Correspondence

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U. S. Office of Special Counsel Releases Report of OIG Findings on EWR Runway Safety Investigation

On September 19, 2008, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) referred whistleblower allegations to the Secretary of Transportation regarding the potential for safety problems with the intersecting runways at Newark Liberty International Airport. The matter was delegated by the Secretary to the Office of Inspector General.

We investigated the underlying safety disclosures and found that although the runway configurations did not violate any FAA regulation or policy, the concerns raised about the safety of the runway configurations were valid. In our completed Report on Investigation to the Secretary, we made various recommendations, including that FAA complete a safety analysis. The Secretary provided that report to OSC on October 14, 2009.

The OSC reviewed the report and on November 19, 2009, issued their analysis to Congress and the President, stating in part that, 'OSC found the [Department of Transportation's (DOT's)] report deficient because FAA has not implemented critical procedures to mitigate the safety hazards confirmed by DOT's investigation, allowing potential safety risks to the flying public to persist.' Our review of the matter confirmed that FAA has taken some but not all actions necessary to fully implement the additional safety improvements.

Copies of OSC's Letter to the President, DOT's Report to OSC, Part 1 (which includes the OIG report) and Part 2, and the whistleblower's complaint are available on OSC's web site.