April 25, 2012

Washington, DC – The Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), will hold a hearing on Wednesday to review the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety oversight of the United States’ aviation system.

The United States’ aviation system is the safest in the world. There were zero commercial passenger fatalities in the U.S. in 2011 and in the past five years, there has only been one tragic and fatal commercial passenger airline accident. In terms of aviation safety, even one accident is one too many, but to provide some perspective, in that same five year time frame roughly 52 million flights were operated safely.

Although the U.S. aviation system is very safe, there is always room for improvement where safety is concerned. Wednesday’s hearing will focus on reviews by the Department of Transportation Inspector General (DOT IG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on, among other things, operational errors, pilot fatigue and pilot training requirements, safety management systems, oversight of repair stations, and terminal area safety.

The hearing will also focus on explanations for the increase in operational errors and near misses and FAA actions in response to the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.

More information on Wednesday’s hearing can be found here.

WHAT: Hearing of the Subcommittee on Aviation, U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), Chairman: “A Review of Aviation Safety in the United States”

WHEN: 9:00 A.M., Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WHERE: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Live webcast will be available at


Panel I:

• The Honorable Margaret Gilligan, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Federal Aviation Administration
• The Honorable David Grizzle, Chief Operating Officer, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration
• Mr. Jeffrey B. Guzzetti, Assistant Inspector General for Aviation and Special Programs Audit, Inspector General of Department of Transportation
• Dr. Gerald L. Dillingham, Director, Physical Infrastructure Division, Government Accountability Office

Panel II:

• Mr. Tom Hendricks, Senior Vice President for Safety, Airlines for America
• Mr. Scott Foose, Senior Vice President- Operations & Safety, Regional Airlines Association
• Captain Sean Cassidy, First Vice President, Airline Pilots Association
• Mr. Gary M. Fortner, Senior Vice President, Vice President of Quality Control, Fortner Engineering, Aeronautical Repair Station Association