Former IG Blasts FAA

March 26, 1997
THE DAILY FED

Former IG Blasts FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration is weak on airline safety and has a "slapdash" approach to safety inspections, a former Transportation Department inspector general contends in a new book.

Mary Schiavo, who quit as Transportation's IG last year, says in her book, Flying Blind, Flying Safe, that the FAA has a "tombstone mentality," enforcing regulations after disasters instead of before.

Schiavo said the American public must demand that the FAA conduct regular safety ratings of airlines. The government already compiles data on accident and near-collision rates.

"If this information is put forward, the airlines will become more and more competitive on safety," Schiavo said.

The FAA responded to her comments, saying that "the American aviation system is the safest in the world, carrying 1.6 million passengers safely every day."

Schiavo's book describes what she calls the FAA's "culture of unaccountability," responsible for cost overruns and delays in air traffic control modernization and haphazard airline inspection methods.

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