Examination of the Federal Aviation Administration's Safety and Modernization Performance, Hearing Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, April 17, 2008 [open pdf - 1MB]
From the opening statement of Patty Murray: "These are troubling times for our airline passengers and the entire aviation industry. In the last year, we have seen jet fuel prices climb by almost 70 percent. In the last 2 weeks, three airlines have declared bankruptcy, and 2 days ago, we learned of a planned mega merger to create the Nation's largest U.S. airline and more mergers could be announced soon. With all of this disruption, the millions of passengers who take to the skies in our country each year need to be sure that the agency in charge of enforcing safety is consistent and effective, but instead the FAA has been inconsistent and erratic and passengers are angry and upset. I am very concerned. I and the Department of Transportation's Inspector General have been sounding the alarm for years about problems in the FAA's Flight Standards Program, yet we have seen repeated problems. Most recently, we learned that managers at the FAA allowed Southwest Airlines to violate Federal safety regulations and it punished the safety inspector who tried to bring the violations to light. Some observers inside the Government have tried to blame it all on a few bad apples at one inspection office in Dallas, Texas, but I don't buy it, and I want to know how the FAA will ensure to the flying public that it is meeting its core duty to enforce safety." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Patty Murray, Christopher S. Bond, Frank R. Lautenberg, Dianne Feinstein, Robert A. Sturgell, Calvin L. Scovel, and Robert F. Bennett.
S. Hrg. 110-755; Senate Hearing 110-755
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html