Keeping Tabs on the FAA

Monday, April 14, 2008

We are gratified to see Ruth Marcus bringing light to the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to live up to its obligations to ensure safety by enforcing airworthiness directives ["When a Watchdog Isn't," op-ed, April 9], as well as Del Quentin Wilber's on-the-money news coverage ["Airlines, FAA Under Fire on Hill," Business, April 2, and "Airline Safety Alarms Unheeded," front page, April 4].

Post readers deserve to know that the watchdog of the watchdogs -- the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) -- did its job of substantiating what these FAA whistleblowers disclosed and that it directed the transportation secretary to conduct a full investigation, which the Transportation Department's inspector general will soon complete. These actions resulted in sudden attention to the need for aviation safety compliance and in the grounding of a couple of thousand airplanes from multiple airlines for maintenance inspections.

The OSC is not done in dogging this and other major FAA cover-ups that have endangered the public. The OSC is all over the FAA for its retaliation against several whistleblowers. Two major inspector general reports will be coming out soon, and the OSC will report publicly on the efficacy of proposed fixes, as well as its efforts to bring discipline to wrongdoers.


Special Counsel

U.S. Office of Special Counsel


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