Senators Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, urge FAA to investigate after a report from CBS News found that there was pressure on mechanics to ignore potential safety issues and "shorten the critical work they do".
Markey and Blumenthal sent a letter to FAA Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell citing the CBS News report and urging the FAA to provide answers to various questions. Legislators want to know how many complaints the FAA has received about airlines putting pressure on maintenance workers and whether the FAA has investigated reports revealed by the CBS News investigation, which has been ongoing since then. eight months.
Read the letter right here:
"An essential element of any effective maintenance plan is compliance with maintenance protocols and a safety-focused environment that encourages mechanics to identify and report safety concerns." In the event of a breach of safety standards, the FAA has the obligation to investigate and take corrective action, "lawmakers wrote.
This letter comes a week after a CBS News investigation raised questions about FAA oversight and the pressure on airline mechanics to get the aircraft back into service more quickly. Each of the 26 airline mechanics CBS News spoke to – two-thirds of Americans and others from Southwest Airlines – said they have been under pressure from managers to focus on only on the work done.
Their claims are corroborated by findings of several FAA denunciations of inappropriate pressure and retaliation since 2015 by both airlines – and at least 32 other anonymous reports at the industry level between 2015 and 2015. and 2018.
American and Southwest told CBS News that safety was their number one priority.
Kris Van Cleave from CBS News contributed to this report.