As a FAA Inspector preparing to leave the agency I have a unique view of the culture within our ranks.
The issues here are complex. We have for years viewed the airlines as a "customer". Right or wrong, this relationship of collaboration has resulted in a difficult balancing act for us inspectors between regulatory compliance and the safety reporting system known as the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program.
The events surrounding Southwest are not isolated or unique but are systemic throughout the aviation industry. The challenge we're faced with is how do we move forward and prevent this from happening in the future.
I would leave you with this thought. There are just over 3000 Aviation Safety Inspectors out there doing their very best to ensure aviation safety, please thank them.
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