U.S. aviation agencies seek to resolve issue over air safety data

March 8, 2011 at 8:43 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Wall Street Journal

U.S. aviation regulators and accident investigators both appear to be searching for ways to resolve a previously reported dispute over who should have access to safety data that airlines voluntarily provide to the government, according to federal and industry officials.

For weeks, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have sparred over what information board investigators should gain access to regarding safety lapses by U.S. airlines over the years. The NTSB has sought such material, previously voluntarily disclosed by airlines and pilots, as part of its ongoing probe of an American Airlines Boeing 757 jetliner that ran off the end of a runway last December in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

A final compromise about the data at issue, these people said, is likely to take some time and could still end up being blocked by strong feelings in both camps. The bureaucratic, inside-the-Beltway flap has potentially important policy implications, however, because it could set a precedent about the scope of the safety board’s activities in the future. [Full story]

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