or airmen being issued, resulting in delays for manufacturing companies that build aircraft; no new pilot licenses are being issued; important aeronautical charts are not being produced or published; air traffic control projects have been suspended; and modernization efforts are slowing to a crawl. With so many employees out of work, the backlog when they return to the job will be considerable. It’s going to take us a long time to get back to where we were pre-shutdown.

“Every day that Congress allows this shutdown to remain in place is putting the safety and efficiency of the aviation system at risk. This is unacceptable. The system is broken. It must be fixed. Congress may not be able to do its job, but that doesn’t mean we should be prevented from doing ours. I join with you today to tell Congress to end the shutdown NOW so we can all go back to work. We are all essential.”

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