FAA Administrator Jane Garvey got an earful July 21 as the aviation industry expressed its unanimous opposition to the “Ticket Program.” The FAA had scheduled the meeting to try to explain the Streamlined Administrative Action (“Ticket”) Program and to solicit more industry input.
Administrator Garvey, who sat through most of the two-hour meeting, said the FAA was trying to find a way to make more effective use of inspector resources and to streamline the administrative enforcement process. She said the ticket program resulted from issues raised in the FAA’s 1996 90-day safety review following the ValuJet accident and a 1998 GAO study of FAA enforcement.
“We have come up with a program that may or may not get at those issues,” Garvey said. “We really do care about solutions that will work for us at the FAA and for you in industry.”
But the FAA’s “solution” won’t work, according to industry. From AOPA and other general aviation representatives to major airlines to pilot and mechanics unions, every industry representative in the room opposed the ticket program.
Dennis Roberts, AOPA senior vice president for government and technical affairs, told Garvey, “You perceive the program as doing one thing, the aviation community perceives it as doing something else.”
Roberts said that AOPA members were very concerned about the inconsistent application of federal aviation regulations and inspectors who erroneously issue violations.
Throughout the meeting, FAA officials kept repeating that a ticket would be an “administrative action,” not a “legal action,” and therefore would not have a significant impact on an airman. Roberts disagreed.
“If an administrative action is placed on an airman’s or mechanic’s record, it is in their file for two years and that does have an impact on an individual,” Roberts said. “It could very easily ruin their career. It affects whether or not they’re able to obtain insurance, whether or not they’re able to obtain employment or continue employment.”
Others stated the ticket program would ruin the FAA’s relationship with the industry.
An airline representative said the FAA was sending the wrong message at the wrong time. “The badges are out again. Are you trying to deal with safety or fill in the boxes?”
Another said the ticket program would set back the industry-FAA safety partnership by 20 years.
And a representative for a pilot’s union said it was the first time in 30 years he had seen the entire industry united against an FAA program.
The FAA will continue to take written comments on the Streamlined Administrative Action Program until July 30. Comments can be e-mailed to [email protected].
FAA officials said Administrator Garvey will make the final decision on the ticket program but did not say when she will make the decision.
July 21, 1998