FROM Mike Boyd
Turbulent Times for America's Airlines Since deregulation, America's airlines have expanded by a factor of ten and there has not been a major crash since 2001. But the recent grounding of thousands of flights, which stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers, and evidence that the Federal Aviation Administration is too cozy with the companies it regulates have raised concerns about safety. Whistle-blowing FAA inspectors told Congress that Southwest Airlines had been allowed to skip inspections for fuselage cracks for as long as nine months. Southwest was fined $10 million, and the FAA began an "industry-wide audit." Meantime, smaller airlines have gone under or filed for bankruptcy, and big ones are talking about mergers. Is the agency trying to reassert itself and reassure the flying public that all is well? Were passengers really at risk? With airlines folding, going bankrupt and looking at mergers, are the industry and its passengers in for a troubled future?
Two FAA Whistleblowers Accuse Their Agency of Being Too Cozy with Southwest Airlines More bad news for Southwest Airlines today- ATA which has a codeshare agreement with Southwest, went out of business, stranding hundreds of customers at LAX. They were told to contact Southwest. Meantime in Washington, a whistle-blower who says the FAA is too cozy with Southwest testified before Congress.
Whistle-blowers Accuse FAA of Being Too Cozy with Airlines In recent weeks, airlines have canceled flights and pulled planes out of service to make sure safety checks are being properly performed. This comes in the aftermath of reports by two FAA inspectors who say their supervisors were "too cozy" with Southwest Airlines. Those whistle-blowers testified today before a committee chaired by Congressman James Oberstar. The Minnesota Democrat accused the FAA of "complacency, cozy relations with airlines and inappropriate reliance on voluntary disclosure." Mike Boyd is president of the Boyd Group, an aviation consulting research firm based in Evergreen, Colorado.
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