It has been reported by the Federal Aviation Administration that Dallas air-traffic controllers hid dozens of safety errors that allowed planes to fly too close together. Air-traffic officials blamed pilots for the errors when air traffic managers were actually to blame. Though most of the incidents were not serious, a few were classified as significant safety risks. The revelations marked the second time in the past two months that federal whistle-blowers have raised safety concerns at the FAA. The FAA admitted in March that inspectors overseeing Southwest Airlines allowed the carrier to fly planes that had not received critical safety inspections. A subsequent review of all airlines’ maintenance triggered massive groundings after additional safety violations were found, disrupting travel for hundreds of thousands of people.
A federal watchdog who shepherded whistle-blower allegations in both cases charged that the FAA suffers from a culture of “complacency and cover up.” FAA officials said that the falsification of error reports appears to be limited to Dallas. Hopefully, that’s an accurate appraisal. Even so, the problems in Dallas must be remedied. Similar allegations against the Dallas facility were made in 2004 by a whistle-blower and the FAA promised to reform how errors are reported. However, falsification of records continued.
Source: USA Today
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