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Congressman Van Drew Does Full Court Press on the FAA

Contact: Ashley Brown (202) 225-6572

Yesterday, Congressman Van Drew testified in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and presented a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Administrator, Steve Dickson, requesting that the FAA withdraw their reorganization request. The FAA has put forth a proposal to reorganize its Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation operations, which would severely impact the William J. Hughes Technical Center. Administrator Dickson requested a personal meeting with Congressman Van Drew following his testimony.

Congressman Van Drew also presented a letter from various unions, which included the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). Together, these unions represent over 1.4 million American workers and locally represent 500 employees at the Technical Center. 

"The FAA is using evasive tactics to sneak through bad policy that affects 1,000 FAA workers and $1 billion of taxpayer money," said Congressman Van Drew. "In short, this proposal is terrible. This deal would kneecap the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center. The Technical Center produces gold-standard results through a centralized model that would be fractured under the FAA's proposal. This would break the Technical Center.

"Particularly damning is the apparent intention to privatize portions of the FAA. This privatization strategy threatens the FAA's independent oversight of the Aviation industry. In my letter to the FAA, I requested that this reorganization request be withdrawn, and I will continue to fight for these jobs to remain in South Jersey.

"I do not believe that this proposal is coming from Administrator Dickson, nor do I believe that it is even coming from this administration. It is crystal clear to me that this proposal is emerging from deep-seated D.C. based career FAA officials." 

Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8) immediately expressed support for Congressman Van Drew's position. "Let me just jump in in support of Mr. Van Drew, I am concerned about regulatory capture like we saw with the 737 Max and the influence of Boeing," said Congressman Lynch. "That was an instance where the contractor came in and really bigfooted what should have been independent agency review. For those reasons I am inclined to agree with Mr. Van Drew and I would like to be a part of that conversation." 

Click here to watch the full testimony.