McCaskill wants overseas airline maintenance facilities regulated

Sen. Claire McCaskill wants aircraft maintenance facilities in foreign countries to face the same regulations and inspections as those here at home.

"We don’t know who’s under the hood of the airplanes we’re flying," McCaskill told reporters today at Kansas City International Airport.

The Missouri Democrat says she wants the Federal Aviation Administration budget bill to include a requirement that foreign repair facilities undergo FAA inspection and certification.

She said her goal was safety – not simply to protect union jobs at the American Airlines overhaul base near the airport. Some airlines have said they outsource repair work to save money and keep ticket costs low; some labor unions have criticized that decision.

"If it is in fact experienced labor union workers who are doing it, great (but) I honestly believe the American public wants to pay what it takes to make sure we can fly safely," McCaskill said.

If airlines want to outsource maintenance and repairs, they should pay for the cost of regular FAA inspections of those facilities, she said.

McCaskill also blamed Republicans for the continuing war in Iraq, a situation she said voters could help rectify next year.

“We get another 10, 15 votes in the House – if we repeat what we did two years ago, we will in fact have change,” she said