IAM Applauds House Passage of FAA Reauthorization

The IAM applauded the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2023 in the House of Representatives.

The bill, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 351-69, includes several provisions that the IAM has been advocating for, including:

  • Strengthening the FAA’s authority to enforce employee assault and prevention plans.
  • Ensuring that foreign air carriers operating in the United States do not undermine labor rights or safety standards.
  • Authorizing a study to find solutions to improve safety for airline ramp workers.
  • Improved cabin air quality
  • Robust airplane maintenance standards

The House passage comes after IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. wrote a letter to Congress supporting the FAA Reauthorization Act.

“While the bill, H.R. 3935, does not address all the IAM’s demands in an FAA reauthorization package, it does include several of our requested provisions and will ultimately help improve the safety and working conditions of our air transport members,” wrote Martinez. “This includes improved cabin air quality, robust airplane maintenance standards, and efforts to help thwart the unfortunate string of airline worker assaults and deaths in recent years.”

The IAM signed on to a letter sponsored by the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) opposing raising the retirement age for pilots from 65 to 67. A change in the retirement age places the U.S. in noncompliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization – a specialized agency of the United Nations – mandates that pilots in multi-crew operations must retire at age 65. The measure would substantially affect air travel, air carrier operations, pilots, and other airline workers’ ability to bargain. 

“We are pleased that the House has passed this important legislation,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “This bill will help ensure that the FAA has the resources to keep our skies safe and IAM air transport members protected from violence and abuse. We continue to stand in solidarity with ALPA to ensure the retirement age for pilots remains at 65. We now look to the Senate to pass this reauthorization package and get it signed into law.”

In addition to the provisions mentioned above, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 also includes funding for the FAA to modernize its air traffic control system, improve airport infrastructure, and develop new safety technologies. 

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. The IAM will continue to work with members of Congress to ensure that the Senate passes this important legislation. 

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