Flight Chaos to Continue as FAA Gets Tough

Crackdown will continue through June 30
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 9:54 AM CDT
Stranded travelers receive assistance at an American Airlines ticket counter following several flight cancellations by the airline March 18, 2008.    (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – Air travelers should brace themselves for several more months of chaos: the wave of FAA audits that began March 30, producing more than 2,000 canceled flights this week, will continue through June 30. In an effort to toughen enforcement of safety standards, the agency has moved to relying less on data provided by the airline themselves and more on on-site inspections, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Embarrassed by the disclosure that some FAA managers let Southwest Airlines fly planes overdue for safety checks, the FAA has also reassigned supervisors and announced an overhaul of how it handles disagreements between inspectors and their managers. “We desire that this not be a system where there’s leeway,” an FAA spokeswoman tells the Journal.