Key Inspector Says FAA Crackdown Long Overdue

Agency's renewed inspection efforts long overdue, sweeping changes needed
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 2:26 PM CDT
Trinity Maughan, 6, of Peoria Ill. rests on a bag while waiting in line at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Wednesday, April 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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(Newser) – The Federal Aviation Administration is too lax, and its recent toughening-up long overdue, the Transportation Department’s inspector general Calvin Scovel told senators today. The agency should not rely, as it has until recently, on airlines to voluntarily disclose safety oversights, and shouldn’t provide loopholes for the appropriate penalties when they do, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We are concerned that FAA relies too heavily on self-disclosures and promotes a pattern of excessive leniency at the expense of effective oversight," Scovel said. At the same Senate subcommittee hearing, the FAA’s top inspector defended the voluntary-disclosure practice, saying it helped bring quick attention to the most urgent concerns.