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Sat, Apr 01, 2023

FAA to Pursue Airman Violations with ChatGPT

Terrifying Program to Streamline, Automate Pilot Deviation Process Begins April 1st

Special 04.01.23 Parody Edition: An overworked FAA has announced the full automation of legal enforcement actions using a combination of OpenAI's ChatGPT and the ADS-B flight tracking system.

Under the scheme, OpenAI will allow the FAA to automatically oversee the issuance of enforcement and certificate actions without a single glance from a real human. The move is expected to clear more than 4.8 billion dollars in fines throughout the first 6 months of the pilot program. Starting April 1st, the FAA will set up a specially modified ChatGPT system to oversee all aircraft track data filtering through ADS-B, which will then evaluate, assess, and even punish offenders that stray too far off course. 

Billy Nolen, acting administrator of the FAA, was considerate of the fear that pilots undoubtedly have, but aimed to alleviate those concerns with a promise that the machines wouldn't be too strict in their enforcement. "I understand that a computer doesn't grant the same level of consideration that an authorized FAA inspector would, but we simply can't keep up with enforcement actions anymore. I'm sure some worry that the AI will be too harsh on establishing what a deviation is, but we feel we've found a very happy medium between good, just enforcement of the law and acceptable wiggle room for aircraft operations. How many pilots really even stray more than 100 feet from an assigned altitude anyway?" 

The newly appointed AI division has not published exactly which criteria result in an immediate pilot deviation, but initial indications point to the usual gamut of airspace, speed, ground movement, or frequency slip-ups. Leslie Wetzel, program consultant for OpenAI, said that the program should do wonders for FAA funding. 

"In our initial test-runs, we're seeing anywhere from 1 to 10 million dollars in fines issued in a moderately sized metro area. Say, an aircraft deviates more than 100 feet from its assigned altitude. The computer automatically searches for a letter from the airperson explaining why they deviated from a given altitude, and waits a week. If it doesn't recieve a reason for the pilot deviation, it automatically sends out the fine notice, or, if the pilot is working for a partnered air carrier, directly deducts the fine from their upcoming paycheck. It couldn't be any simpler." 

Pilot organizations are less than enthused, of course. ALPA spokesperson Isla Hahn said "the use of AI for automatic enforcement is one of the worst things to happen to this industry in the last 100 years. Fully automated fine-subtraction from a paycheck is an abysmal low even for the government but we intend to fight this out in court to the bitter end."

Calls to the RAA and NBAA resulted in enraged, foaming, but ultimately unintelligible conversations - but it can be safely assumed they too stand in opposition to the change.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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