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U.S. Airlines’ Contract Work Nears 65%

Association expresses frustration with government report.

U.S. airlines contracted out 58-64% of their total annual maintenance spending in 2010-14, according to a review of the carriers’ financial data by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO analysis, which relied on the most recent data filed with the Transportation Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, was conducted as part of a review of contracting trends and repair station oversight. The GAO noted several discrepancies in oversight of U.S.-based shops versus foreign repair stations such as the lack of “surprise” inspections at foreign shops. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) panned the report, noting that the GAO ignores variances in local laws—such as the requirement for government employees to alert foreign counterparts before showing up to conduct official business on foreign soil. ARSA also suggested a noncompliant shop would need more than a few days’ warning to become compliant. “The report demonstrates that government auditors still fail to grasp the realities of the global aviation maintenance industry,” ARSA said.

 

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