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Sat, Feb 18, 2023

FAA to Conduct Internal Safety Audit

Nolen to Address Congress

Citing a series of recent aviation safety incidents, Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen has ordered a sweeping review of the agency he heads up.

Mr. Nolen, a former American Airlines MD-80, 757, and 767 pilot, set forth in a memo: “We are experiencing the safest period in aviation history, but we cannot take this for granted. Recent events remind us that we must not become complacent.”

The memo and the exigencies implied thereby follow the 10 January 2023 NOTAM system anomaly that occasioned the first nationwide grounding of U.S. domestic flights since 2001’s 9/11 attacks, as well as two subsequent incidents in which airliners nearly collided during runway operations at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Texas’s Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

FAA safety teams will endeavor to determine “whether there are other incidents that resemble ones we have seen in recent weeks,” Nolen stated. Subject teams will look, also, for means by which to better integrate the agency’s air traffic control division with its broader safety efforts.

In addition to FAA personnel, the reviews will include input deriving of the expertise and experience of participants hailing from numerous and diverse aerospace industry sectors. In March 2023, representatives of commercial air-carriers and airline labor unions will meet for purpose of discussing commercial aviation safety records and devising means by which such might be improved.

“We must ensure that our structure is fit for purpose for the U.S. aerospace system of both today and the future,” Nolen’s memo reads. “We know that our aviation system is changing dramatically. Now is the time to act.”

FMI: www.faa.gov

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