Reuters: Exclusive: FAA employees report industry pressure, question agency safety push in survey says:
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety employees reported facing “strong” external pressure from industry and raised alarms the agency does not always prioritize air safety, according to an independent survey seen by Reuters on Friday.
The report found employees believe aviation safety leaders “painted ‘too rosy of a picture’” after the 737 MAX crashes “and did not acknowledge the needed changes to FAA safety-related policies and processes.”
The survey, turned over to Congress on Friday, found that many aviation safety employees believe that “senior leaders are overly concerned with achieving the business-oriented outcomes of industry stakeholders and are not held accountable for safety-related decisions.”
Reading the article makes it clear that "industry" refers to Boeing.
One part I found troubling:
“Many reported that industry will escalate issues to senior leadership and/or Congress if FAA employees are perceived as ‘getting in their way,” which directly leads to decisions that are friendlier to industry (i.e., to help meet timelines and manage costs of industry applicants and operators),” the survey added.
And tucked in one thing I had not seen coverage of:
The FAA on Wednesday proposed fining Boeing $1.25 million after the agency alleged Boeing exerted undue pressure on workers who handle FAA safety oversight work.
Hmm, $1.25M seems like a lot but apparently MCAS has put a $20B hole in Boeing's books so it won't be noticed, IMO.
Why isn't FAA naming names of who applied the pressure?
FAA has had the results of this survey for a while, and Congress had to ask FAA to provide a copy.
Now Congress has a copy, but it's a hot potato, because it points the finger back at Congress.
FAA employees allege that Boeing uses Congress to pressure FAA, presumably to hit schedule dates and/or to delegate back to Boeing when they can't.
Weren't we supposed to have a bill in Congress by now? I don't recall hearing of anything getting out of committee.
Given Congress requested this info from FAA, what were they expecting to get, and what were they expecting to do with the results?
Was this just another political grandstanding opportunity?
Dickson seems to be saying "I'm shocked, shocked that this activity is occurring at my establishment!"
That's why there's always a fall guy, it lets the new guy say he's shocked.