Category:

Transportation

Viewing Aviation Regulations Through a Lens of Safety

A basic understanding of aviation regulations helps to understand some of the most basic requests airlines make of their passengers. Air travel is hailed as one of the safest modes of transportation not only because of the advancements in technology and the training that the aviators go through before they get a seat in the cockpit, but also because of the many regulations that bind it. Understanding the basis of a particular regulation is necessary to elucidate why the requirements exist, although the pressures of travel on passengers may make them seem arbitrary or unwarranted.

Airways Circumvent Inefficient Regulation with Inefficient Workaround

A 2010 regulation heightened the in-flight hour requirements for ‘First Officers’ (i.e., copilots) from 250 hours to 1500 hours. Advocacy for this regulation came from the families of Colgan Air Flight 3407, a fatal jetliner crash which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined was caused by pilots failing to respond to warnings that the airplane was about to stall. However, years into the implementation of the 1500 hours rule, the regulation has shown only questionable increases in flight safety. Critics argue that debatable increases in passenger safety do not offset the sharp increase in costs associated with pilot training. Instead, airlines have figured out a way to circumvent this questionably inefficient regulation by sacrificing commercial efficiency.

Putting the Brakes on New Jersey Transit

New Jersey Transit, one of our nation’s busiest commuter railroads, is no stranger to service and safety issues. Once a model agency to others, it is now the U.S. leader for breakdowns, accidents, and fines. Last year the agency logged the most accidents of the nation’s 10 biggest commuter railways, including the deadly Hoboken train crash. This past March, Todd C. Barretta took the reins of New Jersey Transit’s Chief Compliance Officer—a position that had been vacant since the agency created a safety office in 2014. He lasted a mere six months before being demoted, suspended, and ultimately fired. The New Jersey Transit system is a dysfunctional runaway train that needs an overhaul of its operating system to ensure safety for passengers and employees.

It’s Time for States to Get REAL

After years of waiting, the final implementation extension deadlines for compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005 are near. The most recent extensions for certain states pushed the final compliance deadline to October 10, 2017. Assuming the Federal Government does not grant further extensions, by this date all 50 states must be compliant with the Act.

The 1500 Hours Rule Grounds the US Airline Industry

The 1500 Hours Rule requires first officers to have at least 1500 hours of total flight time for licensure to fly commercial aircraft. The 2010 regulation boosted the flight time requirement for first officers from 250 to 1500 hours. Due to the heightened experience requirements, regional airlines have grounded flights and reduced their services, as they have not had sufficient qualified pilots to sustain the flights.

Volkswagen Compliance Chief Steps Down

Mac Matarieh Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2018   Volkswagen installed emission software that allowed more than a half-million diesel cars in the United States to cheat the emissions test set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Volkswagen has since recalled millions of vehicles and has reached a nearly $15 billion …
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Tesla autopilot hardware and how it impacts compliance departments

Gilbert Carrillo Executive Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2017   This past week, Tesla announced that all vehicles produced by the company, as of October 19, 2016, will have hardware needed for “full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver” (aka autopilot). Aside from the …
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New regulations for airlines aim to help customers but what does it mean for compliance departments?

Gilbert Carrillo Executive Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2017   The Obama administration has recently announced new regulation proposals to address common passenger complaints about airline service. Some of these rules would: allow passengers to obtain refunds for delayed baggage, provide customers with more accurate information about performance of the airlines passengers …
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