Judge Denies Protests to FSS Consolidation
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has issued an order accepting the recommendation of a dispute resolution law judge to deny two legal protests over the competitive-sourcing initiative of Flight Service Stations. Judge Edwin Neill of the Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition denied protests filed by the union representing flight service employees and by the agency employee group that competed against Lockheed Martin, the successful bidder. Because of this decision, in October the FAA is cleared to close 38 of the current 61 FSS facilities and hand over 20 of the remaining 23 to the aerospace giant. “What this means for general aviation pilots is that the FSS modernization process–with its promise of improved service–stays on track, allowing Lockheed Martin to move forward with its scheduled implementation,” AOPA said. However, there is an amendment to the FAA appropriations bill working its way through Congress that would void the contract and the consolidation plan.