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FAA furloughs airline safety inspectors, union says

By Joan Lowy

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:02 p.m. HST, Sep 30, 2013

WASHINGTON >> Nearly 3,000 aviation safety inspectors are being furloughed by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the government shutdown, the union representing the inspectors said today.

The inspectors check to make sure airlines are maintaining their planes safely, conduct inspections at airports of planes and pilots, and visit domestic and foreign repair stations where airlines send planes for major overhauls, among other safety jobs, said Kori Blalock Keller, a spokeswoman for the union, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists.

Union officials initially thought the FAA had made a mistake when they received word of the furloughs, Blalock Keller said. But FAA Administrator Michael Huerta confirmed the inspector furloughs in a phone call with union officials today, she said.

Mike Perrone, the union's national president, said he is "outraged that the FAA would consider aviation safety inspectors as playing anything but a pivotal role in protecting the safety of the American public. Furloughing this critical workforce is neither in the best interest of the economy nor the oversight of this country's aviation system."

Employees critical to public safety are generally exempt from the furloughs.

FAA spokeswoman Kristie Greco declined to confirm the union's tally of the number of inspectors furloughed and the type of inspections they conduct. She said nearly 2,500 safety office personnel -- including some inspectors -- will be furloughed, but they may be called back to work incrementally over the next two weeks.

"Many employees will be on call and ready to return to work if necessary," she said.

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AhiPoke wrote:
Another effort by obama to make any issue as visible and painful as possible. Sorta like stopping White House tours. As far as I'm concerned, if there is a tragic incident involving aircraft safety, I'd hold him responsible. This man has been the most divisive president in my lifetime. His first priority is always politics, never what 's bets for the country.
on September 30,2013 | 04:50PM
MakaniKai wrote:
Get ready AhiPoke Barry and entourage will be vacationing in the nei, garans. Shave Ice, Golf, Alan Wong’s, MCBH gym…Mele Kalikimaka!
on September 30,2013 | 05:19PM
1local wrote:
obama should furlough air traffic controllers and the air force one crew and staff as well as the white house staff...
on September 30,2013 | 09:11PM
MakaniKai wrote:
sent for approval.........really?
on September 30,2013 | 05:21PM
MakaniKai wrote:
Get - ready - AhiPoke - Barry and entourage will be vacationing in the nei, garans. Shave Ice, Golf, Alan Wong’s, MCBH gym…Mele Kalikimaka!
on September 30,2013 | 05:22PM
MakaniKai wrote:
Get - ready - AhiPoke – B a r r y and (entourage) will be vacationing in the nei, garans. Shave Ice, Golf, Alan Wong’s, M C B H gym…Mele Kalikimaka!
on September 30,2013 | 05:24PM
hon2255 wrote:
What the heck is going on ? who's to blame ? I blame them all the two parties are not acting in the best interest of our nation and the leader of our country is part of this equation, where is the leadership??
on September 30,2013 | 09:04PM
environmental_lady wrote:
Glad I'm not flying and have no intention to do so soon. I do feel sorry for whoever has to fly now, including our Rainbow Wahine team to Los Angeles. I shall pray for their safety as well as their victories in Long Beach and Irvine.
on October 1,2013 | 01:18PM
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