The Federal Aviation Administration´s aviation safety field office staff has a "remarkable degree of variation in regulatory ideologies," an Independent Review Team (IRT) told the Department of Transportation in a new report, adding that such differences could lead to mistakes in regulatory decision-making. The IRT, appointed by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to conduct a thorough review of FAA´s safety organization, presented a list of 13 recommendations to strengthen the agency´s oversight and smooth out the discord within the various field offices.
Peters called for an IRT review after the FAA came under intense scrutiny from Capitol Hill for its handling of Southwest Airlines airworthiness directive compliance issues. Chaired by Ed Stimpson, the former president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association who later served as U.S. Ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the five-member panel spent 120 days interviewing hundreds of FAA and industry officials to get an in-depth look at the agency.
The IRT praised FAA´s commitment to safety and fully backed voluntary disclosure programs by the aviation industry - something that had come under question during hearings in the House Transportation Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee.
Read the full version of the article at Aviation Week