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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

FAA Feels Pressure

What about pilots? 

"Survey Says FAA Inspectors 
Feel Pressure 
To Accommodate Business"

"An independent survey of FAA safety division employees suggests they feel pressure to accommodate industry demands at the expense of safety," was sent to 7000 FAA employees. While only 25% responded the results identified there was pressure to look the other way. As reported, "Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said it revealed “a disturbing pattern of senior officials at a Federal agency rolling over for industry.”  

The article also stated, "FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, who fared pretty well in the survey for his posture of standing up to Boeing, agreed with DeFazio and said the “problems” revealed by the survey will be addressed. “It is completely unacceptable that there are employees who lack confidence that their safety concerns are taken seriously.”

Those in the know cannot overlook the irony the Steve Dickson comment. However, the FAA proposed a $19.68 million dollar fine in March of 2020, and settled on a $1.25 million dollar civil penalty as of August 5, 2020. While $1.25 million is a token penalty, we must all question the FAA as to why they are not fining airlines who pressure employees to look the other way and roll over. Worse yet, when employees are retaliated against for bringing safety forward, why aren't the airlines fined? 

The FAA is the controlling agency, and if they feel pressure to look the other way, imagine how airline employee's feel when their livelihood depends upon their silence. It has become evident as to why there is no accountability at the airline executive level. They make the rules. They break the rules. They terminate employees who push for a safer system. They pressure administrators to look the other way. 

It's difficult when the fox is guarding the henhouse to impose a fine upon the very system that fox participated in creating. Regardless, like Russ Niles reports, "Accidents happen and people get killed.”

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

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