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Garamendi, Zeldin Reintroduce Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act

September 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA), a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Lee M. Zeldin (R-NY) reintroduced the “Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act of 2019” (H.R.4374) as part of Garamendi’s “Make It In America” agenda.

Congressman Gilbert Ray Cisneros, Jr. (D-CA) is also an original cosponsor.

This bipartisan legislation would require airlines to disclose the maintenance history for their aircraft fleets, specifically the location and date an aircraft underwent heavy maintenance—the most comprehensive test for an aircraft. Airlines would be required to post this information online, distribute it with tickets, and communicate it to passengers upon request. Airlines would also be required to submit an annual report to a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) database that tracks the maintenance history of their aircraft fleets. The database will also indicate whether maintenance was conducted in the United States or abroad; by FAA-certified mechanics or not; or by airline employees or third-party contractors.

Recent airline accidents raise serious concerns about the increasing trend of maintenance being outsourced, particularly to countries in Central America and Southeast Asia. These foreign outsourcers do not have to be FAA certified, and are not subject to the drug and alcohol testing required in the United States for mechanics. Outsourcing has also eliminated thousands of middle-class jobs in the United States and created significant safety concerns for passengers.

“Airline passengers have the right to know if the planes they fly in were serviced by qualified mechanics in the United States, or whether maintenance was outsourced to foreign countries with lower safety standards,” said Congressman Garamendi (D-CA). “Our bipartisan bill prioritizes transparency for passengers and supports the creation of new middle-class jobs in the United States.”

“When it comes to the marvel of air travel, there is no room for error. Every nut and bolt on an aircraft has a specific and critical job when it comes to transporting Americans efficiently and safely. That’s why the United States has some of the highest aircraft maintenance safety standards, and there’s no room to cut corners. Unfortunately, many airlines are attempting to cut costs by outsourcing aircraft maintenance to countries with lower standards and lower costs. American travelers have the right to know where their aircraft was serviced so they can make an informed decision for them and their family, which is why I’m proud to join my colleague Congressman Garamendi to introduce bipartisan legislation that would increase safety transparency so American passengers can make the right decision before they board,” said Congressman Zeldin (R-NY).

This legislation (H.R.4374) is endorsed by the Transport Workers Union of America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Airlines Division), Business Travel Coalition, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

The “Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act of 2019” (H.R.4374) currently awaits action by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The legislative text is available here.