FAA executives released the audit and outlined new measures to strengthen airline safety in advance of a congressional hearing on Thursday into inspection lapses involving Southwest Airlines and possibly other carriers.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans to question FAA whistleblowers, Southwest officials and FAA executives. The day-long hearing will focus heavily on what committee chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn., describes as "a culture of coziness’’ between the FAA and the airlines.
But Sturgell and other FAA officials, while not commenting on the hearing, said the review showed airlines are complying with 99 percent of FAA "airworthiness directives’’ reviewed by safety inspectors. The review covered 117 air carriers.
Of the airlines that may not be in compliance, three are being reviewed for possible problems involving wiring in the wheel wells, FAA officials said. A fourth had not submitted a plan to show how it would comply with airworthiness directives for future years.
Seems to me, all this shows is the futility of federal oversight when it comes to safety, given the remarkable market pressure to remain safe (otherwise, seems to me there would be more bodies and crashed airplanes.) I'm pretty sure crashing airplanes is bad for business, I don't think we need an inept goverment agency protecting us.