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FAA Irresponsible in its Airline Maintenance Program

Department of Transport Finds Significant Weaknesses with the FAA

A newly released report by the Department of Transportation Inspector General has slammed the Federal Aviation Authority for lack of oversight of airline operations in general, and for not enforcing safety inspections by Southwest Airlines specifically.

The report states that the Inspector General found "significant weaknesses" in the FAA's maintenance oversight program, which allowed problems within Southwest maintenance program to go undetected for years. The report states that "the events at (Southwest) demonstrated serious lapses in FAA's air carrier oversight," and concluded that FAA inspectors developed an "overly collaborative relationship with the air carrier" putting the interests of the airlines ahead of the safety of the traveling public.

Since December 2005, Southwest has violated no less than four different safety directives eight times, including five violations in 2008, the report said. Earlier this year it became known that an FAA inspector allowed Southwest to keep 46 jets flying when they should have been grounded for mandatory inspections.

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Published on Jul-2-08


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