September 14, 2010 – As it returns from its annual August recess, Congress continues to finalize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill. The IAFF has been working to secure language in the bill to bring Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) standards into conformity with existing national consensus standards. Although the U.S. House of Representatives included IAFF-backed language to this effect in its FAA bill, the Senate bill did not contain the provision.
Having undergone the last significant revision in 1988, current
ARFF standards do not reflect the reality of modern fire fighting or modern air
travel. Current standards place fire fighters and the flying public at
significant risk in the event of a fire emergency.
The current FAA authorization is due to expire on September 30. If Congress fails to pass a final bill before then, further action may be delayed until after the November elections.