WASHINGTON, March 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Professional
Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO, the union that represents FAA
inspectors, released the following statement in response to the FAA
announcement to impose $10.2 million in fines on Southwest airlines for
failure to adequately investigate serious maintenance issues. The following
comments are from PASS President Tom Brantley.
"It is appalling that the FAA chose to impose this penalty only after
several months of investigations by Congress and the threat of a pending
hearing instead of immediately addressing the implications brought forward
by inspectors over a year ago. The series of events not only highlights the
dysfunctional relationship between FAA management and its workforce, but it
also perpetuates the fact that the FAA is only willing to take action
against the airlines when backed into a corner rather than taking
inspectors at their word.
"It is unfortunate that the inspector assigned to Southwest Airlines
had to resort to invoking whistleblower protections in order to have his
claims validated. Even more unfortunate is that there are other inspectors
out there who undergo the same types of retaliatory actions by the FAA and
air carriers for simply doing their jobs.
"The relationship between the FAA and the industry has developed into
troubling partnerships rather than the FAA maintaining a strong oversight
role. Many of these partnerships have grown into more 'cozy' relationships
that result in the FAA becoming the protector of the airline rather than
the flying public, thus weakening the authority of FAA safety inspectors to
perform their job and reducing their role as critical safety enforcers. The
bottom line is that the FAA appears to be more concerned with keeping
airlines solvent rather than safe."
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