What is the FAA’s purpose?
According to the FAA’s Web site, the agency’s vision is “to improve the safety and efficiency of aviation, while being responsive to our customers and accountable to the public.”
What is the FAA’s reputation as a good place to work?
Employee dissatisfaction within the FAA is no secret, but it is telling that the agency ranks 214th out of 216 federal agencies in the partnership’s “best places to work” index.
What was the FAA’s role in 9/11?
The FAA was the only federal agency charged with responsibility for aviation safety—including airplanes, airspace, and airport security—and the only one that had direct contact with the hijackers. Each layer of the FAA relevant to the 9/11 hijacking—intelligence, passenger prescreening, checkpoint screening, and on-board security—was seriously flawed.
What is the definition of bureaupathology?
In their article “Organization Rules and the Bureaucratic Personality” (American Journal of Political Science, 1998), Barry Bozeman and Hal G. Rainey wrote: “A bureaucratic structure suffers from bureaupathology when it is slow to change, strives to protect administrative roles, tends toward quantitative compliance, and serves no role other than structural.”
What is an “operational error”?
According to the FAA Operations Manual, when an aircraft receives authorization from an air traffic controller to land or depart on a runway that is closed to aircraft operations that is an operational error (OE). Such a call is not up to the discretion of the controller. The only exception is when the pilot declares an emergency. Anyone who is aware of such an OE should immediately report it to the air traffic manager, supervisor, or CIC.
What is the DOT’s and FAA’s policy on violence in the workplace?
The DOT and FAA have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to workplace violence. It is the FAA’s stated policy that “violent, threatening, harassing, and/or confrontational behaviors in any form” will not be tolerated. Threatening behavior, according to the policy, includes “name calling, obscene language, or any other intimidating or abusive action.”
Who is Mary Schiavo?
Mary Schiavo was the Department of Transportation Inspector General who shined a spotlight on the FAA and nicknamed it the “Tombstone Agency” because of its tendency to act only after people died. Schiavo found the FAA’s competence, thoroughness, and judgment sadly lacking in every area her staff investigated. Mary Schiavo is the author, with Sabra Chartrand, of the New York Times bestseller Flying Blind, Flying Safe.
What are the consequences of the reported shortage of experienced air traffic controllers?
Fewer than 11,000 certified professional air traffic controllers—the smallest number in decades—serve the entire country today. With fewer experienced controllers in place, those remaining are forced to work overtime with fewer and shorter breaks and less time between shifts to handle the volume of air traffic. Controllers sometimes work on as little as two hours of sleep. A recent NTSB report revealed that sleep-deprived air traffic controllers played a role in at least four near-fatal incidents on the nation’s runways since 2001. According to Charles Czeisler, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, sleeping only two hours in a twenty-four-hour period impairs performance equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of .05 percent.
Is the U.S.’s air traffic infrastruture keeping up with the demands of the growth of air traffic and numbers of airline passengers?
In a word, no. Air traffic guidance systems are outdated. Some have not been upgraded in more than thirty years, and others are held together with technology that was in used in World War II. The voice communication system controllers use to talk to pilots are obsolete. Transmissions can become garbled if two pilots transmit on the same frequency at the same time. Radar and radio outages occur with alarming frequency. Dangerous outages may cut off communication between air traffic controller and pilot. The FAA is working to install a new system called NextGen, at a cost of nearly 1 billion dollars annually, that would use satellites to track flights, but there is no completion date in sight for the program.