Senator Schumer pushing for more FAA oversight of airline maintenance


The tragedy on a Southwest airline plane that left one person dead is raising safety concerns about maintenance.

Sunday night, a report was released detailing some shocking numbers about Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (NY – D) revealed that airline maintenance has been seriously lacking for years for all airlines and that something needs to change.

After looking through FAA data, his office found that at least since 2014, there’s been a steady decline in the agency enforcing airline maintenance, so much so that fines have plunged by 70 percent.

“Everything that could possibly go wrong goes through my head and then of course you calm down because you’re like okay, but the chances of anything happening are really low,” said traveler, Jillienne Glodowski.

Just as she does whenever she flies, those were Glodowski’s thoughts as she was taking off Philadelphia last Tuesday, before the Southwest incident.

About an hour later, a Southwest flight made an emergency at the same airport again. Part of the engine broke off and a passenger was sucked out through the window.

“It definitely you know struck a chord where it’s like oh right, reality check. This type of thing does in fact happen,” Glodowski said.

Senator Schumer demanded the agency increase safety checks for all airlines and make sure they look out for aging engine parts and metal.

“The FAA has been in a nose-dive on safety maintenance and enforcement,” Schumer said.

Looking deep into the data, Schumer’s office found that on 105 maintenance actions were taken in 2014, 75 in 2015, 70 in 2016 and 28 in 2017. A significant drop over the past few years.

“That simply should not fly,” Schumers said.

Glodowski and other travelers feel the same.

“Hundreds upon thousands of people fly every single day, it’s a normal way of transportation,” Glowdowski said.

“I’m happy to stay home if my safety is being threatened,” said traveler, Sarah McNaire.

This kind of action to increase maintenance is welcomed by travelers at Albany International Airport. But, they hope the revelations will pressure the FAA to step up and take action.

They tell NEWS10 ABC when they’re flying they actually think about maintenance. 

“I don’t think about it until that moment right before I do take off where I’m like I hope everyone’s done their job and there is that kind of moment where you’re like well of course they’ve done their job cause that’s what they have to do to keep everyone safe,” Glodowski said.

“I’d like to see the our government do everything they can you know to make our safety a number one priority,” said traveler, Randy Evans.

Schumer sent a letter to teh FAA demanding they be proactive and look into safety before tragedy happens again.

“I hope that people learn from it and don’t just say oh we’ll fix it later, but actually go ahead and say okay how can we fix this so that it never happens again,” Glodowski said.

In response to the report the FAA told NEWS10 ABC they’re constantly working to increase safety.

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