"It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that categorically refusing to release government-financed aviation safety research data to the public using the argument that it might adversely affect corporate profits is egregiously wrong. We are pleased that all the raw data have been released to your Committee and that NASA has pledged to release all of the properly de-identified data to the public by December 31st, 2007. It is regrettable that this was not NASA HQ's initial decision.
It is, however, worrisome that NASA now appears to be hedging on its public promise of full release of all legally releasable information before the end of the calendar year. It is ridiculous to argue that NASA will take a year and needs to hire expensive outside consultants to handle a data-filtering process that can best be handled by those aviation experts who designed and implemented the survey and who are most experienced at releasing de-identified aviation safety reports. Taxpayers are much more likely to trust this process if it is performed by scientists in the trenches motivated by their passion for aviation safety than if it is led by political appointees or senior managers who cannot be expected to render an opinion that conflicts with that of the Administration."