When you step aboard a flight on a U.S. airplane, you probably assume that plane’s major maintenance work has been performed by certified mechanics at the one of the carrier’s U.S. hangers. That’s not necessarily so.
The nation’s major airlines now send more than 20 percent of their planes to repair stations in developing counties, including those in central America, Africa and Asia for major maintenance, including, complete overhauls where the aircraft is stripped to the bare metal then put back together.
Transport Workers (TWU) President James C. Little says it’s time to blow the lid off the “airline industry’s dirty little secret” of offshore maintenance:
Our union is going to tell the public that offshoring means your plane has a lower standard for maintenance. It means the licensure and security standard for the mechanics and their helpers who worked on that aircraft is questionable, and it means that federal regulators had limited access to facilities where the plane was repaired.
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