In a recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board has asked the FAA to modify its air traffic control procedures to avoid mid-air collisions when a plane is not able to land as planned. NTSB came to this conclusion after studying five separate incidents when an aircraft came with “hazardous proximity” of landing or departing aircraft while executing a “go-around.” In a letter to the FAA, the NTSB says adequate safeguards need to be in place to maintain enough space between planes when a go-around is necessary.
A new audit report from the DHS IG takes the TSA to task because the TSA did not develop and implement procedures to ensure that the application and procurement decisions regarding private firms hired to replace TSA agents at airports. The IG stated that these lapses appear to understate the savings from using private screeners. In addition, the IG concluded that the TSA also did not have “quality-assurance procedures to ensure the most accurate info is used. As a result, TSA risks making incorrect decisions on applications and procurements, and thus, may miss opportunities to save funds.” This comes at a time when many Red State Congressmen are pushing to have the private sector take over for the TSA.
A group of 19 states have signed on to join the U.S. Department of Justice in reviewing the proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways. This should not be viewed as worrisome, most analysts assume, since it is not unusual for states to join a federal merger review. The states’ beef most likely center around U.S. Airways’ statement that if the combined airline loses slots at Reagan National it will cut service to smaller cities. With Essential Services on the chopping block because of budget cuts, this may be an issue that the airlines will have to address if they want support in Congress.