Speed does not always correlate with wisdom in aviation safety

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News Article: Lack of urgency on aviation safety: report Auditor-general slams Transport Canada for not fixing persistent problems

This report from Canada, in which that country’s Inspector General criticizes Transport Canada for a lack of alacrity in enacting regulations, is a reminder that the process associated with issuance of aviation regulations does not always benefit from expediency. “Based on JDA’s thousands of years of regulatory experience” said Joe Del Balzo, the firm’s CEO and a former FAA Senior Executive, “the complexity of the technical issues, the variety of the operators to which the new rules apply and the limitation on regulatory resources, all suggest that the issuance of a well crafted rule is the optimal long term outcome.” Once a problem is identified, “industry usually voluntarily incorporates new internal controls which serve as an effective interim solution. Also, FAA field personnel are usually aware of the pending problem and are able to exercise considerable discretion in their work with the operators. The FAA can be very supportive and effective during such transitions,” said Mr. Del Balzo. The scrutiny of oversight bodies, like the IG and the NTSB, helps prioritize the FAA’s agenda, but it’s the aviation professionals that must balance multiple demands of the regulatory agenda and use other means and mechanisms to assure safety during such transitions.

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