Ralph Nader, aviation stakeholders to discuss dangers of aircraft maintenance outsourcing at Washington, DC event

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The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) today confirmed the agenda for a June 4 Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, DC from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. The Summit, presented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and organized by BTC, will feature consumer protection advocate Ralph Nader and other aviation safety stakeholders.

“In recent years aircraft maintenance outsourcing has become controversial in the absence of a single U.S. standard for airline in-house versus outsourced domestic and foreign maintenance,” BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell stated, “and there are serious questions about the adequacy of FAA resources and oversight. The recent developments with the Boeing 737 MAX have cast a bright light on what many observers insist is a too-cozy relationship with the aircraft manufacturers and airlines that the FAA is charged with overseeing.”

“Enlightened stakeholders and industry observers know that there would be benefit from helping shape and champion outsourcing and FAA oversight reforms,” Mitchell added.

Robert L. Crandall, Former Chairman & CEO of American Airlines, went on the record in a letter to BTC this week questioning the safety of outsourcing practices.

“I do not think the government should permit airlines to offshore heavy maintenance,” Crandall wrote. “While doing so undoubtedly saves money, it does so at the expense of good jobs we need here in the States. Moreover, since the FAA does not have the ability to supervise the work as intensively as it would if the work were done in the U.S., offshoring represents an unnecessary compromise of safety.”

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