Saturday, March 29, 2008

FAA Oversight



You are paying attention to the airline inspection story right ? Southwest Airlines got popped with a big fine, the FAA is accused of letting them slide and the FBI is investigating threats made against the FAA inspector that blew the whistle on the whole deal.

If you go to the union that represents the people that blew the whistle, you start getting the whole story.

FAA INSPECTORS UNION QUESTIONS TIMING OF $10.2 MILLION PENALTY AGAINST SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

”It is appalling that the FAA chose to impose this penalty only after several months of investigations by Congress and the threat of a pending hearing instead of immediately addressing the implications brought forward by inspectors over a year ago “

That investigation was instigated by my buddy Chairman James Oberstar. And a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum...

American and Delta Ground More Than 200 Planes

”American Airlines and Delta Air Lines said Wednesday that more than 200 of their planes might not comply with Federal Aviation Administration rules “

Golly gee, it seems as if oversight actually works. Too bad it takes a Congressman (from the right Party) to make the FAA do their job.

Do you see how all this works ? Did you notice that all this hasn’t been working for the last few (about 7) years ? Pay attention.

COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGE HIGHLIGHTS SERIOUS FLAWS AT THE FAA

”The culprit for this outage was once again problems directly attributed to Harris Corporation’s Federal Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) system, which provides vital circuitry and communication functions for the FAA. Harris engineering failed to provide appropriate backup, which would have kept air traffic fully operational following the primary failure. “All around the country, we’ve seen very serious issues resulting from Harris’ unreliable services. This failure is no different, yet the FAA continues to ignore the issue while declaring the FTI program a success,” said Steve Garrett, a local PASS representative. “


NATCA PRESIDENT PATRICK FORREY DELIVERS SPEECH TO AERO CLUB OF WASHINGTON

”And no, we will never forget that the FAA abandoned a fair collective bargaining process, and tore apart the already tenuous relationship it had with its controller workforce.  

This is the open, bleeding wound we are desperately trying to repair, for the sake of the safety and stability of the system. But, we are faced with an employer chasing after us with a salt shaker. “


”As a direct result of this, the total number of fully certified controllers has fallen to a 15-year low.  

Nationwide, more than 2,200 controllers and trainees left their jobs between Oct. 1, 2006 and Jan. 5, 2008. 

That’s roughly one out of every seven in the workforce. Only 17 of the 911 controllers that retired last year reached the mandatory age of 56. “


”The FAA knows its imposed work rules have failed. That is why it has begun offering $24,000 bonuses to veteran controllers to try and keep them from leaving. It hasn’t worked.  

This fiscal year’s attrition total is on track to shatter FAA projections by a wider margin than even last year’s record exodus of over 1,600. “


The FAA has more problems than oversight alone can fix. In other words, one committee chairman -- no matter how good he might be -- can fix it all.

PASS is doing their part. NATCA is doing theirs. Chairman Oberstar is doing his. Are you doing your part ?

Don Brown
March 29, 2008

No comments: