NASA Releases Troubling Air Safety Survey
December 31, 2007 § 1 Comment
NASA, the national Aeronautics and Space Administration is an agency of the United States government. Its primary function is to control and administer the nation’s public space program, this replaced the previous administration of aeronautics, astronautics and space exploration which was generally a responsibility held by the U.S. military. In the end and currently what we have are both civilian and military based advisory panels that coordinate and report direction to the President, but operate separate space programs.
In 2006 NASA announced a mission statement to, “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research”. But despite this mission statement NASA rejected an Associated Press request, under the Freedom of Information Act, and declined the release of pertinent research. NASA was criticised by Congress and news organization for concealing the research data. Although, NASA explained that its reluctance to release this information was because,
“…it did not want to undermine public confidence in the airlines or hurt airline fortunes.”
The pressure from Congress and the media forced NASA’s top administrator Dr. Michael Griffin, who has been criticized by space research organizations for shifting NASA’s budget from science to spaceflight, promised to release some of the data by the end of the year.
Rita Beamish of AP discusses the details of the research writing,
“NASA’s survey, the National Aviation Operations Monitoring System, interviewed about 8,000 pilots per year from 2001 until the end of 2004. The program was terminated before moving on to interview flight attendants and air traffic controllers, as originally envisioned.”
Pilots were asked how many times they encountered more than 100 safety events in flight and on the ground, such as near-collisions, equipment failure, runway interference, trouble communicating with the tower and unruly passengers.”
Beamish also reports that NASA is expected to release these results today, Monday December 31, 2007 on NASA’s website. (source)
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