Hersman Blasts FAA over Runway Incursion Dithering

 - December 4, 2009, 3:21 AM

“There will be some truth-telling,” declared new NTSB chair Deborah Hersman on Tuesday as she began her opening address at the FAA International Runway Safety Summit held this week in Washington, D.C. As part of that telling, she noted that in July 2000 the NTSB issued six recommendations to the FAA to amend various ATC procedures that, in the NTSB’s judgment, unnecessarily added to the risks associated with airport surface operations. “All but one of those six recommendations is still open, with the FAA responses in varying states of completion.” The remaining recommendation, regarding limitations on use of position-and-hold procedures, has been closed without action. “How do safety improvements end up taking ten years to deliver?” Hersman asked her audience, and then answered her own question. “They get delayed one day at a time…and every one of those days may be the day when a preventable accident occurs as the result of something we were just about ready to fix.”