NTSB: FAA Failing To Address Urgent Recommendations

 - November 13, 2007, 10:54 AM

On Thursday the NTSB updated its “Most Wanted” list of safety improvements, and half of the 44 “critical” safety recommendations were issued to the FAA. The Safety Board identified runway safety as one of the most important issues for the agency to address. Specifically, the NTSB wants the FAA to implement a safety system for ground movement that provides direct warning capability to flight crews; draft ATC procedures requiring an explicit clearance for each runway crossing; and require operators to calculate landing distances based on existing performance data, actual conditions and with a 15-percent safety margin. Other high-priority recommendations: fuel-air vapors in transport-category airplanes, which can cause fuel-tank explosions; aircraft icing, including a systematic and proactive approach to airplane icing certification and operational issues; upgraded audio and flight data recorders, as well as equipage of cockpit video recorders in small and large aircraft; CRM training for Part 135 operators; and flight crew, aviation mechanic and air traffic controller fatigue, to include establishing scientifically based hours-of-service regulations. The NTSB graded the FAA’s progress as “unacceptable” in all areas except fuel-air vapors.