© Shawn Byers
Compliance challenges continue to hover over Southwest Airlines two years after missed fuselage inspections triggered an almost $8 million fine against the carrier. The fall-out from the episode revealed blatant abuse of the FAA's voluntary disclosure programme on both sides, leading to a top-down review of the airworthiness directive compliance programmes, and an acknowledgement that complexity needs to be eliminated from the process. Huge changes are also afoot in US military maintenance, with the air force reversing a decade-long commitment by the Department of Defense to outsource logistics support for weapon systems. Performance-based logistics deals for the C-17 and F-22 will be cancelled, and the work brought back under air force control. Meanwhile, manufacturers continue to make strides in real-time diagnostics.