Thursday, September 04, 2008

He’s Not Done Yet

If you thought the Bush Administration learned anything from the Southwest Airlines inspection fiasco -- you were wrong. If you thought they were through dismantling the government -- you were wrong. If you thought the FAA was done with gleefully following orders from above -- you were wrong again.

The idea is to “starve the beast” and it is working. Because they want the idea to work -- as opposed to wanting the government to work.

”Jim Hall, a former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman and respected aviation-safety expert, criticizes the new approach.

"The federal government, because of shrinking resources, is turning over key parts of transportation-safety oversight" to private industry, said Hall in an interview.

"History tells us this could be a very dangerous path," Hall said. “

Cut funding -- “starve the beast” -- and you’re left with “shrinking resources.” That’s another euphemism for less people. If you don’t hire enough inspectors, you can’t do inspections. It would be politically unwise to say the FAA was no longer going to conduct inspections -- the FAA is required by law to ensure the safety of the system -- so you tell the American people that private industry will be conducting the inspections. That is a “very dangerous path” indeed.

It goes beyond the FAA abrogating their authority. If this plan is successfully implemented, the FAA will lose their technical ability to conduct inspections. The people with the technical knowledge needed to conduct an inspection will be gone. If this policy is a failure and the next Administration decides it needs to start doing inspections again, it will no longer have the technical expertise to do so.

It’s all part of the plan.

Read this excellent article from The Seattle Times:

FAA lets aerospace firms certify safety of their products

Don Brown
September 4, 2008

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