posted on February 04, 2013 15:50
A new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General (IG) report shows that the FAA is lagging on implementing new pilot training rules and a new database for airlines to check pilots before hiring them.
The FAA said most carriers (90 percent plus) are now using voluntary programs in which pilots report safety issues that "has led to significant training, operational and maintenance program improvements."
The report was commissioned by the House of Representatives and Senate aviation subcommittees following the passage of new pilot training requirements in the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010. The act was passed in the wake of the 2009 Colgan Air accident. The report determined that “While FAA has implemented many elements of the Act, the Agency and industry have not yet achieved the full measure of the Act’s intended safety enhancements.” Some of the recommendations are that the FAA:
• Fully implement the Act-required ASAP and FOQA plan that assists smaller carriers in developing these safety programs.
• Develop and communicate with key stakeholders the status of major milestones, including the proposed rule, to improve timeliness and accountability for implementing the new Pilot Records Database.
• Require inspectors to determine if Part 121 air carriers have modified policies, in accordance with the Act, to retain pilot records for the new, centralized electronic pilot records database.
• In developing the Pilot Records Database, require training records for all unsatisfactory pilot evaluation events to include written comments from the examiner to aid in identifying specific performance deficiencies. 1