July 3, 2008

Feds Recommend Changes for Overview of Airlines

DALLAS - The FAA must make changes to ensure that airlines correct safety violations like those that occurred at Southwest Airlines, according to a new government report.

The report says more inspectors should review safety cases before they are closed, and that inspectors should be barred from immediately going to work for airlines that they monitor.

The Federal Aviation Administration agrees with several of the suggestions but rejected an idea to rotate inspectors so they don't become too close to particular airlines.

And the FAA only partly accepted another recommendation designed to protect whistle-blowers like those who publicized problems at Southwest.

The suggestions were contained in a report this week from the Transportation Department's inspector general.

House Transportation committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn., requested the report after disclosures that Southwest Airlines Co. operated dozens of flights with planes that hadn't been inspected for cracks in their metal frames.

The FAA said it has already begun acting on six of eight suggestions, including more review of cases so that a single inspector can't decide to close a case.

Originally published by Associated Press .

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