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Wed Oct 2, 2013, 10:48 PM

FAA Inspector furlough violates treaty

Source: Forbes

Furloughing FAA Inspectors And NTSB Investigators May Violate International Aviation Treaty


FAA’s furlough of 3,000 aviation safety inspectors and NTSB’s furlough of its accident investigators may put the United States in default of its treaty obligations under the Chicago Convention and the obligations of member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The Chicago Convention is the main aviation treaty setting the standards for air safety among the 192 contracting states of ICAO, an agency of the United Nations. Violating its treaty obligations could have significant repercussions for US airlines if the inspectors and investigators are not immediately put back to work.

ICAO requires that the US have a system for insuring that all aircraft operating over its territory regardless of country of registry, and all US-registered aircraft wherever they operate, comply with applicable safety regulations. The FAA’s system requires adequate numbers of aviation safety inspectors. According to Loretta Alkalay, the FAA’s former top lawyer in NY, “it’s hard to imagine that the FAA can meet its ICAO obligations without 3000 inspectors. After all, it’s impossible to perform required surveillance and oversight functions without inspectors.”

In addition to safety oversight, the US is required by ICAO to insure that persons who violate air safety regulations are prosecuted. It is these furloughed inspectors whose job it is to investigate and prepare violations of the federal aviation regulations for prosecution by the FAA’s lawyers (who are also largely furloughed by the government shutdown). The US is also required by ICAO to conduct accident and incident investigations. Furloughing NTSB accident investigators could run afoul of this requirement.

Failure to comply with ICAO standards could have repercussions for US airlines. After all, the US has aggressively audited the Civil Aviation Authorities of ICAO member states. If a country’s CAA does not meet minimum standards, airline operations from that country to the US are limited and no new entrants are allowed. Among the areas looked at by the FAA in its audits of foreign countries is whether the CAAs have adequate infrastructure to insure proper compliance with safety requirements – that infrastructure includes adequate and properly qualified personnel. Calls to the FAA for comment were not returned.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoglia/2013/10/02/furloughing-faa-inspectors-and-ntsb-investigators-may-violate-international-aviation-treaty/



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No one is watching the airline industry.

Checks and balances are all gone .

9 replies, 1081 views

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 11:10 PM

1. Another important function of government that no one thinks about.

 

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 11:49 PM

2. Tough

It's a shutdown. Shut it all down. No Air Force-Navy football. No military academy classes.

They have to learn that there are consequences to their actions - very serious, very dangerous, very harmful. And the American people need to understand that government is not the problem, contrary to their four-decade-old mantra.

Close the courts, shut down the FAA and the NTSB. Shut down the FAA. Stop paying the military. Tell the Capitol Police to go home.

Yes, I know all about the impact on the federal employees, and I'm not saying what I'm saying out of contempt for them. I was one of them once, and proud of it. But something has to get people out into the streets, or at least to the polls, to show them that what they hear on fox news is hogwash, that their elected representatives are fools, and much worse.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 12:32 AM

3. I'm willing to cancel the Air Force - Navy Game and have both teams accept it as a forfeit.

Go Army!

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Response to 24601 (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 02:10 AM

4. Your right...

It's just a football game. The money could be used to help programs that really need it now. Cancel the game.

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Response to go west young man (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 12:17 PM

7. I really don't care if they play the game or not as long as they both have to accept forfeit. The

service academy football programs are usually not funded by appropriations but by athletic department fees (self-sustaining programs) and contributions. The coaching staffs aren't government employees but are paid by the non-governmental athletic associations.

You run into this seemingly same disconnect on military bases everywhere. Commissaries (grocery stores) are closed because they run on appropriated funds. Post Exchanges/Base Exchanges, and Morale Welfare Recreation facilities (for example golf courses) aren't paid for with appropriated funds - so they are open.

Uniformed military personnel are at work and will be paid on time. With Civil Servants it's split - many of us are furloughed. Others are working as emergency essential but won't actually get paid until after funds are appropriated.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 11:51 AM

6. I agree, but you don't go far enough.

If we are shutting down the government, shut down the FBI, the Treasury Dept, Border Patrol, and the Federal Courts. Close the Federal Prisons. These people think that all the gov't does is tax then and they get nothing in return. Paul Ryan says we don't need a debt ceiling increase because we have enough money to pay the interest on T-Bills. OK. Pay the interest and nothing else. Stop and lay off ALL government workers, including Congress, SCOTUS, and the President. Lock the doors to the White House and to Congress. Turn off the electricty and the water and send them all home. Recall all diplomats and their staff and lock up the embassies. Disband the armed forces. Let people see what 'no government' really means. I am so sick of this bull s**t. Stop Social Security checks, stop paying medicare and medicaid, food stamps. Lay off all of the IRS. Close down the service academies and send the students home.

Oh, and tell Paul Ryan and the other idiots that even though there is money to pay the interest on the T-Bills there is no one to write the checks. So sorry.

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Response to Stonepounder (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 12:24 PM

9. Just to be accurate, the Cadets & Midshipmen at West Point, Annapolis & Air Force Academy are in the

regular force military serving on active duty and subject to the UCMJ. They are not civilian students like ROTC but Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen.

The President signed legislation that exempts the uniformed military from shutdown. Of course, he still is paid and the 27th Amendment prohibits varying congressional pay without an intervening election. And the Constitution specifically prohibits reducing federal judiciary pay during their (lifetime) term in office.

Perhaps a good old constitutional convention is what we need - but that is a minefield with all sorts of likely outcomes unintended by many.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 10:36 AM

5. A few years ago they weren't doing their jobs anyway- too chummy

Truth be told, they are probably still not doing their jobs.

See the report below.

The union people that found the problems and started documenting it, went to both the company and the FAA to get them corrected. Both looked the other way and refused to correct the deficiencies, so they took a huge notebook of evidence to the Department of Transportation IG.

Even today, managers at the company are putting one of the "whistleblowers" (protection doesn't exist for union members working under the Railway Labor Act because the company can harass the hell out of people under the protection of arbitration hearings and the information will never hit the media). Some of the others that worked for the union group got "assimilated by the borg" meaning they were hired by the company as "management". On the FAA side, the lobbying arm of the Airline Transport Assn, hired one of the retiring FAA head dudes to "represent them" at somewhere around $8,000 a day. So you can see how things get screwed up.

Although the report got toned down on the hill. It still resulted in the FAA having to do their jobs and fining AA approx 200 million. That got negotiated down to approx 50 million.

That's nothing, they saved far more than that over the years deferring maintenance items.

http://www.oig.dot.gov/sites/dot/files/WEB%20FILE_FAA%20Oversight%20of%20AA.pdf

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 12:19 PM

8. national security and most of aviation are exempt from shutdown.

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