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tv   FAA Administrator Steve Dickson Testifies on Aviation Safety  CSPAN  December 9, 2021 12:42pm-3:18pm EST

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american history, slavery and its legacy in present day america. she's interviewed by new york university history professor stephen hahn. watch book tv on c-span2 and find a full schedule or watch online at c-span funded by these television companies and more including cox. >> cox through the connect to compete program, bridging the digital divide one connected and engaged student at a time. cox bringing us closer. >> cox supports c-span along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. faa administrator steve
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dixon spoke about aviation safety before a senate committee on hill. he testified on workforce demands, unruly passengers, and the impact of the pandemic.
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the senate committee on commerce, science and transportation will come to order. we're having a hearing today on the implementation of our new aviation reform law and want to welcome the honorable steve dickson, administrator for the federal aviation administration for joining us today. i also want to take a moment to recognize the families who have lost loved ones who are with us today. thank you so much for being here and for your continued oversight on this issue. i can't imagine the pain and suffering of your loss and the pain that you are still feeling, but i certainly want you to know we appreciate your vigilance on
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aviation safety reform. you have shaped the safety work of this committee, and with your support and critical input, the committee played a leading role in drafting the aircraft certification safety and accountability act. this legislation enacted into law almost a year ago, i believe, provided a big down payment on the direction we need to go to implement safety reforms in the united states and to make us the gold standard around the world. that is why we are here today to have this hearing, whether the federal aviation administration has faithfully and vigorously executed the safety reform law in accordance with congressional mandates for deadlines and action. i will be up front with you, mr. administrator, about the purpose of this hearing. it is to find out whether you are upholding the spirit and the letter of this law. while not the only thing we need
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to do, the law we implemented was a clear course direction. it said that we needed to have a stronger faa oversight, the people in place to do that job, and to hold manufacturers accountable. directing the faa and making sure that job is done is critical. while i know your communication to the committee in your written testimony talks about a lot of the actions and requirements that were in the law we know there is more to be done. i want to say that i'm very appreciative of ian wan at the boeing aviation oversight office who on may 13th issued a letter basically slowing down the 777x so more information could be provided, needed to be provided for the oversight of that plane. i'm a firm believer that engineers on the ground know
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their job. what's not clear to me is whether people are listening to them and the faa has their back. i also want to enter a letter also talking about the changes to the boeing office and things that needed to be done to make sure that they continued to have the oversights and objectives. he's been clear. we need more resources. he's been clear, we need the right people to do this job. so we need the faa to be that gold standard. when a special committee review of the process came back with a white wash of what we needed to do, i was disappointed that you did not take more critique with that. in fact, basically, you testified before congress basically the system is not
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broken. well, there were parts that were broken. and they need to be fixed. so i look forward to your testimony. but reading it, i see more of the same. now is not a time to mince words. now is the time to provide the leadership that it takes to get the staffing, the oversight, and the direction that is required of an oversight agency to hold manufacturers accountable. make no mistake, the manufacturer has its own responsibilities here, and we will also hold them accountable. we believe there's more to be done on certification, more to be done on the oversight and certification process so that we are not just creating check marks on a list so we can say the list has its check marks. in the end it was the tragedy that we all know too well and are still living with.
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i'm very challenged by your testimony. we don't believe the faa is prepared on january 1 of 2022 to restore direct supervision and control over those manufacturing engineers and delegating authority because that process should have started sooner. i will have questions for you in the q&a about that and the type of personnel we need in all of these jobs. we don't believe the necessary workforce review for the experience of those levels and the faa has not taken steps necessary until the faa has verified all human factor assumptions. a two-page memo is not what it takes to get that implemented. it might be a basic start but where is proof and this level of
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reform is needed immediately. the faa has not fully implemented applicants to disclose critical safety information like information related to flight control systems so the faa can be aware and fully technologies. again, this went into the u.s. code and was effective immediately, but the faa expects to issue guidance in 2022. we don't have time to wait. we need that kind of oversight today. and the faa has yet to complete the work of the independent expert panel which is supposed to be convened 30 days from enactment to provide timely advice on whether the faa should formally rein in boeing's oda authority. i would also like to enter into the record a letter from the families who are actually calling for a pulling of that authority. i understand that there is a panel that is meeting now, but the process and procedures in place to review their actions
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and have it be transparent is critically important if we're going to get this right. so all of these safety issues are critical to all of us in america. it's critical to our families who fly on planes. it's critical to our economy. we need the leadership of the faa to not just before our hearing today. the complexity that got us to this situation is a lot of complexity of language. in reality, it has to be leadership of faa and implementing the law. now i'll turn to my colleague, senator wicker, for his opening statement. >> thank you, senator cantwell for convening this oversight hearing on aviation safety. and the federal aviation administration's implementation of the aircraft certification safety and accountability act. which this committee shepherded
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through congress and was signed into law at the end of last year. as we all know, a little more than three years ago, boeing 737 max crashed in the nation. approximately five months later, a second max aircraft crashed in ethiopia. and i, too, want to recognize the families of the victims and tell them how much we appreciate their input over time. it's really hard to put into words our emotions in this regard. however, the committee did produce bipartisan legislation to improve aviation safety. based on recommendations from several experts. and several expert groups that
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carefully examined these accidents and the development of the 737 max. we then worked on merging our bill with one our colleagues in the house produced. the result was a bicameral, bipartisan bill representing the most significant aviation safety legislation in recent history. i particularly want to applaud the work of the families of the victims in pressing to reform how the federal government oversees aviation safety, particularly the process of certifying aircraft design and production. we will continue, senator cantwell and i, and the members of this committee, to press the faa to implement the reforms in this law. enacting legislation was an important first step. now, the faa and the industry must follow through with
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implementing new programs and requirements, and so i'm pleased to welcome administrator dixon before us today. his agency has already taken a number of actions in response to the accidents as well as the new law. but there's still much more work ahead, as the chair has just mentioned. administrator dickson should update us on the progress the faa has made so far and should outline how he will insure the faa follows through on the remaining work. i would also ask the administrator to let us know if congress needs to do more to insure that the u.s. system remains the gold standard for aviation safety. safety is a constant mission requiring the focus of the entire aviation community. we're fortunate that our nation continues to have a truly remarkable aviation safety record. but that high level of safety is the result of decades of lessons
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learned, as well as the dedication and hard work of safety professionals throughout the system. we cannot ever be complacent. we should always be working to improve aviation safety. so thank you, madam chair, and thank the administrator for being with us today. >> thank you, senator wicker. i failed to mention in my opening statement what great bipartisan work that legislation was, and certainly appreciate the hard work of your staff and my staff and obviously our work with our house colleagues on getting that over the goal line. so so many members who are with us here this morning also had legislation that was included in that, so it really was a comprehensive list of issues that the committee really, i can say from what i know about the senate, engaged in a very deep way. and i think that will lead to a very deep oversight of the implementation.
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administrator dickson, welcome. we welcome you to make your opening state. >> thank you, chair cantwell, and good morning, chair cantwell, ranking member wicker, and members of this committee for the opportunity to discuss the faa's approach to aviation safety oversight and our efforts to strengthen the aircraft certification process. safety is a journey, not a destination. we're constantly evolving as a regulator and an air navigation service provider to deliver the safest and most efficient aerospace system in the world. that's our mission, our entire workforce of nearly 45,000 federal employees is singularly focused on achieving that mission. as the head of the faa, safety is my north star. one of the first things i do as faa administrator was to make it clear that we are the regulator, and that includes resetting our relationship with boeing.
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i said we would continue to exert a high level of scrutiny across the board, and we continue that scrutiny today. i have made it clear internally that we always do the right thing when it comes to safety and that i have the workforce's back. we're also asking ourselves the hard questions. and we're asking them of those we regulate. when it comes to safety, we do not accept the status quo. this is why we embrace reform and we're focused across the agency on continuous improvement. i'll discuss a number of initiatives we have under way and the work we have completed to address this goal and to implement the aircraft certification safety and accountability act. but first, let me say to the families of the victims of the ethiopian airlines and lyon air crashes that the faa is committed to applying the lessons learned from these
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tragedies so that the aviation system here and around the world continues to improve. i want this committee to know that the faa appreciates and respects the input and direction from congress and that we remain fully committed to executing this legislation to make near and long term safety improvements that benefit the global aviation system. the act has more than 100 specific requirements that we are implementing to make aircraft certification and safety oversight more holistic, systematic, transparent, and effective. i can say with confidence that we are doing more for certification oversight and we're doing it more systematically than we were this time last year. for one, we are delegating fewer responsibilities to manufacturers and demanding more transparency from them.
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at the same time, we're making use of their technical expertise as we prioritize our safety oversight functions. the faa is also revising guidance and criteria that we use for determining significant modifications to an aircraft so that proposed changes are evaluated from a whole aircraft system perspective and not just a single part. we're promoting the use of safety management systems or sms, internally and externally. with sms, our organization actively searches for and identifies safety issues, addresses the root cause. for my own experience, i know sms works, but only if there's buy-in from everyone at all levels of the organization. from the c-suite down to the person pushing the broom on the shop floor. at the faa, that means when anyone at any level flags an issue, i have got their back. no questions asked.
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because sms works, we have not let the rulemaking process hinder manufacturers from using it now. currently, four design and manufacturer organizations including boeing have voluntarily adopted sms with six others in progress. as we know, human factors continue to be an important part of our work and evaluating aircraft and aircraft systems. we have expanded our evaluation of manufacturers' assumptions about human factors that equipment manufacturers make when they perform system safety assessments including power response times. the faa has initiated rule making to update regulations and the guidance for conducting system safety assessments on transport category aircraft. and we have increased our research on automation, including potential overreliance on automated systems and loss of basic piloting skills. to support this increased
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emphasis on human factors, we have hired 14 human factor specialists in our aircraft certification and flight standards organizations. we're actively expanding our portfolio of data collections and analytics tools so we can more effectively share safety data within the faa and among industry stakeholders and international partners. data is key for the early identification of potential hazards and safety problems. per the act, we have a new contract with the transportation research board that will help us discover emerging safety trends in aviation. since aviation is a global system, the faa is also working closely with the international civil aviation organization and other international stakeholders to influence and adjust the maintenance and pilot training requirements for u.s. products operating under other civil aviation authorities. chair cantwell, ranking member
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wicker, and members of this committee, as you can see, the faa is fully committed to a thorough and complete implementation of the aircraft safety and accountability act. we approach all of this work with humility and never take safety for granted. however, we are not just doing this work because you have directed us to do it. we're doing it because it's the right thing to do for aviation safety. it is our mission. that's what the public expects, and it's the standard we have set for ourselves and the agency will accept nothing less. thank you again for your support and your direction, and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, administrator dickson. on the bill itself, i want to get to basic yes and noes, if i could. the legislation in our mind in crafting it was a clear stop of what we thought was a continuation towards more delegation and a return closer
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to the elements of what der was. do you agree, yes or no? >> i would agree with that, yes. we have restricted, we have limited the amount of delegation that we're doing, particularly in the case of boeing. but we're looking at across the entire oda system as well. >> so would you answer these questions? has the faa completed a workforce review recommended by the department of transportation ig in 2015 as it relates to your workforce needs? >> we are in the process of completing that review in the context of the certification reform legislation. as i said, we have increased our number of human factors. experts almost doubled our cadre there. we have done a review of our chief scientists and technical advisers and using them as well. but that review is ongoing.
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and i look forward to working with the committee as it is completed because i think that we need to continue to make sure that that's a dynamic process. >> we had a deadline for september 23rd, 2021, and certainly could have written to congress and said we can't meet that deadline. but having a workforce that you know is the technical oversight necessary to do the reviews, we think, is step number one. when we look at the lack of technical oversight on certain issues in the changing dynamic aviation market, this is really problematic. i think in mr. wan's letter, he is basically talking about the fact that 53 people in an oversight office of 1500 people on such the scale of aviation manufacturing is not enough. would you agree? >> we have increased our number of engineers and our engineers on the production line as well. and we will continue to evaluate
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all of that going forward. >> this is the language i don't like. okay. we had a deadline. we would have loved to see an assessment of the workforce. something that would have said to congress, here is where we think we're coming up short, here is what we think we need to do. so today, just like all the other ig reports, everything else, the comments back from the faa are we're working on this. we want to get on the same page about needs. we're about to go into our appropriation process, and even though we have authorized various things in the past, we have appropriators who end up cutting these necessary functions for the faa to do a good oversight role. if we just say for a deadline of september 23rd of this year, we're continuing to work on it in the future, it hasn't given us the ability to hold you accountable. and that's what we're going to do. we have to do that because we need this system to work
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effectively for everybody. for safety and for economics. so i want to get to -- because my time is going to dwindle down here. the critical safety functions. and this was something our house colleagues worked on as well and put in civil penalties for violation of disclosure of this information. and what, i guess what i'm saying is your process right now is following a tab process, you know, the same process of oversight and collection by individuals that led us to the mcase system. that group didn't catch mcas. what we have written into law is we want an integrated system, some people call it gray beards, and we want those people at the beginning of the process. we want them reviewing the critical information and determining whether more oversight needs to be done.
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do you think your tab process is a fulfillment of the law? >> we're adapting the tab process to comport with the legislation. so it is a good starting point, but this integrated project team that you're referring to is definitely a part of what we are doing going forward and how we're organizing ourselves. both for future certification projects and for projects that are ongoing now. >> but we have certification going on right now. >> yes. >> why wouldn't you have made a big priority setting up a critical information certification team now for the ongoing certification project? the reason i'm bringing this up is, again, we have seen two instances here, where you're going to issue a report from whistleblowers before the end of the year. what we're hearing from whistleblowers is the same we have heard from the ig and others. that is that line engineers had early warning, whether it's the
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787 battery issue or whether it was this issue related to synthetic air speeds or the complexity of automation and overload of pilots in the system, but those line engineers weren't listened to. and that's why we want this critical information system and integrated setup immediately. >> yes, ma'am. the voluntary safety reporting program that we have had in place is one mechanism. but the integrated program reviews are ongoing now. and that will be a big part of both existing projects and the new certification process. >> i'll come back but i want to go to my colleagues. i just want you to know, i'm not going to allow the law to be skirted here. this issue is about whether you're going to follow a process that allows us to see the work of the faa, see that it's completed and not just hear it's
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ongoing. thank you. senator wicker. >> thank you, senator cantwell. mr. administrator. let me start off with the safety management systems. you mentioned voluntary adoption of these. who is -- can you give us the manufacturers who are engaged in that, making progress involuntary smss? >> we have among the transport category, air framers and engines, we have boeing, pratt whitney, and general electric. i would have to look up, i believe gulfstream is in there as well, and then a number of others in the works. >> a number of others. >> a number of other manufacturers, six in the pipeline we have not fully accepted. >> okay. if you could supply us with those names on the record. there's supposed to be a notice
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of proposed rulemaking with regard to the mandatory sms. when will that notice of proposed rulemaking be issued? >> we're making good progress on the sms rule making. i anticipate that it will be the nprn will be next fall, about less than a year from now, and we'll have it out for public comment and then we'll proceed on from there. >> why that long? >> well, there's a lot of work that has to be done to justify the rule, and we're learning from the implementation of the voluntary programs that are out there now, and to make sure we get it set up correctly and that we're able to adjudicate all of the public comments that we know will come in. we're using that time to make sure that we've got a strong and
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sustainable sms for manufacturers and for other segments of the aviation community as well. >> let me ask one question that i just have to ask. it doesn't deal with implementation of the statute, but it does deal with safety. and that is, that's the individuals we may lose from the workforce because they simply do not intend to comply with president biden's executive orders that require all federal employees and federal contractors to receive the covid-19 vaccine. it seems to me that there are going to be a large number of individuals who will just lose their job, leave the work force rather than comply with this.
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could you address what impacts this vaccine mandate may have on your safety workforce? >> senator wicker, my focus is on safety. and on running the most safe, safest and most efficient aerospace system in the world. and we have dealt with challenges throughout the covid-19 pandemic. and we will make sure that we continue to operate safely and that we manage our work force appropriately. and i certainly want everyone -- >> you're going to need numbers, mr. administrator, to do that. do you expect a significant drop in the workforce from americans who just are not going to be told what they have to inject into their own body? >> we're focused on complying with the executive order by
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november 22nd within the agency. and i do not expect to lose a significant portion of our workforce. we will make sure that we're able to satisfy our safety mission. >> based on what information do you estimate that you will not lose a significant portion of the workforce? >> again, the requirement is there. we're working with our employees as we have throughout the pandemic, to make sure they are supported and they have all the information that they need to make the best possible decisions. we have a very well established process within the agency for handling our people. >> let's be mindful of that. with regard to the international engagement, how are the bilateral agreements working? and is there anything we need to
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do at the congressional level to help you? >> the bilateral agreements are working well, but they do require constant engagement. with respect to europe in particular, my counterpart over at the director general of transport over in europe and i held a bilateral summit on aviation safety in june to re-enforce the importance of the u.s. and eu on alignment on aviation safety issues. i saw him last week in bogota, and we'll continue that dialogue and make sure that there is consistency and alignment across all aspects of the bilateral agreement. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you, mr. chairman. administrator, this is exactly your answer on sms, exactly what i'm talking about, skirting the law. it's been long known we need to implement a mandatory sms system. so a voluntary system is not enough.
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the d.o.t. ig found recently on october 21st, 2021 that the faa oversight on sms was not effective. so i think my colleague's questions here are not about whether you can do a voluntary system. again, when there is an oversight of a true sms system, required by an administrative procedures act, overseen by the faa, you will be seen as how you hold them accountable, and we will be able to review that. anything less is not meeting the letter of the law. senator tester. >> thank you, madam chair, ranking member wicker, for holding this hearing. thank you for being here for your testimony. i am going to start with leading off where senator wicker was. except it deals with traffic control towers. we had a hard time up in montana. we had a hard time getting those fully staffed under the best of circumstances.
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and so the question becomes, do you anticipate losing any air traffic controllers once the mandate takes effect? and what are you doing to make sure that we have enough traffic controllers in our towers? >> thank you for the question, senator tester. and as i said a moment ago, we have dealt with people issues throughout the pandemic. and the safety and health of my workforce is at the top of the list in terms of being able to serve the public in our traffic control operations. i do not anticipate, you know, there is certainly potential for progressive discipline processes if we get to that point, but at this point i do not anticipate -- i'm not hearing about any particular issues with respect to air traffic controller staffing, but it's something we're focused on on a daily basis. >> so do you have air traffic
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controllers who are vaccinated right now? >> the data is incomplete. the requirement for the controllers to attest is a very manual process. and the reporting is uneven around the system so i don't have an accurate metric to share at this point. >> so that's a problem. it's a problem if i don't know. it's a bigger problem if you don't know in that you don't know what the exposure is if you don't know how many people are not vaccinated. that make sense to you? >> that's correct, yes. >> are you do anything special that's been effective in encouraging folks to get vaccinated? >> we are conducting -- we're working very closely with our labor partners to encourage, we're encouraging, broadly, the secretary and i are sending regular updates and encouraging the workforce to do the right
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thing and get their vaccines. and we will continue to do that on down to the individual basis. >> it is a concern. i think it could be a real train wreck if you're not on top of it. i want to talk about an annual safety culture survey that is required, hasn't been done yet. there was one put out in august of 2020, at least, yeah, a safety culture assessment report. that august of 2020 report had some pretty alarming statistics in it. 49% of faa employees indicated they believe the safety concerns or instances will not be addressed. 43%, this was august of last year, 43% believe the faa delegates too many certification activities to the industry. 34%, the employees said fear of retribution is one of the reasons employees don't report
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safety issues. so we're a year later now, and we don't have that annual safety culture survey. when can we expect it? >> senator, the safety culture survey was done as a baseline as we set up the voluntary safety reporting program. and that started in april, and we wanted to let that run for a period of time so we will be doing the survey within the next few months. and then we're going to do it on an annual basis going forward, but this really gave us a good baseline for where we're starting from. >> i think it's required by law, in fac, if you want me to go attorney on you, section 132 of the acsaa requires it. and we will be conducting it on an annual basis.
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>> that's correct. >> should it have been done by now? >> there's going to be some -- be more beneficial to do it with the voluntary safety reporting program that we put in place, which is extremely important in terms of driving this kind of transparency and openness that i want, and it will give us a better baseline on how we're doing with it. >> this, not unlike the previous question, this leads me to -- i mean, if you're not surveying, as mandated, then how can the faa inform us, the public, that the culture is improving? >> we are surveying. senator, we are going to conduct that survey. and we will be doing it on an annual basis. >> thank you, madam chair. >> senator fischer. >> thank you, madam chair. administrator, it's been a little over ten months since the aviation certification standards
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and accountability act was signed into law, and i was proud to support that legislation. it also included key reforms to the aircraft certification process. when does the faa hope to achieve full implementation of those reforms? >> well, we're working on those very aggressively now. we have achieved currently 15 out of 19 of the time limited items, but this work will go on for some period of time with the sms rule making and the surveys we just talked about. so there will be a continuous improvement process going forward. >> so you really don't see an end date, because you plan on those other four areas to have continuous process? >> the other four areas -- one of the four areas was the expert panel for review of transport category oda.
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and that required some work with our labor partners that took a couple months, and then we had to determine -- we had to put a solicitation out for industry participants to comport with the requirements in the law. that kind of work is ongoing. it takes a while to do that right, but we're fully committed to doing that and we'll see the results of that work here very soon. >> thank you. the act also directs the faa to develop a better understanding of the human factors when certifying aircraft. the bill specifically requires the faa to account for pilots of all skill levels, both international and domestic pilots. what countries are you working with to better understand the pilot skills we see across the globe? >> we're working through multiple countries.
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we start with the states of design for transport category, aircraft, particularly europe, brazil, and canada and the u.s. but we go beyond that. we work through icao. >> which is? >> the international civil aviation organization. we spearheaded the setup of a pilot training and licensing panel. we also work bilaterally and regionally with our aviation safety counterparts around the world. as i said, a few minutes ago, i was in bogota, colombia, working with the latin american regulators. i had bilaterals with several latin american regulators last week, talking about the work that we're doing on things like manual flying skills, flight path management, training, and also we will in the certification process, we will require going forward as we did
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with the 737 max, the use of international pilots of various experience levels and training backgrounds to help with the validation of the operational testing on the aircraft as well. >> has cooperation been good when you're working with these other countries? and i guess what have you learned from them? >> well, there are, i think, the important thing is that we are leading the efforts on flight path management and use of automation manual flying skills. i think around the world, some of these issues have not gotten the attention that they need. >> what issues? >> the issues around manual flying skills. and also information management in the cockpit. when you think about it, use of ipads on the flight deck or electronic charting, the way
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individuals process information on the flight deck. all of that has changed in recent years. so it's very important that pilots are able to maintain situational awareness on their energy state and on the flight path of the aircraft. that's what we're working on to make sure that we promulgate those issues with regulators around the world. >> during your last appearance before the committee, i asked you if you had concerns about the pilot reliance on automation. you said automation is a benefit but the individual still has to be engaged with the machine. so when you're working with the international partners to establish those training standards, are you comfortable with where we're headed and especially with regards to the automated system? are the pilots feeling comfortable about that?
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>> flight path management is at the core of the concern that i have. and as a matter of fact, we have in draft and we ask for public review shortly a new advisory circular that our chief scientist for human factors has been working with the aviation community on for several years. and it will address guidance material and potential application to air carrier training programs for flight path management, which is knowing what your clearance is, putting the airplane there, and then monitoring it to make sure that it stays there. also manual flying skills and information management i was talking about before. all of these extremely important to maintain situational awareness around the aircraft. we will use this, but we'll also help regulators around the world
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implement these principles into their oversight and training programs as well, and that will be an effort that we will undertake here in the coming years. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. >> thank you, madam chair. administrator dix dickson, when the department of transportation some specter general investigated the 737 max, it found that the faa had increasingly delegated to boeing the assessment of flight controls and stabilizer plans, part of what we did in response was to seek to end that delegation and improve the certification processes. i'm of the mind we need to do more. 737 was certified in the 1960s, but boeing was able to gain
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approval for its max aircraft after an amendment to an over 50-year-old type certificate. in response to the law, the faa waited until september 16, 2021, to issue a one-page policy memo limiting delegation, which was one of the root causes of issues found by the inspector general. section 106 of the law would immediately be effective on december 27th, 2020, so there was a clear lag between that december passage of the law and the implementation of this one-page delegation. what accounted for the delay? >> senator, we have used various mechanisms to implement the provisions of the law as quickly and most expeditiously as we
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possibly can, while we go through the formal process of developing orders and the direction to restrict delegation without validation of the assumptions for critical system design features actually was in place very early in 2021. so i'll have to check on the timing that you're referring to. >> the timing of that many months, i think, is symptomatic of larger problems in terms of prompt response to new laws and issued rules and undertaking rule making, and a number of my colleagues already highlighted that problem in other areas, which brings me to the october 20th, 2021, inspector general's report finding that the faa's oversight of american airlines
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was as rigorous or robust as it should have been. the report states the faa, quote, lacks effective oversight control, end quote, to make sure that america is addressing the root cause to this problem that they fix. what is the faa going to do in response? >> senator, thank you for the question. our oversight, our internal process has also identified these issues. we do need and we are putting in place a mechanism for professional development of our inspectors so they can do more effective root cause analysis, which is part of that oversight for safety management system. we concurred with most of those recommendations, and we already have plans under way to address them and close those gaps. >> what's the timeline for fulfilling those plans? >> i would have to get back to
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you specifically, but much of that work is already under way. >> let me ask you about a similar issue. the original 737, as i mentioned, was certified in the 1960s. i continue to have concerns about the process of modifying the aircraft without a full and robust certification that takes into account the impact of modification on the functioning of the entire system. do you share those concerns? >> as required by the legislation and also the various reviews and investigations, we are examining changes to the criteria for what would require a new type certificate. we want to balance that with beneficial safety improvements during a product service life. we want safety improvements to come to the fore, but we need
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some criteria on that, and so we are -- we have commissioned miter to look at the criteria for making those decisions, and we're also working with our international partners. we began meeting with them in july. we chartered the international authority change rule working group that is meeting on a regular basis to make sure that these rules are harmonized around the world regardless of manufacturer. >> i look forward to hearing more about what you're doing. thank you, madam chair. >> senator blackburn. >> thank you, madam chairman. administrator dix dickson, thank you so much for coming back before us today. the faa issues a safety alert on 5g interference to aircraft, and i want to talk with you about that. because according to bloomberg government, the agency stated
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that, and i'm quoting, action might be required to address potential interference with sensitive aircraft electronics. end quote, and it is my understanding there are 39 countries that are currently using this c-band spectrum for 5g services without any interference to aviation. so are you taking this evidence into consideration? >> thank you, senator. and i appreciate the question. first of all, my focus is on aviation safety. i need to make sure that the safety of the public is protected. i will tell you in no uncertain terms that 5g in this spectrum and aviation, particularly radio are the primary concern.
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they can coexist. and we're working very closely with the fcc. we have recent engagement with the telecom companies and we'll figure it out so 5g and aviation safety can coexist. >> okay, well, in europe, you have got two dozen countries that have been using 5g for three years. including in the same spectrum band planned to be used here in the u.s. they have had zero adverse occurrences and zero claims of interference, so how are you working with them to insure that there are no issues and that you are learning from their experience and maybe even adopting some of their best practices? >> well, again, it's a great question. the use of that spectrum in
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terms of power levels and specific deployment locations is different. in different parts of the world, so it's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison, but the standard setting bodies are both looking very closely at these issues. i do anticipate there will be some modifications, eventually, over time, that will need to occur, but in the short term, we're working very closely with the telecom industry and to make sure that the 5g deployment can occur, but it can be done without an adverse impact to aviation safety. >> i would think there are plenty of lessons you could learn from europe since they are using the same band. is that correct? >> that's correct. europe, japan, others, and again, all of these deployments
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are somewhat different than what's planned in the u.s., but we're certainly learning from each one. >> very good. okay, in your testimony you note that, and i'm quoting now, it is imperative for the faa to take steps to accelerate and expand the deployment of new technologies in order to reduce barriers and actively promote innovation. i want you to elaborate on this. what specific steps are you taking to reduce barriers and promote innovation within the faa? >> i think a good example is our aus office. it works across, which does our drone integration, as you know, we have the rule making around remote identification. we have engaged the industry on the next step in that rule making, which is beyond visual line of sight, but what we need to do is work across the various
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lines of business. in other words, air traffic, aviation safety, airports, maybe even commercial space. and that is an enterprise approach across disciplines that has not been as necessary with traditional manned aviation. so we are really taking a data-driven enterprise approach and our aus office will help us do that in terms of breaking down barriers between disciplines at the faa. >> excellent, thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much, madam chair. and thank you for holding this important hearing. thank you for being here. i also wanted to express my sympathy and appreciation to nadia and michael and stumo, who are here with us today.
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they lost their daughter, as we know. in the crash in ethiopia. we also lost a minnesotan in the crash, and i want to acknowledge him as well. mr. hussein from st. cloud, minnesota. i am glad that we passed this bill. it was really, really important to pass this bill, and i want to thank the chairwoman for her leadership. but now we have to make sure it gets implemented. that is always the trick. we can pass whatever bills we want, but we want to make sure it gets done. mr. dickson, in your testimony, you highlighted a voluntary safety management system for manufacturers. and i know that you noted that several manufacturers, i think you said four, are voluntarily adopting sms. does the faa have plans to make sms mandatory for manufacturers? >> yes, senator. we have rulemaking under way.
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and we expect the nprn to be out for public comment next year. >> okay, when do you think that will get done? >> it will depend on the administrative process associated with rule making, but we're learning a lot from the programs we have out there now. sms has been very successful in the air carrier community, and applying it to manufacturers is a somewhat different paradigm. so we're using that data and interaction and the oversight that sms enables to make sure that we get the best possible initial proposed rule out there. >> okay. i'll ask another question on the record while i know senator cantwell asked about workforce and how important it is to have qualified people to do that. i'll ask you that on the record, what steps has the faa taken to establish international safety standards for foreign pilots and how will you insure pilots and
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airlines are complying with those standards? >> a great question. we have spearheaded the implementation of a pilot training and licensing panel at the international civil aviation organization. we did that about two years ago. the faa's chief scientist for human factors is providing leadership as well as one of our top training subject matter experts, and that group continues to work to this day. we also take what we have done in the u.s. with upset prevention and recovery training, which is required for u.s. carriers now. and then we are promulgating that around the world. and as i said, i had several bilaterals with my latin american counterparts last week. we will work with them to help them implement the kinds of beneficial training and improvements we need. >> do you have a time table for that? >> it will be ongoing work. the next -- i think the next
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significant step is at the icao assembly, which is coming up next august. and that will -- but there will be work that will be ongoing between now and then. >> in your testimony, you noted plans to update faa policies in order to prevent fraud in the self-certification process. how can we trust the updated self-certification process will not lead to cost-saving shortcuts that endanger passengers? >> senator, i have made it very clear from day one that safety cannot be compromised. it has to be our top priority. and we have to make sure both within the agency and those that we oversee that business pressures, production pressures, operational pressures do not overcome safety. so that's what we're all about. making sure that we use the information that we get from our workforce and that they do the same thing to drive beneficial transparency and safety improvements.
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>> do you agree this is a bill y believe the safe skies act, but do you believe cargo pilots should operate under the same fatigue rules as commercial airline pilots? that's a bill i have with senator cantwell, blumenthal, markey. >> well, there's no question that appropriately managing fatigue among pilots is critical to safety. and we have a requirement for fatigue risk management plans that have to be submitted every 24 months. we're not seeing anything in that, in the data, with the safety systems there. as you know, that happened a number of years ago. so it's something we would certainly be interested in working with you on. >> we need to be concerned on that. and finally, on cybersecurity, as we see across industry, there is more and more concern about what's going on, whether it's the electricity grid, whether it is aviation. do you believe the faa currently has sufficient resources and
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workforce to protect data, defend the national air space system from the growing number of cybersecurity threats? >> i receive regular updates and i have been out to our command center several times on our cyber capabilities. and we're well positioned currently, but it is something we need to be constantly vigilant about to make sure we reduce our attack surface and we can continue to serve the public. i think we're well positioned now, but it is an area of focus for us to make sure that we continue to bring on the work force we need in that area. >> okay, thank you. >> senator sullivan. >> thank you, madam chair. administrator dickson, good to see you. and i want to thank you and commend you for the work you and the faa did commissioning the faa alaska aviation safety initiative, and as you know, sir, this came out of the
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february 2020 ntsb report and the february, which looked at a ten-year period and noted the very high accident rates in alaska, the high fatality rates in alaska relative to any other communities, any other parts of the country. so i want to ask, although it's not a budget document, the aviation safety initiative report as it related to alaska certainly points out features in which we need improvement. and i always like to say, yes, it is expensive. to help smaller communities like mine, but i have over 200 communities that aren't even connected by road. the federal government builds roads, we wouldn't need this kind of infrastructure, but as you know, we need it dramatically, and it's all about safety.
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so how will you use that alaska aviation safety initiative report to prioritize funding initiatives to be put in the budget with the faa? >> thank you, senator. as you and i have discussed, i understand the importance of aviation to alaska, and alaska to our economy and our aviation system. the answer to the question is, it will help inform us on our resource decisions and what our resource needs are. we have identified funding just as one example, for the equipment takeover that the state has requested. and look forward to working with you and the state to address long-term capital needs, even beyond what's in the report itself. >> good. i appreciate that. again, i want to thank you for your focus on this. it's very much needed for my
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constituents, but anyone who comes up to alaska. unfortunately, we have too many crashes. and so madam chair, i'm looking forward to working with this committee and the state of alaska and the faa. these important budgetary prioritizations. let me mention another one. alaska led the deployment of adsb, known as next gen, yet the majority of alaska is without coverage in air space that is not classed to require coverage. even in congested areas where there's been some concerns in terms of air space, like in the bethel region. do you think it's time for the faa or congress to revisit options in that area with regard to next gen to provide aircraft owners with the avionics equipment that is needed,
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particularly in places that i mention that don't have the coverage? >> senator, i want to tell you, safety is certainly a shared priority. and again, i realize the unique aspects of aviation in alaska with the number of aircraft and how communities rely on aviation to survive. and i know that stakeholders, i'm aware they have asked for a second capstone project, as you talked about, and i think the first one was a great success. we can use it as a template. >> it was. >> i would look forward to working with you and the stakeholders to see what that would look like. >> let me ask you one final question. i have been trying to determine an exact comparison of how safety-related infrastructure funding makes it to the alaska region as compared to the rest of the u.s. and my staff has reached out,
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on an accounting of receipt expenditures, budget, proposed expenditures, fusilt facilities equipment, and was surprised to hear the faa doesn't track atof & e spending by state or even by service center, and you know, our faa in alaska, as you know, they do heroic work, not just for alaska but for the country as planes are flying over to asia. we have 586,000 square miles of land in almost close to 2.5 million square miles of air space. but there's been no accounting, it's been difficult to get account for the funding of just the western service area. do you have or can you provide for future a breakdown of where those costs and dollars are being spent? i think it's important for us in the congress to be able to see
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comparisons with regard to different regions. at least regions, if not states. >> i'm aware of the request, and we're working on it. look forward to working with you. obviously, it's a federal system, and expenditures are not tracked normally by jurisdiction. but i think that there's a way to get you the information. >> do you think it's useful information? i think it would be. >> i think if anyone on the committee, yourself included, think it's useful information, we will endeavor to provide it in a form that's useful to you. >> great. thank you very much. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. senator baldwin is next, and then followed by senator duckworth, who is on remotely unless one of our colleagues from the other side of the aisle appears. i'm going to run and vote, and i thank senator baldwin for taking over the chair while i'm gone. >> i want to thank you, chair cantwell, for holding this hearing today.
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and thank you, mr. dickson, for your appearance here. this committee passed necessary legislation last year in response to the boeing 737 max crashes and it's critically important we follow through with oversight as the to the boeing 747 crashes and it's important we provide oversight with regard to the faa as they impose the new law. about a month ago, the federal aviation administration announced that airports are no longer required to use firefighting foam that contains p-phos however, that announcement is limited in its effectiveness, as the faa has not authorized the use of alternative phones. airports in neighboring my state see this as an empty gesture. i think it misses the attempt of redirection in faa action.
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faa needs more immediate action to protect drinking water. what are the next steps to trangs fr to p-phos free firefighting foam and when can we expect that to happen? >> thank you, this is a very important issue we've been working very diligently and we fully respect the intent of congress and the legislation and working to do this as rapidly as we possibly can. we've got a balance the effectiveness of the firefighting foam which is really important for public safety in the event of a fuel fire, along with the removal of the p-phas or the fluorine-free foams.
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we had a test, and were interrupted somewhat by covid, because of inability to get on site for some period of time but have already conducted over 400 tests of different types of foams and have not found one yet of adequate performance, actually witnessed some of these tests myself and it would be very concerning to use any one of these because it is just not as effective at putting the fire out. so in the meantime, we have taken steps that basically free airports from the use of p-fas foam from any testing certification. we got recapture equipment out there where it doesn't need to be discharged anymore and we will continue to do that. really the only occasion where p-fas foam would need to be used
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is for an actual aircraft fuel fire. for hot breaks, anything else, they don't discharge anything. we are also working very closely with the o.d. because this is based on a military specification and i'm optimistic that we will have new standards set by january 2023 and we're working very closely with the od on the research. we do the effectiveness part of the research, and they do the chemical composition. >> mr. dickson, in previous hearings, we discussed my bipartisan american aviator act. that legislation seeks to expand flight training programs for veterans seeking jobs as commercial pilots. senator hogan and i secured $10 million in the fiscal year
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in 2020 and 2021 procreations bills for our veteran pilot training program. i'm concerned that the faa has yet to make these funds available. while i was pleased to see faa recently move forward with other aviation workforce development grants, it's beyond time that we put this available funding for veterans' pilot training program to use. so could you provide me with an update of when we could expect to see the notice of available funding for veterans pilot training grant programs? >> thank you for the question senator baldwin. this is something very important and this is a novel grant program for us and took us some time to set up the specific parameters. we are making good progress, with respect to veteran's pilot training grants, we are driving to issue the first grant
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solicitation within this calendar here so i expect you will see the first within the next few weeks. >> very good. senator moran, i will now recognize you for questions. >> thank you chairwoman, mr. dickson welcome back to the committee. this goes back to decertification of the maxin in 2020. as of now, the 737 max is operation in 131 airlines, and completed more than 26,000 commercial flights since that september. however china and russia are the only yet to approve the boeing
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737 max's return to serve. given the approval on operation, what are the outstanding issues on china and russia and the faa's plan on resolving those? >> we are meeting with the chinese and russian civil aviation authorities on a regular basis and i provided them with all the technical information that they need. so i'm confident that on a technical level, we are in good shape and they will make the decisions that they need to make within their systems. >> what you guest is that the technical information is. there may be other factors utilized by china and russia in making a determination? >> yes, sir. >> mr. dickson a handful of universities in kansas, state university, to carry out 127 of the faa safety system human factor analysis, specifically,
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witchita state conducting for error and industries design information, do you have any information on that work? >> it's extremely valuable and adds perspective and valuable research on our efforts in human factors and some of the issues we talked about this morning. >> what's the faa oversight in that regard and what's the timeframe on the results of those, that university research work? >> i'm not sure of the precise time frame, but, you know, again, this is ongoing work and very important to our existing manufacturer's work. >> finally, i am hearing concerns, administrator, about significant delays in the faa's ability to issue regulation, guidance and policy. i know there are a lot of new
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demands on the agency, innovation and automation and even the demands included in the aircraft certification and safety accountability act, but it's really important for the faa to do its work in a timely, although appropriate and adequate manner, with near perfection. what's the faa, what are you doing, what can you do to reduce the backlog in that work? >> certainly there are multiple factors here. rulemaking, obviously the requirements for public comment and administrator procedures act process which requires us to have safety data and a positive cost-benefit business case there as well. we are -- there has been some covid impact that's led to some backlog. we're in the process of, we have expanded work hours and we're looking at some additional
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resources within our chief counsel's office to bring these things forward more expeditiously and make sure any points in the process are addressed. >> one of the things you didn't mention is staffing. any comments in that regard? >> something we're always focused on to make sure we're adequately resourced, and again, i don't know that that's the central issue, but it is something that we need to look at both with our inspectors and our, the rest of our workforce as well. >> my understanding is that the vaccine requirements have been, just about in this hearing this morning, sorry i wasn't able to hear any of your answers but i ask that you perceive a challenge in the new future with employees being discharged or no longer able to work because of noncompliant with that mandate? >> again, i'm not hearing anything at this point but it's something we're focused on, on a daily basis, to make sure we can complete our mission.
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both the operational, and the safety aspects of our mission. >> administrator, i look forward to further conversations with you. thank you. chairwoman baldwin, thank you. >> thank you. next, joining us remotely is senator duckworth. >> thank you chairman baldwin and also thank you for holding today's hearing. i want to thank the committee and ranking member for their leadership on last year's aircraft certification bill that included multiple provisions i worked on. mr. dickson as you know, there was recently a report published for unsafe airlines safety practice and raised serious questions on faa's oversight on major carriers inspect 92% of major cases sampled found that faa inspectors accepted the
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analysis rather than identifying the root causes themselves. to me, this is really another example of faa's often too cozy relationship with industry partners which fosters an institutional mindset and i think a culture of complacency that not only that, if left unchecked, can lead to deadly consequences for pilots and crew alike. what has the agency addressed to improve oversight concerns and the knowledge of the faa workforce? >> thank you for the question, and the issue you see are bring up are not acceptable. and we need to do better in terms of the career development and the ability of our inspectors to identify and address recause and analysis in particular. we agree with the bulk of the
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findings and implementing improvements to address the issues, in work and under way. we had already identified similar findings through our regular internal review processes and we're in the process of putting those improvements in place so some of this was not, were not issues we were aware of. we already had improvement plans in place. also, we know our oversight responsibilities, you know, in this hearing, we're talking a lot about manufacturers, but this goes into the continued operational safety of a product. how crews are being trained, how airplanes are being maintained, because it is a continuous loop. so we embraced that input. we are putting those improvements in place, and again, when i talk about resetting the relationship, it's not just with boeing, it's with all of the companies that we
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oversee. >> does the resetting of that relationship include an update to your policy so that you prohibit closing a compliance action before the carriers implement the necessary corrective action? because i feel like if you close the compliance action and they haven't done the corrective action, then there's no real incentive for them to complete the corrective action. has this been part of the updates to your policies? >> it's a good point. we actually just stood up this summer a compliance program executive counsel and steering committee and they are taking that into consideration and something we will look very closely at going forward as to how the entire spectrum of compliance works, all the way up to enforcement. >> okay. i would like to review that with you, at a later time. because i do think you need to update your policy.
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thank you. on part 147 implementation, the new law or committee is examining today includes the bipartisan part 147 act which i was very proud to help develop and pass in partnership with another aviator, someone with far more hours than i do. for years, we heard for students and schools and employers that the faa regulations are decades out of date and under mine significant investment students make in careers in aviation. our bill requires that faa make schools have the flexibility to teach core curriculum that reflects modern technical advances across the aviation industry. administrator dickson, nearly a year has passed, what is the status on faa's efforts to update technician curriculum as mentioned and what is to be implemented this year. >> i share your frustration in
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how long this process takes and i appreciate your interest and your focus on this. we are, we continually work through this a active rulemaking and i know we missed a deadline in the bill but i want to emphasize to you and really everyone in the committee that we are fully working on it. we will be in a position for the interim final rule in the incoming year but i would love to stay in contact with you and your office as we proceed. part of what happened here is we had some issues to resolve, some professional debate within the agency on the best methodology to approach this process. and that was something that took some time to work out, but we are fully aligned now. all those issues have been resolved and we are proceeding to meet the intent of the law as soon as we can.
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>> i hope that occurs in the first quarter of next year and no later than the summer of next year but we'll stay in touch with you as you move forward with it. thank you. >> thank you, senator cruz? >> thank you, madam chair. administrator dickson welcome, thank you for being here today, for your words, the families, victims of the ethiopia airlines accidents. it is critical, even as we have these discussions, delegative authority, what reforms are needed in statute and regulation that we not lose sight of victims. 336 souls lost in the hawaiian air and ethiopian air crashes, and drawing attention to those victims. as you know, we passed the airline safety and accountability act, that included a number of my amendments and i think included meaningful reform that is i
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think will help keep the flying public safe but i recognize more work may need to be done. in the next faa authorization, next congress. and i look forward to working with my colleagues and you and the faa on those efforts. administrator dickson, you discuss in your testimony how the faa is transforming its interaction with investers and i appreciate that, there is action which i am concerned about, in your opinion how has the industry and boeing reacted to this culture change and the requirements imposed by the aviation safety bill? >> again, culture change requires daily focus, regular focus. you can't just change a process or boxes on the chart and expect for the kind of beneficial changes that this law provides
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for and that we are under taking in terms of our own work, to stick. so it is really important, you know, within the agency, that we are transparent. the boeing is not the same as it was two years ago, but they have more work to do, and the volunteer ses program they have in place is giving us quicker information about issues that they face but we have -- we have put more engineers on the shop floor in their factories. we have put more inspectors, put more rigorous oversight on them and will continue to do them. we have also restricted what is delegated in terms of anything that implicates human factors has to be evaluated by the agency before the manufacturer can proceed, and any critical
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safety system we have retained delegation on that and also, with the 737 max, we have retained the issuance of the air certificates on each individual airplane as it's produced. so it will take some time, but we are on the path we need to be, but it requires continuous vigilance and attention. >> so staying on the topic of safety in our air space, i was glad to see the faa yesterday finally issued a notice that proposed rule-making requiring commercial balloon pilots to hold a valid second class medical certificate. 2016 hot air balloon crash in texas took the lives of 15 passengers and the pilot and which remains the deadliest hot air balloon crash in the history of the united states was a horrific tragedy, made worse by the fact that it was completely avoidable. although i'm not pleased it took the faa almost three years to
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follow the law and implement the legislation that i authored, commercial balloon pilot safety act, which had a statutory deadline of 180 days, i'm glad that the medical certificate loophole that allowed the pilot to fly that day in 2016, while he was high on a cock tail of prescription drugs, ritalin, thalum and oxycodone and was impaired as a drunk driver according to the sb, will not be able to do so again. how long is your timeline. >> it is frustrating how long it takes, but we have the draft out there and as soon as we get the public comments back, we will
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adjudicate them as quickly as we can, push it out and get the final out there. >> so let me ask you another topic, what has the impact of federal vaccine mandates been on pilots and air traffic controllers? >> at this point, no impact. i mean it's something that we are focused on, certainly complying with. >> your sworn testimony is vaccine mandates has had zero impacts and air traffic controllers to date? >> i have not seen anything in our system that would indicate. >> so we have seen in recent week, thousands and thousands of plane flights canceled. i was told by a senior leader in the aviation industry that one of the causes of it was a very significant of air traffic controllers in jacksonville engaged in a sick-out and refusing to go to work because of the vaccine mandate. is your testimony that that is not correct and that didn't happen? >> we don't have any evidence of that, senator.
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that particular event you're referring to was one segment. i've looked at the numbers. one sector, within jacksonville center that happened to be co-located with where there was convective weather and extensive military activity so it did create a chokepoint but was not organized activity or sick-out. >> and your testimony is you believe vaccine mandates have zero impacts on pilot availability? i tell you, i've met with the pilot unions, that's not what the pilot unions are telling me, and your testimony is they have zero impact on air traffic control? also not what i'm hearing from the air traffic controllers union. are they not telling the truth or what are the facts here? >> i'm telling you, senator, at this point in time we are not seeing any impact.
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i i met last week or so and we are not seeing any indication of effect on our staffing. >> well those having their flights canceled by the hundreds and thousands might differ in perspective on that. thank you. >> thank you senator cruz and i want to thank you for your leadership and help in forming the legislation we passed last year as the subcommittee chairman at the time, i appreciate. and we will have a hearing to review our actions on the various covid-related bills and i think it would be an appropriate time to ask about the issues you brought up today. so thank you. we have senator warnock followed by senator thune. >> thank you, this week i introduce the aero act for
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adoption of sustainable and and other aviation technologies, i cannot be more proud, delta, wallstream, in my home in atlanta, georgia, helping these take-off. as we see industries harmful carbon emissions it's important we have the resources and technical expertise to allow for the quick and safe deployment of these new innovations. mr. dickson, do you agree that having the right in-house expertise will be crucial for faa to successfully collaborate and partner with industry on new sustainable products and ensure
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these technologies are deployed safety without delays? >> thank you senator warnocks, good to see you, and the answer is yes. we recognize how critical sustainable aviation fuel is and very much want to be a partner with congress as people consider ways to expedite its use and deployment at scale. within our office of energy and environment, there is a team of people who's -- who are dedicated to working on how best to make sap a routine force on aviation fuel. with regard to your section i believe 104, we reviewed the area consistent with the bill and are working very closely with our labor partners to execute on that review. and it's more in-depth than we originally thought but are
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determined to make it a comprehensive review. at the same time, we have completed some concrete items including already a comprehensive review of senior technical experts program we call our step program, comparing to pro programs around the industry including nasa and european union safety agency and engaged in active recruiting on chief scientists and technical adviser positions and i can tell you from personal experience, we got got a very capable chief scientist within our environmental group that look forward to leading those efforts. >> so as you move forward in this review, can you say more about how you plan to address any identified shortfalls in the shortterm and in the longterm, as we prioritize trying to expedite these innovations in a way that's safe for the public? >> well, you know, we have to
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critically evaluate the review and insure that we take the necessary steps as you've said. any existing shortfalls that we have, as well as those gaps that can hinder our ability to understand or oversee new technologies in terms of saf will be really important. we need to engage not only the aviation community but the producers as well. >> well i appreciate that, and know that i am going to continue to push the aero act, i think it's important that we do everything we can to move forward on sustainable aviation technologies. you know, this is an important part of creating a sustainable and safe future, and having adequate levels of experienced personnel and technical support at the faa is critical to the success of these efforts. so that we can have skies that
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are safe in every sense of the word. thanks so much and look forward to working with you on this issue. >> senator thune. >> thank you madam chair, administrator dickson, thank you, welcome. let me start with an issue in my home state of south dakota dealing with elmsworth base holding the future of b-21 bomber which will train in the power river complex, elmsworth currently holds the b-21 bomber, holds waivers and i appreciate the faa's efforts to expedite coordination with the space. looking ahead more broadly, we have to ensure our advanced military aircraft have the air space volumes in the time we need to train it. technical authorization will be
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important to improving management of the national aircraft system particularly as new entrants like us technology interact with traffic. hampered by the pandemic, will be crucial in the coming years. these investments will allow the united states to have better infrastructure, increasing the efficiency of the max. can you speak to the status of next gen implementation, specifically, how to make up for pandemic related delays and secondly, how has the faa incorporated concepts like adaptive or dynamic air space in next gen initiative to meet the growing demands on national air space system while maintaining safety for current users and new entrants. >> great question on next gen. we have about 70% of the technology fielded for next gen. the challenge we have now is to
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integrate those technologies between data communications, the adsb surveillance, which when we successfully implemented across the entire system in january of 2020, and also the performance-based navigation aspects as well. so what we really need, and where the pandemic set us back a bit is operationalizing these capabilities and integrating them within our air traffic facilities, because we need to have the controllers and the facility managers actually involved in those implementations by facilities. and because of covid, we had to get everybody out of the facility who wasn't involved in that daily operation. it was very difficult to socially distance and we didn't want to expose any more of our
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employees than necessary to that public health risk. now that we have various public health measures in place, we are back in the facilities doing more training, and then more of this operational implementation so i expect the pace will pick up considerably here in the coming months. with respect to dynamic air space management, i know my chief operating officer has met with you and your staff recently and i agree with you that this is extremely important to us. we have demands put on the air space now with commercial space drones. we need to make sure traditional civil aviation is protected and, of course, military and national security needs are at the core of all that. so we will continue to work through those issues. i know we had some success here with the most recent exercise and will continue to build on that. >> thank you, we appreciate all your help along the way and are going to need your continued assistance in that space as the
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b-21 is hopefully, before too long, enters that airspace for training purposes along with all the other air assets that are involved in the large force exercises. so thank you for your cooperation and hope you will be able to continue to assist us there. as you know, the faa issued a notice of policy september, 2020, determining that certain uas may be type-certificated as a special class of aircraft and i appreciate your commitment to advancing the integration of uas into the system however, concern that the agency has not made more progress toward delivering generally applicable type certification that will provide certainty to the industry while maintaining the highest level of safety. so could you talk about whether the faa remains committed to applying generally applicable standards for uas-type
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certification and what actions the faa has taken to establishing generally applicable standards for sefrgz of special classes uas since the publication of this notice? >> senator, you raised a very important issue, and we are actively collaborating internally and with the uas industry on the approval process. as a matter of fact, i met with several stakeholder groups over the last several months and we are integrating a schedule template that will identify the typical paths, as well as environmental elements which will better inform applicants for certification throughout this process. we'll use a risk-based approach to certificating un-manned aircraft. we think our existing rules will be able to accommodate any near-term operations but also looking towards the future.
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i think, as you know, we got our special authorization certificates, we're making process under way and that will help us move to the next step of specificity out there for all our stakeholders so they know with more granular detail what the requirements are going to be for these systems, as they come to market. >> thank you. thank you madam chair. >> thank you. >> senator hickenlooper. >> your testimony, especially with the difficult times we have and the divisions in the country, i think causing disruptions in so many ways, the faa data shows 5,033 unruly
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passenger incidents this year. 227 of these resulted in enforcement cases being initiated and obviously, to all air force officials saying many unruly passengers were interviewed by local police and released without criminal charges of any kind and you wrote when this occurs we miss a cue opportunity to hold unruly passengers accountable. can you describe how clearly incidents are reported by faa to doj and law enforcement and how could that process maybe be improved to spur more enforcement actions and make people aware that this is a serious issue? >> well thank you for the question, senator. and, you know, this has been something that has been, i've been laser-focused on for, really, the entire year this year. unruly passenger incidents are nothing new, but we have seen a
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several-fold increase in them, as you know. we have been successful at driving the rates down, but we've still got a ways to go, and it's very much a team effort. what we're focused on now is closing the seams between how airlines and airports and law enforcement and the federal government handled these issues. so that's -- we've made a good bit of progress but we've got more to go, and we have referred a number of cases that we give the investigative packages to doj, but there are instances where, at some airports, where there will be a federal law enforcement response, this actually happened with one event that was in the news a couple of weeks ago. so i think we're making good progress but there's certainly more to be done, and it really does require the cooperation of
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all those private sector stakeholders including the airports as well as the various aspects of the federal government, faa, tsa, and doj, and we'll continue to stay focused on that. >> absolutely. and there was one where an unruly passenger last week broke a flight attendant's nose. they had to divert the flight in to denver. obviously, those issues that are so egregious, there's got to be a better way that, as we do hold that violent passenger accountable, we get it into the media, so the people hear that this isn't something that's just a passing news item but understand how serious it is. >> well, senator, i've been on social media, i've been on news
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reports. my face is at every airport in the country, i think, not something i necessarily want to be remembered for. we're pulling out the stops. we've done memes, done everything that we can. i've even been on tmz which i never thought i would be, to make sure that the public is aware of the importance of following crew instructions. the crews are there for passenger safety and this is a behavior that's not appropriate in an aviation environment and need to get it under control. >> absolutely. and i think, obviously, covid has played a big role in this. i think the fact that it's so hard to find employees and then tsa is still operating with significant less than a full force, the waits are very long. i fly out of denver all the time but i flew out of atlanta earlier this week and it was equally long, long lines and i
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think that's frustrating people so when they get in the plane, i realize you don't control tsa. let me switch and quickly, in february, a boeing 777 made an emergency landing in denver, caught flight, debris scattered from denver. report, folded an engine blade causing an engine fire. may require strengthening of blades to prevent this in the future. do you have an update on the investigation? or what implementation of safety measures you would -- are being suggested? >> yes, senator. we are doing, taking several actions here. we are increasing the inspection frequency of the fanblades and also recently approved a new inspection technology which is more effective in detecting
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internal cracks in these titanium blades. so that ultra sonic fan blade inspection process will now be the primary process, it's much more effective. we will still use it in combination with what had been used before, the thermal acoustic imaging which had been used before. our chief scientist for propulsion and u.s. air force research lab collaborated on this and so we think that will be very beneficial. in conjunction with that, we should not have debris falling off of an airplane. that's not acceptable. so we are, in our certification, we've actually aligned our engine and airframe certification within the same division to make sure we're more tightly coordinated and requiring the airplane manufacturers to strengthen the
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cowling in design and that will have to be done before the airplanes take to the skies again. >> mr. dickson you got one of the toughest jobs in the country right now and i appreciate you taking time out to share the facts on these issues and what can be done. i yield back to the chair. >> thank you. >> senator sinema, senator scott, senator rosen -- >> thank you, today we're examining the aircraft safety accountability act and current state of aircraft safety. i was proud to support this part of legislation in aircraft certification system. air zones rely on a safe system for business and leisure travel to bring tourists from all over the world to arizona, to ship arizona products to customers and take scenic flights above our landscape and as the chair of aviation subcommittee a safe
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aviation system is critical to my work. over the past several years, our subcommittee held hearings on the tragic boeing accident, the state in the covid pandemic and need to improve our airport's infrastructure for while continuing to improve safety. i appreciate the work the faa has done to improve safety but more needs to be done and i encourage you to work quickly to implement the full certification statute. as you know, arizona is an important part to the aviation system, home to four of the busiest airports in the country and often participate in flights, unfortunately, there was a collision that resulted in two fatalities, the ntsb is investigating the situation, as we review the entirety of our
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safety situation, what actions is faa taking to improve safety in arizona and across the country? >> thank you for your question, aviation safety is critical. we have the largest general aviation segment of any air space in the world and several years ago, the faa had set the goal of reducing the fatal accident rate for ga to less than one fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours and this was a goal set to be met by 2018 and we were able to surpass that goal and so in 2019 we resnapped the line for an additional 10% reduction by 2028 and up to this point, we are exceeding those projections, today good. we have done this by partnering with the general aviation joint
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steering committee which is the general aviation counter part to c.a.s.t., commercial aviation safety team. helps us analyze accident trends and undertake appropriate safety interventions when risk is identified, and over the last eight years, we have actually adopted 47 safety enhancements that are aimed at addressing the root causes of loss of control and engine failure accidents, which are the primary causes and those have been adopted over the past three years. we're also working on enhancements to the airman certification system and working with aviation stakeholder groups to improve testing and training standards as well. and finally, on the subject of mid air collisions, certainly there are beneficial technologies such as t-cas that
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can be implemented within ga as well. >> thank you administrator, in august, passed the investment in jobs act and our administration invested 5 billion over five years, with 20 billion in airports, so this funds air ways, taxi ways and safety areas at every airport in the united states and the legislation creates a new airport terminal improvement program for airports to improve terminal facilities gates and intermodal connection if a facilities. besides improving the efficiency and passenger experience at airports, once this bill is passed it will also improve safety. can you describe how the $20 billion for airport improvements will increase airport safety? >> sure. well the infrastructure improvements with respect to airports would definitely improve the safety and efficiency of our airport transportation system and, you
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know, we already estimate a need of, in excess in $8 billion in airport projects and these requested projects exceed existing faa resources annually which as you know, our aip budget in the range of 3.3 billion so in addition to terminals we'll be able to do things like runway rehabilitation projects which, as you know, can cost in the 10s of millions of dollars each, and are multiyear projects as well. so that's one specific improvement that we would be looking at with that infrastructure money. >> thank you. madam chair, my time's expired. i yield back. thank you. >> mr. dickson. how are you doing. you know, you've seen all these videos of families being kicked off airplanes because their young children can't keep the mask on a long time and i heard
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lots of stories of people that decide not to fly because they have young children, know they won't be able to keep their mask on, so can you talk about why the faa supports a policy then basically forces these airlines to kick these young families off planes because a young child just can't do it. i don't know if you have young children or grand children but they're not great at keeping their mask on. >> well, senator, you know, i can't speak to public health in particular, but obviously we all want to get through the effects of the covid pandemic and we certainly support what the public health authorities have put in place in terms of a combination of mitigations, but that's not an faa requirement. really, the important thing to me is aviation safety and making sure that passengers on
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commercial aircraft follow crew members instructions, and if those requirements are in there, whether faa requirements or not, in this case they're not, we really need to, whatever requirements in there, whether company policies or federal requirements, passengers need to comply with them. >> you've seen the reports, first southwest and then you hear about the air traffic controllers in jacksonville and the latest is the american airline flights canceled, and, you know, it sure appears it's going to continue to get worse. and then you watch, you know, people that are just completely concerned about this unconstitutional vaccine mandate by the president, it's going to impact jobs in this country and you got the federal reserve report that is these vaccine mandates are causing a low labor supply and issues with hiring and retention. so, tell me, i mean, what do you think is causing these pilot shortages? what's causing these cancellations of all these flights impacting peoples' jobs
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all across the country. >> well, senator, i've spoken about the air carriers and several of the pilot union leaders as well as our own leaders within the agency and at this point in time, i'm not seeing any staffing impact from the vaccine mandate itself. the event that we had a few weeks ago with southwest down in florida was due to a combination of factors. the difficulties that we're seeing with some airlines operations right now, frankly, is, in my estimation, is due more to changes in consumer behavior. you know, all of that, the algorithms they use to plan their schedules or disrupt it, in march of 2020, and leisure demand, i think as you well know, florida has been a lot of demand for leisure travel into
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florida and those, that very close-in demand signal is different from what the airlines had seen before. and so they are, they probably don't have as much buffer in their schedules as they had previously or as they would like. i know one of the airlines talked about they had a number of a couple thousand flight attendants who were in the process of being recalled from furlough and so these kinds of things are just taking some time to catch up in the system and it is creating more operational exposure when there are disruptive events such as convective weather in the system. >> so do you think the vaccine mandate from the president is going to cause staffing shortages at all? do you think it's going to have any impact on anybody which is going to impact the safety of travel in the united states? >> senator, my absolute focus, what i can guarantee you is we will have a safe aviation system
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in the u.s. and we are focused on -- >> excuse me, does that mean you'll have to shut down flights? because you won't have enough air traffic controllers? still be safe, just won't have the flights. >> we have robust contingency plans in place as we have always, and we have ways we can make adjustments as we need to, but at this point in time i'm not seeing any impact on safety and we will work to make sure the air space is open and available for the public. >> how many jobs in aerospace industry, any agencies you deal with, air traffic controllers are going to be lost because of the vaccine mandate? you have any idea? >> i couldn't speculate. >> all right. thank you very much, i'll turn it over to senator rosen. >> thank you. >> thank you senator scott, appreciate that, and thank you administrator dickson for being here today. i want to talk a little bit about international
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information sharing and how we use that for pilot training. to follow up on an issue i raised two years ago, the problems that led to the 737 max 8 accidents. as you may know in 2017, the brazilian civil aviation agency came to the u.s. to test the boeing 737 max 8 and determined the changes made to the aircraft from previous models were substantial enough to warrant request to boeing for more information about the plane's systems. as a result of this additional information from boeing, when the brazilian national civil aviation agency published its updated pilot training requirements, they were able to flag m-cas as one of the changes the pilots needed to account for when flying the max 8. when testifies before the committee in october of 2019, i asked boeing's ceo why this
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information was not flagged for other customers who had the 737 max in their fleet for more information sharing and he didn't respond. and so more information in this sharing could have been extremely beneficial. so, administrator dickson, faa is the global leader in aviation safety and as such, have a responsibility to share critical information about aircraft systems with the international community. in the case of brazil, better communication between national civil aviation agencies, well it could have saved lives. so i'd like to ask if faa were in the exact same position as brazilian civil aviation agency as with max 8, what would we have done? had we received new information about an aircraft so important that it led to significant changes in pilot training requirements, we share that with others? is it important to make such
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information available to the international community? >> well senator rosen, i can say unequivocally, yes. i think one of the positive aspects of the jury that we have been through over the last couple of years is the collaboration and the work between states of design and aviation authorities is stronger than it ever has been. so we would absolutely share any relevant information that we had regarding pilot training or information that needed to be provided to flight crews with other authorities, and i will emphasize, also, that the changes that we are putting in place are designed to make sure that no single point of vulnerability or no single individual can lead to a failure of the system. we want to have those additional layers of redundancy put into the process, and what you're
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pointing out is right on line with what i'm talking about. >> and i appreciate that. when you set up, is there any set up for collaborating and sharing this kind of important information between countries? i mean, i know we would do it, and that's great, but are other countries going to respond the same? is there a forum for that, and if there isn't, should there be? and how do we make that happen? >> yes, there is a forum, it's called the cmt, the certification management team, and it consists of the four countries that are involved in the certified transport category aircraft, and that construct has actually been greatly strengthened because of the collaboration that we have executed here over the last couple of years as part of going through this process. >> thank you, i appreciate that. i'd like to just quickly ask about faa's certification
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workforce. of course, a 2015 audit found the faa at the time lacked comprehensive process for determining aircraft certification service staffing needs, critical for effective faa oversight and other certification activities. i'd just like to go quickly to the question i'd like to build on that discussion, administrator dickson, what can you tell us about today's faa certification workforce needs and how can congress better work with you to meet those needs? we need to have a robust certification workforce to prevent engineer loss of life? >> as i mentioned earlier, we have nearly doubled our number of human factors experts. we will continue to need data scientists and we'll continue to have engineers in those emerging technologies and disciplines.
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software engineers, so the ability to, much more systems are software-driven now, which we are currently sourced for, but will need to work closely with the congress to make sure we stay ahead of developments as we move forward. >> some education and training is key. i see my time is up. i believe that, i'm not sure if anyone's there, but i think senator peters, you were after me if i heard that correctly. >> not sure if senator peters is available. >> oh, not sure you were back. >> you were doing a great virtual job of chairing. thank you so much. if senator peters is available, we certainly call on him, but maybe he stepped away to go to the last vote. senator marky. >> thank you, madam chair, very much. i first, i want to recognize the victims of these crashes and
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their families, including michael stumo, nadia billeron of massachusetts, here today, and whose daughter sonya stumo was tragically killed in the ethiopian 737 max crash. these families are here for justice, not just for themselves but every other family involved and protections for any family that gets on a plane in our country and we thank you for being here, we thank you for standing vigilant for all of those and we are so sorry for your tragic loss and will work hard to make sure your message is heard at the faa and here in congress. after more than two years of investigations, it is clear that boeing abused the authority delegated to it by the faa to certify its own aircraft. boeing not only cut countless
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corners to maximize profit at the expense of safety, it also intentionally misled the faa in order to avoid more rigorous scrutiny of new technologies installed on the seven 37 max, including the flight control system that caused both tragic nose-dives in indonesia and ethiopia, this committee's passage of the aircraft safety and education reform act was a necessary first step towards making sure this cannot happen again, but as today's hearing makes clear, this new law is not fully implemented and the danger of self-certifying aircraft remains today, which is unbelievable. it's also clear that boeing has not truly learned it is lesson, after giving its former ceo who over saw production of the max a $60 million golden parachute and
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a bonus in rushing the max back to service. these decisions do not deal with a company that's concerned with safety over profit, and that's why i stand with the families of the victims who we recently sent a letter calling for the we thank you for your letter. it's so important this become part of our history. administrator dixon, will you suspend boeing's authority until boeing has conclusively proven it's changed its ways? >> we have reset the relationship with boeing in no uncertain terms.
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we have limited delegation. we are retaining full control over that. one of the improvements that's been put in place is boeing safety management system. that is revealing issues much earlier than they were previously. we are seeing results. it's making our oversight more effective and more systematic. we conduct regular performance reviews with them. we will continue to drive those improvements. >> i will say this. limiting delegation is not enough. we cannot trust boeing until these issues are fully fixed. i urge you to take back the faa full certification authority. just take it all back. that's the bottom line on there. i also want to strongly urge you to finish implementing two over
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due congressional mandates from the faa re-authorization act of 2013. while i'm glad the faa has finally published its proposed rule to increase the required amount of flight attendant rest hours, you need to finalize. it will protect our crews and passengers to anyone who may rush the flight deck. it's time to get these essential rules done. will you complete them in fear future? >> we are fully planning to complete them. >> have you prioritized those? >> we have. >> what is your time frame for finishing those rules? >> we are moving forward with
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the -- we have the nprm out on the flight attendant rest period. we're in the process of the finalizing the proposal on secondary barriers. that should be out in the coming months. it's a good bit more technically comp complicated. it will get us to the destination. >> do them right but do them fast. there's a lot depending upon it. >> i share your urgency. >> these technologies offer enormous potential to improve safety and efficiency but it will only take one hacker to cause a disaster. that's why i will soon reintroduce my cyber security
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standards for aircraft to improve resilience act while the cyber air act. this bill will require the disclosure of information relating to cyber attacks on our aviation system as well as build strong cyber security standards directly into our air carrier and aircraft certification processes. >> yes, i do. >> i thank you for that. i think we'll need to pass legislation. have you had a chance to look at my legislation that will mandate this? >> i have not seen the specifics.
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we need to make sure the adequate laters of protection are there. >> we're in a dangerous period of time. again, i urge you to move quickly and it should be backed up with legislation. thank you. >> thank you, senator. not awarp of other members. i know senator peters joined us shortly on video but i'm not sure if he's returning or anyone el. while i'll tell members that i'm going to do a second round here and we'll see if anybody else appears for questions. if not, we will close out the hearing.
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i think you're saying it will take years to do that by rule making and yet we still have a process under way for certifying planes. what are you putting in place now to make sure that you have the work force and the people to review that process while a change product rule is in development? shouldn't the faa produce policies to close the loophole in meantime? >> absolutely. we are working this on two tracks. we have miner doing a study for change product rules to driver the decision criteria. we have stood up the
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international authority working group. they should provide recommendations to us by next summer. >> i'm a little worried about right now in was a pretty big change many the system that allowed technology to out pace our focus on it. was already asked to be put in place so we would have it today. this is the issue if you're producing a plane that is a derivative of a product and this is the challenge that we face. we were very clear mr. the law. we said everybody, every plane has to go through a systems
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analysis on anything that's different. >> that is actually happening now. any critical design component requires validation. anything that touches human factors and additional human factors folks we got in in the agency are focused, laser focused on that issue. we're also involving them throughout the process not just to design approval but also for continued operational safety once the airplane is out there flying. >> i think he's trying to get the information where he said there was not enough information on the triple 79 on their common
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core system. the communication system. it sounds very similar to saying we want to understand what the software does similar to the mcaste system. here is somebody doing what we asked and just for the context, there are more than 1600, i'm sorry, thousands of p members. these are our professional engineers. in the northwest they are our friends, neighbors. these are people that are working and putting their name behind their product.
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when we look at the fact the boeing oversight office, the aviation, faa office over looking the boeing manufacturing has been at a static engineering level for decades. how do you expect we'll be able to do this oversight and be able to really understand and keep pace with this technology? >> we have increased engineering resources within the there but we're also integrating the certificate management office at boeing which oversees the production side of the house. all the operator that operate
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boeing aircraft we are levering them. you got to give us the full picture. you can't give us a portion and say you'll get everything next week. this is really resnapping that line to make sure that the applicant that we're over seeing is giving us a complete system picture when they ask for us to move to the next milestone in an approval process. >> i know there was repeal of an oda authority. at wa point would you take that
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step. >> if we saw they weren't making the necessary cultural or transparency improvements then we would go down that path. >> again, we'll have our own report and our own reporting of what we've been told by various whistle blowers but it is clear the process has changed. that the process of collaboration and solving problems is now changed into at least from what we heard the faa not even asking the unit members to produce documentation about testing and information. that literally does it comply yes or no? so we have to build this work
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force and believe in them. they are our early warning system when something is wrong. and you have to back them up. so again, i'm asking you because i don't see the work force improvement at the seattle office you are describing. i think we are at a total of 52 people, 3 #it of which are engineers. i don't think that has changed much over the years. how have you since these accidents improved the seattle oversight office? >> again, we have improved our resources and i know because i have sat down with them personally our people feel empowered and backed up as they never have been before. that is helping them to be more effective, which i think was part of what you were really focusing on in the legislation, the appointment of a unit member advisers is creating a direct
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communication path to make sure there is no interference with that line of communication between -- >> not a direct communication path. that makes it sound like it is about communication. it is an authority oversight on whether this is going to move forward or not. >> but awareness in terms of what the issues are and not allowing the employer to interfere with issues that are brought forward directly to the agency, that is going to help us be much more informed in our oversight and much more effective. >> i look forward to seeing this list of people you say you have enhanced the office with. what do you think the skill level is to do certification oversight? what is the skill level and background of the person who has this up for you at the faa?
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>> certainly air nautical engineers. we need software engineers. i think there is a growing need in that area. that was something that we -- that there are newer platforms where we are seeing how systems are interfacing with each other, more and more of the architecture of newer model aircraft. and so that is an area that we'll be focused on. you'll always have engineers, mechanical engineers and others in other aerospace disciplines but it is transforming to more of how all of these automated systems on newer aircraft interface with each other. as we go into the coming years we'll need to build our work force on things like artificial intelligence as well. >> you and i might agree on this point about software because i
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don't think enough attention has been paid to the skill level to understanding this particularly from an oversight and certification oversight but certainly at the company but when it comes to the issue of overload in the cockpit on various alerts and understanding particularly, look, i think we saw this. i think you saw it even in your own private background that you had pilots complain about the automation system and the fact there was so much happening in these automated systems. so the question is what do you need to do to make sure we get this automation right? i think to me there seems to be this task that we also outlined in the bill when you are now doing oversight of a new software system that is going to
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be so critical i would think the faa would produce a document that says these are the things we expect to understand and you would get that integrated team that we ask for right now on software stood up and pounding on the kind of questions you would want answered from that system. so they are not simply relying on the information presented. again, this is a huge transformation that is continuing in aviation but it is not only in aviation. it is happening in committees, struggling with the same oversight as it relates to demand to cars and other issues. it is getting your team and getting people to do that oversight now on the technical work side and getting the right level of work force i just don't see that urgency in the faa's actions. i would ask you to do that and make that a number one priority as you move forward. >> it is an extremely high priority and i will get you the additional insight. >> well, it is essential to fulfilling the law. okay. i have a larger, broader
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question which is just about the process. this is again a perfect example of it. when you are submitting design data to the faa, for a finding of compliance shouldn't the applicant certify in writing to the faa that the submitted data complies with all the available and applicable air worthiness standards? >> yes. that is correct. >> okay. i don't know if that happens. if the design does not comply with the applicable air worthy standards the design should be brought into compliance before the faa certifies the aircraft? >> yes. that is correct. >> okay. >> i don't know that that has happened. i'm not sure that is what's happening.
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if we go back down the system there were a lot of checks on the list of issues but not on final compliance with the information. i think that is what is missing in the system and i think we'll continue to look at that. i would look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we ensure that compliance really does meet that standard. so very much appreciate your answer on that. we had one more question we wanted to go over. my colleague, two issues on the work force side standing up of the air grant program, this is very much similar to the sea
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grant program in getting here on the hill a professional work force very skilled and knowledgeable in aviation. i am very proud of my colleagues here today. you can see that many of them have been following this and know specifically but i think it is easy to say the oversight of the faa on this issue needs a more technical staff here on the hill in addition. i'm very pleased with what the sea grant fellows achieved because they brought a lot of scientific knowledge to our understanding as it relates to our fisheries oversight or noaa oversight. what is it going to take to get that stood up? >> i look forward to working with you on it. i think it is a great idea and something that would i think improve the collaboration and communication with the committee and make sure we're more effective in our implementation
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and frankly lay a solid foundation for the future. >> and the same one of my colleagues may have asked about the involvement of going to iko and making sure we are setting the same international standards. >> on pilot training? >> yes. we are not going to allow a slippage of standards set by pilots on an international basis and we are going to very much understand the manufacturing of planes with integrated software systems but also have a skilled pilot at the helm. two pilots who know how to fly the plane if the systems are turned off. >> right. ikao is important but we can't rely on that. we have to help authorities all over the world to implement the requirements we're talking about here. that is going to really raise the bar in terms of not only pilot training but also anyone operating, in this case a u.s. product but any airplane in commercial operation anywhere in the world we want to work with those authorities. so things like i talked about
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before, upset prevention recovery training, flight path management. as we implement those beneficial changes in the united states, we want to work through and get the standards set but also go to the individual aviation authorities to make sure they are implementing consistently around the world. >> we want the united states to be a leader. >> yes. >> on what is required for both the manufacturers and for the skill set that it takes for flying the plane. >> yes. >> we want the faa to set that standard here and you to be a loud advocate for it on an international basis >> i could not agree more. >> thank you. according to my information the d.o.t.-o.i.g. report in february of this year said only one engineer has been added to the seattle office since the max tragedies. i'll look forward to getting that information from you. i just firmly believe having the right staffing and your
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integrated team set up to advise you right now, not waiting a further moment and clarifying the change product rule process will be critical. very much appreciate mr. wong doing his job and standing up. i think that makes the hearing for us today. the record will remain open until december 1st, 2021. any senators that would like to submit questions for the record and for the witnesses, for the witness, should do so by november 17th of this year and we ask responses be returned no later than december 1st. that concludes our hearing. thank you mr. administrator for being here today.
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>> thank you ma'am. >> we're adjourned.
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tlnchts. there has to be another reason. there isn't. the evidence is clear and overwhelming. slavery was, by a wide margin, the single most important cause of the civil war. these are the words and opinions of retired southern born army general ty seidule. he lays out his views in his book, robert e. lee and me. subtitled, a southerners reckoning with the myth of the lost cause. >> booknotes plus is available on the c-span now app or where
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ever you get your podcast. c-span has your unfiltered view of government. >> cox is committed to providing eligible families access to affordable internet through the connect to compete program. bridging the digital divide one connect and engaged student at a time. cox bringing us closer. a look at 5g technology, wireless innovation and broadband access with fcc commissioners at the free state foundation's anniversary luncheon.


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