Aeronautics: December 2007 Archives

NASA Gives Glimpse of Air Safety Survey, AP

"He dismissed suggestions that NASA chose to release the data late on New Year's Eve, when the public is distracted by holidays and news organizations are thinly staffed. "We didn't deliberately choose to release on the slowest news day of the year," Griffin said."

Editor's note: Aw c'mon, Mike. Your staff punted again and again on this until it spilled into the holidays. On 31 October 2007 you testified before Congress that NASA would release the data. Yet it took you more than 2 weeks to issue the memo that would convene the panel that would look at how this could be done. Had you issued that memo on the same day that you appeared before Congress this data could have been released before the holidays. Indeed, had NASA moved to comply with publicly stated interest of Congress - concerns voiced weeks earlier (in October), this information could have been released even sooner. Instead, NASA tried to stall and kick the can down the road - issuing nonsensical comments such as Thomas Luedtke's FOIA resonse to AP:

NASA Sits on Air Safety Survey, AP

"Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey," Luedtke wrote in a final [FOIA] denial letter to the AP.

Why Is NASA Sitting on this Airline Safety Report?

NASA National Aviation Operational Monitoring Service (NAOMS) Information Release

"This Web site contains responses collected from the air carrier and general aviation pilot surveys as part of the NASA National Aviation Operational Monitoring Service (NAOMS) project from April 2001 through December 2004. Relevant information is contained in the accompanying documentation. In the interest of timeliness, this first release is by nature conservative to ensure the responses do not contain confidential commercial information or information that could compromise the anonymity of individual pilots. Efforts will be made in 2008 to release additional NAOMS information that was redacted for this release."

Gordon Comments on NASA's Initial Release of Air Safety Survey Data

"At our October 31 hearing, NASA agreed to release the NAOMS data by year's end. I am pleased they've met that initial commitment, however NASA itself concedes that this is not the most complete data set that they intend to release. I expect NASA to complete the data release process as soon as possible. Excessive delay would be in no one's best interest."

NASA Media Briefing to Discuss Release of Aviation Safety Data

"NASA will hold a media teleconference on Monday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. EST, to discuss its release of the National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS) data."

NASA expected to release pilot survey, AP

"NASA expected to release results Monday from an $11.3 million federal air safety study it previously withheld from the public over concerns it would upset travelers and hurt airline profits. The research conducted over four years shows that safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than previously recognized. NASA promised to publish on its Web site some results of its survey. But it indicated that the data being released on the afternoon of New Year's Eve would be published as formatted. It said the data would come in printed reports rather than in any tabular data format that would make analysis by outsiders easier."

Letter from IFPTE To Rep. Gordon Regarding NASA Aviation Safety Research Projects

"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."

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: The First 'A' in NASA

"Now, every time that I fly, I think about NASA's contributions to our air transportation system, and how remarkable our nation's progress has been in creating a very safe system, over a relatively short span of time, that supports nearly 50,000 flights in a 24-hour period. I am also excited about the possibility of a future system that safely meets our nation's growing demand to take to the skies while ensuring that the environment is protected."

Less Free To Move About The Cabin, Washington Post

"Over the course of a year that many airline passengers would rather forget, most attention has been focused on travel woes created by record-setting flight delays. But another trend may be causing as much havoc and frustration for passengers: Planes have never been so packed, federal data show."

Union Raps NASA Chief, AP

"A union representing NASA employees accuses the agency's administrator of unfairly tarnishing agency employees by disparaging and misrepresenting a federal air safety project. NASA weeks ago drew intense criticism for withholding results of the research, fearing it would upset travelers and hurt airline profits. The union disputed Michael Griffin's criticisms of the program, in which thousands of commercial and private pilots were interviewed. It said his comments to Congress at an oversight hearing in October appeared to reflect fears the pilots might report to NASA higher rates of safety problems than are recorded by Federal Aviation Administration's own monitoring."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Aeronautics category from December 2007.

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