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Airline Safety: Fines won't cut it

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On the 12th of August I wrote that the airlines attempts to save money would turn into a disaster that reshapes the industry.

A mere 2 days later I read this headline from a piece on MSNBC:  American Fined $7 Million For Safety Problems.

American flew a plane that had a problem with the auto-pilot disengaging for no apparent reason.  Bad.

Here's a quote from the FAA:

"In intentionally continuing to fly the aircraft, the carrier did not follow important safety regulations intended to protect passengers and crew."

Wow.  Just wow.  If that makes you a bit squirmy in places...catch this quote:

The FAA is also seeking fines against American for violating drug and alcohol testing procedures involving several dozen flight attendants and other employees, only one of which was a pilot, Dorr said.

The airline also did not make timely inspections of its emergency lighting systems inside aircraft for several years, the agency said.

Double wow.  I've been loyal to American Airlines for over 10 years now.  Granted, I'm guessing the other airlines aren't much better but what is it going to take to make this industry right? 

I thought our safety was of primary concern.  Can we attribute these lapses to "cost savings?"  Are certain people "too busy" to get to these issues?  Are drug test results overlooked or missed because someone in charge just had too much to do? 

I'm asking the questions because I don't like seeing someone's hand forced by a regulating agency.  What more is happening that we DON'T know about?

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Isaac Garcia

They've been hemmoraging cash for decades. Another $7mm is NOTHING to these guys.

In fact, it's an incentive to slack-off.

It's probably cheaper to pay the $7mm fine than it is to execute the right safety measures.

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