Russ Niles | March 8, 2019
The FAA has reminded Southwest Airlines and its union mechanics who are truly responsible for flight safety and have not warned them in such a subtle way not to let their current disputes hinder them. Southwest filed a lawsuit against the fraternal Association of Aircraft Mechanics a week ago, implicating its members to end dozens of aircraft at the end of February in order to put pressure on the airline for the deterioration of contractual negotiations. The union denied the charges and said the mechanics refused to sign the plane for security reasons. As we reported at the time, the 737 stranded holes dug big holes in the Southwest schedule, resulting in over 100 cancellations. Ali Bahrami, FAA's Associate Administrator for Aviation Security, wrote them a letter, obtained by The New York Times, claiming the dispute "raises concerns about the current efficiency of the system." airline security management ".
Southwest told the Times that the letter was a standard reaction of the agency and downplayed its importance. "This type of communication is a normal protocol designed to emphasize the safety of operations during such periods at a carrier," the airline said in a statement. The union did not respond to the Times. Southwest and its mechanics have been struggling with problems for years and a dispute over the outsourcing of maintenance has recently heightened the tension between the two.