US Sets Up Air Traffic Safety Review After Near Collision Crises
© AP Photo / Tom BrennerSmall Plane Crash Maryland
© AP Photo / Tom Brenner
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Federal Aviation Administration has created a safety review panel to study the entire US air traffic control system after several near collisions that could have taken hundreds of lives were narrowly averted in recent weeks in several parts of US, FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen told a Senate panel on Wednesday.
"I have formed a safety review team to examine the US aerospace system structure, culture, processes, systems and integration of safety efforts," Nolen told a hearing of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Nolen said the panel would focus on organizing a broad safety summit in which stakeholders from different concerned organizations, agencies and commercial companies would examine what additional actions the US aviation community needed to take to maintain the nation's air safety record.
A group of commercial and general aviation leaders, labor partners and others will examine what mitigations are working and why others do not appear to be as effective, Nolen added.
21 June 2022, 01:50 GMT
Cruz also said Nolen's "self-regulating and flailing agency" is still stuck in the 20th century despite Congress fully funding modernization since 2013.
Nolen in response to the grilling tried to reassure that it was still safe to travel.
"Can I say to the American public that we are safe? The answer is that we are," Nolen said. "If the question is can we be better? The answer is absolutely. And that’s the piece we’re working on."
However, Nolen told the hearing that the current transition to an integrated air traffic control system would not be completed until some time in 2025.
In January, an air traffic control systems breakdown forced the FAA to order the first national shutdown of all domestic aviation traffic since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.