FAA Reports Major Air Travel Safety Concerns

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FILE - A Federal Aviation Administration sign hangs in the tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport, March 16, 2017, in New York. On Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, aviation experts who examined the FAA's safety record said the agency needs better staffing, equipment and technology to cope with a surge in the most serious close calls between planes. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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(AURN News) — A recent report submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sounded the alarm on serious concerns plaguing air travel safety, emphasizing the need for immediate action to address issues within the National Airspace System (NAS). The NAS Safety Review Team (SRT) released its findings this week, shedding light on critical problems rooted in inadequate funding, staffing shortages, and outdated technology.

“These challenges, in the areas of process integrity, staffing, and facilities, equipment, and technology, all have ties to inadequate, inconsistent funding. Together, these challenges contribute to increased safety risk and should be regarded as incident precursors,” the report’s executive summary stated.

In a letter addressed to FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker included in the report, the SRT emphasized the shared responsibility among stakeholders in the FAA and the aviation industry to maintain the safety of the NAS.

“To continue to do so depends on multiple factors and layers of safety mitgiations [sic]. The confluence of the issues we identified results in an erosion of safety margins that must be urgently addressed,” the team said in the letter.

A significant portion of the report focused on the staffing shortage among air traffic controllers, citing the FAA’s struggle in the mid-2000s. According to the report, “ there are 1,002 fewer fully certified air traffic controllers in August 2023 than in August 2012, despite increasing complexity of operations…”

Notably, Charles Bolden, a former NASA administrator, astronaut, and retired Marine Corps Major General, was the sole African American member among the six members of the Safety Review Team.


Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

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