Capitol Hill’s leading aviation expert went on the attack against the FAA after the agency proposed its largest-ever safety fine- $10.2 million – against Southwest Airlines. Jim Oberstar, the House Transportation Committee’s chairman, told reporters, “Complacency has likely set in at the highest levels of FAA.” He said at a news conference that “we’ve seen the pendulum swing away from vigorous enforcement of compliance toward a carrier-favorable, cozy relationship with the airlines.” Oberstar, the Congressional "go-to" guy on aviation, says the FAA ignored safety whistleblowers, and invited other airline whistleblowers to step forward. While a labour group leaps in on the FAA-bashing, a senior Republican charges it’s just politics as usual. And a former NTSB investigator defends Southwest. See Left Field for a full discussion.
And a much-respected former NTSB safety expert defends the discount king.