More than a decade has passed since the last major-airline accident on U.S. soil. That’s great news for aviation companies and their passengers
Sounds like great news, right? But...
-- and a complication for rule makers trying to improve flight safety.
The benefits of aviation rules are calculated primarily on how many deaths they may prevent, so the safest decade in modern airline history is making it harder to justify the cost of new requirements.
“If anyone wants to advance safety through regulation, it can’t be done without further loss of life,” said William Voss, chief executive officer of the Alexandria, Virginia-based Flight Safety Foundation.
It's been more than 10 years since the last major airliner crash in the US (keep fingers crossed), and in spite of ever increasing record numbers of flights in the air, accident rates are at such low rates that the FAA are worried that there is not enough justification for more regulations that they draft every day.
If there ever was a good example of the dangers of the bureaucratic mindset, I don't know what is.
Here is a flippant idea... what if federal regulators decide to sabotage a plane, watch it go down, and gleefully renew their efforts to regulate the hell out of everything? Oh wait - they already tried that. It was called "Fast and Furious", wasn't it? CBS disclosed how the ATF hoped that the deaths caused by the lost guns could be used to increase gun control regulations.
ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called "Demand Letter 3". That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or "long guns." Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.
On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF's Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
"Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks."
[Edited 2012-06-27 19:59:16]