WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 8, 2019) — Four unions representing a total of 73,000 workers at American Airlines voiced their support for H.R. 1108, the “Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019,” sponsored by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee Rick Larsen (D-WA). This bill would give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the authority to access the Airport and Aviation Trust Fund (AATF) to continue operations during a federal government shutdown.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) emphasized that this legislation would ensure that the important safety work FAA professionals perform would continue uninterrupted during any future federal government shutdown. AATF collects money from a variety of user fees on airline tickets, foreign-carrier flights into the U.S., and fuel purchases. The fund had a balance of $6.5 billion in uncommitted money, which could be tapped as an emergency fund to pay salaries and operational expenses.
“On behalf of all the airline and federal employees we represent, we applaud Chairman DeFazio and Representative Larsen for introducing the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “This bill would provide assurances that workers’ paychecks won’t be sacrificed for a political agenda and that the FAA will be able to properly manage the safety of our aviation industry.”
“In the event of another government shutdown, every FAA employee must remain on the job with pay. Our aviation system was brought perilously close to collapse. America’s air travelers were endangered and that situation cannot be repeated,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen.
“Safety and security are the foundation of what we do,” said APA President Capt. Daniel F. Carey, APA President. “Whether I’m in the cockpit with members of my union or in the cabin with members of my family, I expect to be assured that the all the stakeholders of the world’s safest aviation system are on the field and undistracted. This legislation fully addresses the critical role that FAA professionals play in that success.”
“This bill needs to be passed promptly. It is the common-sense solution to maintaining our country’s critical aviation security layers and would prevent putting our flight attendants and the flying public at risk during another ill-considered shutdown,” said APFA National President Lori Bassani.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) represents more than 100,000 airline members in North America.
The TWU represents more than 140,000 members across the airline; railroad; transit, universities, utilities, and services; and gaming sectors.
Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces.
APFA is the largest independent flight attendant union proudly representing the 27,000 flight attendants at American Airlines.
American Airlines is the world’s largest passenger carrier.