Today Washington vowed to beef up airplane inspections and demanded to know why American Airlines stranded 250,000 travelers last week, the AP reports. "No one at all was well served by what happened," US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said. But she defended federal regulators, saying they did not overreact after learning of lax inspections on Southwest Airlines planes last month.
Peter said her plan includes notifying FAA headquarters when local inspectors miss routine checks. Senator Chuck Schumer applauded the move, but questioned whether the FAA “could devote the resources and manpower to get it done right.” Teamsters president James Hoffa was less generous: “The real problem is there aren't enough FAA inspectors," he said, and called the plan “window dressing.”