Perspectives on Overseeing the Safety of the U.S. Air Transportation System
On March 27, 2019, Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, at a hearing focused on the state of aviation safety and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) oversight of commercial aviation. The Inspector General’s testimony noted that recent events have brought new attention to FAA’s safety oversight, including the two fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that occurred in October 2018 and March 2019. In his testimony, the Inspector General described important safety oversight issues—both new and longstanding—that need FAA’s attention. In particular, the Inspector General focused on FAA’s efforts related to (1) reducing hazards associated with flight deck automation; (2) implementing FAA and industry’s evolving safety oversight systems; and (3) addressing other safety-critical watch items, including runway safety, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, cybersecurity, and suspected unapproved aircraft parts.