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Press Release: Consumer Reports Calls Outsourcing of Aircraft Maintenance ''an Accident Waiting to Happen''
Feb 05, 2007 - Posted by: Steve MacFarlane

Growing Trend Raises Air Safety and Security Concerns, Magazine Says

AURORA, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The March 2007 issue of Consumer Reports includes a feature article titled, "An accident waiting to happen? Outsourcing Raises Air-Safety Concerns."

In the article, Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), House transportation committee chairman, says that outsourced aircraft maintenance is "not being done with the same oversight" as maintenance performed by airline employees. "It's a recipe for failure," he concludes.

"Consumer Reports' research findings strongly match what we've been warning the public and government officials about for a number of years," according to Steve MacFarlane, assistant national director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). "It's gratifying to see such credible outside sources as Consumer Reports and Rep. Oberstar validating these important concerns."

Among the consumer research magazine's findings:

  • "Airlines that outsource more tend to have more delays."

  • "Much of the (outsourced) work is being done by unlicensed mechanics."

  • "Arrests at some (outsourced) repair shops have snared terrorism suspects and undocumented workers (i.e., illegal aliens), who were subsequently deported."

  • Outsourced aircraft repair shops "are less subject to oversight than in-house (the airlines' own) shops, with fewer screening programs and fewer inspections...At the same time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reducing actual inspections of airlines."

  • A U.S. Department of Transportation report stated that "the FAA never inspected approximately 1,400 noncertificated repair facilities, including 104 foreign facilities."

AMFA's credo is "Safety in the air begins with Quality Maintenance on the Ground". To learn more about AMFA, visit:

Steve MacFarlane
612-910-8003 or 720-744-6634

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