Some Constructive Thoughts on Sequestration

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ARTICLE: If We Could Protect Airlines from Government, We Would Be Fine

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The Street.com story explores the thesis that the government may be a source of harm to the airlines. The Washington Post editorial board has made similar comments.

The subject of sequestration has been addressed here frequently. The airlines and the pilots union have sought review of the FAA’s decision in the US Court of Appeals. In the press conference announcing their joint suit, they complained that the FAA was not providing adequate information about the FAA’s Sequestration Plan.

One would hope that there was real outreach by the FAA to the aviation industry in a way that would allow the operators to become part of the solution. For example, there may be short term options; if certain en route sectors are impacted, the airlines can move their flight routes on a real time basis to avoid stressed airspace.

The absence of good information between the regulated and the regulator creates doubt which gnaws at the trust that is essential to regulation. We know not, and will not attempt to speculate about, the reasons why or even the source of the directions. As aviation safety professionals, who have contributed to the grease that makes the wheels of government work, we despair at the loss of an essential lubricant so necessary to assure safety.

The FAA is getting a lot of help from a wide variety of sources and the Administrator does not need another know-it-all to tell him how to manage his organization. The purpose of this post is to let him know that the industry recognizes his frustration and does not blame him or his team. That said, outreach to the stakeholders with the goal of letting them be part of the solution, rather than a crowd of external critics, will assure that the valuable, historic trust is preserved.

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