Fri, Nov 20, 2009
Tries To Stop "Revolving Door" For FAA Employees
In a move to prevent potential
conflicts of interests that could affect aviation safety, the FAA
is proposing to put limits on airlines and other operators hiring
FAA safety inspectors and their managers for two years after those
employees leave the agency.
The proposed rule would prohibit air carriers, flight schools,
repair stations and other certificated organizations from employing
or contracting with former FAA inspectors and managers to represent
them in agency matters if the former employee had any direct
oversight of the certificate holder in the preceding two years.
This rule also would apply to anyone who owns or manages a
fractional ownership program aircraft.
"We're committed to making sure operators don't hire their
former FAA inspectors and create even a perception of inappropriate
activities," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "The 'cooling
off' period we're proposing actually exceeds the restrictions
applicable to most businesses that hire former Federal
Current law basically forbids former federal employees
(including those at the FAA) to represent an entity before the
government on matters in which they were involved. It also places a
2-year restriction on those same former employees from representing
anyone in matters that the employee was directly responsible for.
The new proposal goes a step further by placing inspector hiring
restrictions on FAA-certified companies and fractional ownership
FAA policy already provides for a 2-year cooling off period for
newly employed aviation safety inspectors, prohibiting them from
having certificate management responsibilities over their former
The rule would not keep operators from hiring former inspectors
to serve in other positions (e.g. aircraft dispatcher, flight
attendant, maintenance technician, pilot, or training instructor)
as long as they do not represent the operator in FAA matters. The
FAA is asking for public comments until February 19, 2010.
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