Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Safety What ?

Here’s the “headline” for the day:

FAA Names Robert Tarter Head of Air Traffic Organization Safety

Who ? To what ?

”General Tarter's distinguished military career combined with his experience as an airline pilot and safety professional brings extraordinary capability to our ranks," said Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell... “

(yaaaaaaawn) Yeah, yeah, whatever. Somebody wake me up when the FAA wakes up. Another ex-military guy and airline pilot to tell civilian air traffic controllers how it’s supposed to be done. Good luck with that.

No offense to General Tarter -- he might be the nicest, most talented general in the world for all I know. And I don’t know. I’ve never heard of him. I searched around the ‘net to see who he was replacing -- to see how many different people have held the position since the Air Traffic Organization was formed in the FAA -- but quickly gave up. I seem to remember some admiral being in charge of safety back when I was working.

Somewhere between making headlines and improving safety at the air traffic controller level...whatever it is these guys do just slips away into the quagmire that is FAA management culture. Controllers won’t even notice when he reports for duty -- or when he leaves. Pretty sad for an outfit where “safety” is supposedly job one.

Don Brown
April 22, 2008

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