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FAA should improve safety inspector staffing methods, OIG says

Washington – The Federal Aviation Administration’s current staffing model is unable to adequately determine where to assign safety inspectors, concludes a report released June 20 by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

A 2006 congressionally mandated National Research Council study determined that FAA’s safety inspector staffing methods were ineffective, and in October 2009 FAA introduced its current staffing model. The OIG report states that the 2009 model uses “incomplete, inaccurate and outdated data” and does not address all of NRC’s recommendations, including establishing performance measures for effectiveness and capturing safety inspector buy-in.

OIG made seven recommendations to FAA, including increasing safety inspector training and correcting the model’s data limitations. FAA concurred with six recommendations and partially concurred with one, and OIG stated it will evaluate some of FAA’s ongoing improvement efforts on the recommendations.