WASHINGTON, March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tuesday's power outage across South Florida did not impact air traffic in the area due to the work performed everyday by dedicated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, said the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the union that represents FAA technicians. The important jobs performed by FAA technicians behind the scenes helped to ensure that the FAA facilities in the area moved to backup power and the outage did not affect area air traffic. "The professionalism of these employees and their commitment to making sure systems and equipment are maintained properly is the reason that Miami air traffic did not experience significant issues," said PASS National Vice President Mike Perrone. When the power outage was reported, FAA technicians quickly assessed the situation. While facilities had switched to backup power, technicians did notice some minor issues, which if left unattended could have resulted in a major mechanical failure. The swift response by FAA technicians and the seamless transition to backup power allowed the towers in the area and Miami Center to continue operations uninterrupted, and there was no loss of communication with aircraft. The Miami Center is maintained by trained and certified FAA employees with in-depth knowledge of the equipment and systems that make up the National Airspace System (NAS). Despite repeated examples of the expertise of these federal employees throughout the country, the FAA continues to search for new ways to contract out as much of this work as possible. "The example in Miami shows how smoothly things can run if FAA employees are on hand to attend to the issue," said Perrone. "These employees understand how everything fits together within the NAS and how their work impacts the entire system. As opposed to private contractors who focus on just one piece of equipment, FAA technicians feel a strong sense of ownership over the entire process. "The reliability and efficiency of these systems is vital to safe air travel and cannot be compromised by turning it over to contractors," continued Perrone. "It is critical that this work remain in the hands of dedicated FAA technicians, whose number one mission is to ensure the safety of the flying public." PASS represents more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures, and perform quality analyses of the aviation systems For more information, visit the PASS website at http://www.passnational.org/.
SOURCE Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO