Industry News

Airline Industry


May 8, 2012

Special Counsel Criticizes FAA for Ignoring Whistleblowers

- by Bill Chapin

The Federal Aviation Administration needs better safety measures to respond to issues raised by its employees, an independent investigator appointed by the government reported in a letter to the White House and Congress. Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner’s office looked at several incidents reported by whistleblowers and the FAA and Department of Transportation’s responses. Among the risky business detailed in the report were complaints regarding air-traffic controllers sleeping on the job, failures to maintain airline fuel tanks and electrical wiring, and issues with contradictory runway rules. That last problem resulted in a Northwest Airlines flight coming within 0.3 miles horizontally and 200 feet vertically of an American Eagle flight as one was taking off and one was landing at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in 2009, and the rules remain in place. Lerner criticized the agency and department for failing to give the complaints the attention they deserved. usatoday.com

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