The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is preparing to reduce its staff by 20 percent in the face of government budget cuts. Safety inspectors, mostly based in Canberra, make up just over half of the 110 personnel who might be let go. The union representing the safety inspectors is fighting the planned cuts.
The Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) believes the formula the FAA uses to determine the number of inspectors required to maintain system safety is flawed, despite the facts that 4,000 FAA safety inspectors are employed nationwide, and that the agency has an enviable Part 121 safety record.
An FAA inspector has filed a federal “whistleblower” complaint against his employer, charging the agency with removing him from his field position overseeing the certification of Colgan Air’s Bombardier Q400 operation last year when he raised concerns about pilot flying performance and the airline’s safety culture.