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Congressman John Garamendi Introduces the Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act

June 7, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City), a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced H.R.6028, the bipartisan, bicameral Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act of 2018. This legislation would require airlines to disclose the most recent location and date that an aircraft underwent airframe heavy maintenance, and post that information on airline websites, ticket purchase confirmations, and boarding documents. The bill is co-authored by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), and the Senate companion legislation is led by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Currently, all passenger airlines in the United States are required to perform periodic airframe heavy maintenance, which is much more exhaustive than routine line maintenance conducted at airports. Unfortunately, there is an increasing trend of this maintenance being outsourced to foreign countries such as El Salvador, China and Mexico. These foreign outsourcers are not required to be certified by the FAA, and are not subject to the drug and alcohol testing required in the United States. Because of this outsourcing trend, thousands of good-paying aviation mechanic jobs in the United States have been lost.

“I believe travelers should have the right to know whether the planes they’re flying on were serviced by qualified aviation mechanics in the United States, or whether maintenance was outsourced to foreign countries with lower labor, technical, and safety standards,” said Garamendi.  “This legislation empowers consumers, prioritizes transparency, and also offers an opportunity to bring back good-paying manufacturing jobs.”  

Congressman Donovan said, “No one should ever get on a plan unsure of whether the aircraft they’re boarding has met proper safety standards. Unfortunately, airlines have increasingly outsourced their maintenance practices to overseas facilities, which are not held to the same standards and oversight as U.S. repair shops. This bill is a strong step forward in protecting consumers, strengthening job opportunities for American workers, and creating much needed transparency.”

The bill has the full support of the Transport Workers Union of America, which represents thousands of workers who maintain U.S. airline passenger aircraft.

““The American public deserves to know the truth in flying. When deciding which airline to fly or which flight to buy, it shouldn’t be a privilege to know where airlines are maintaining their aircraft,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “This bill would provide the transparency needed to make those informed purchasing decisions, while also supporting regulators’ efforts to ensure that wherever U.S. aircraft is maintained, the work is held to one standard of safety and security.”

The legislation is endorsed by the Transport Workers Union of America, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and the Airline Pilots Association.