Thursday, April 24, 2008

FAA: Dallas Air Traffic Controllers Falsified Report

Alan Levin writes for USA Today:

Dallas air-traffic controllers hid dozens of safety errors that allowed planes to fly too close together, federal officials said Thursday.

Air-traffic officials blamed pilots for the errors when air traffic managers were actually to blame, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said. Though most of the incidents were not serious, a handful were classified as significant safety risks, said Hank Krakowski, the agency's newly appointed chief of air traffic.

The revelations marked the second time in the past two months that federal whistle-blowers raised safety concerns at the FAA. The FAA admitted in March that inspectors overseeing Southwest Airlines allowed the carrier to fly planes that had not received critical safety inspections. A subsequent review of all airlines' maintenance triggered massive groundings after additional safety violations were found, disrupting travel for hundreds of thousands of people.

A federal watchdog who shepherded whistle-blower allegations in both cases charged that the FAA suffers from a culture of "complacency and cover up."

More here.


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