Fri, Aug 11, 2006
Transportation Labor Warns of Lack of Oversight and
Though it might strike
some as a mite opportunistic, the following statement was issued
today by Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades
Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), following the terror plot uncovered by
British Authorities that threatened airline passengers and forced
increased security measures at the nation's airports:
"Today's announcement that authorities foiled a plot to blow up
jetliners flying from London to the U.S. highlights again that air
travel remains a tempting target for terrorists seeking to attack
U.S. interests. Given this reality, the lack of security at
the almost 700 foreign repair stations where U.S. aircraft are
maintained creates a security loop-hole that could give terrorists
an opportunity to jeopardize air travel without ever having to
physically enter this country.
"Outsourcing of repairs and maintenance is spreading throughout
the airline industry. According to the IG, in the past
decade, carriers have increased outsourced maintenance from 37
percent of their total maintenance expenses to 53 percent.
More than 13 percent of the repair stations used are located in
foreign countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, El Salvador,
China and South Korea.
"In 2003, Transportation Labor called on the Administration to
temporarily stop U.S. maintenance work at vulnerable foreign repair
stations. When DOT and TSA denied this petition, Congress
mandated security rules be put in place and that audits be
conducted. More than two years later, the Administration had
blatantly ignored this mandate and failed to issue regulations or
conduct on-site audits.
"Securing our aviation industry requires thinking ahead and not
waiting for the next attack to identify a weakness. In light
of today's news, the Administration should act without haste to
issue an emergency order preventing foreign stations from working
on U.S. aircrafts until security audits are conducted and rules are
instituted that promote enforceable security procedures."
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