The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation (NADA) has filed the lawsuit, saying that the FAA and DOT have allowed plane crashes to occur by not following the recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board. Specifically, recommendations made on the NTSB's "Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements," which dealt with defects in plane design or flight operations, were allegedly ignored, resulting in plane crashes that could have been avoided, had the recommendations been followed.
The Alliance refers to such crashes as "déjà vu disasters." The phrase refers to plane crashes that are similar to those who have happened before and may have been prevented if the FAA had taken action on NTSB safety recommendations that were made 15 years ago. Such disasters include plane crashes involving plane icing—a possible cause of the February 12 crash that killed all 49 people on board and 1 man on the ground.
"As a direct result of the DOT and FAA refusal to adopt the safety recommendations of the NTSB, hundreds of lives have been needlessly lost," the lawsuit states. The lawsuit demands that the FAA adopt NTSB recommendations regarding icing and runway safety. Some of those recommendations are over 15 years old, while others are over 10 years old. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages.
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Critics of the FAA and DOT say that they are too close to the airline industry to properly regulate and investigate it, even allowing people hired by airlines to participate in investigations. People who have lost loved ones in plane crashes say they back the lawsuit and it is time for the FAA to take passenger safety seriously.
The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation was founded by air crash survivors and family members of victims to raise the standard of safety for airplane passengers.