The Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Standards Service has recently proposed an-all new credentialing program. This new program would result in the creation, issuing, tracking and use of a new "Aviation Safety Observer Card" that would ostensibly facilitate access to air carrier cockpits by FAA employees who are not Aviation Safety Inspectors. The staff of the Air Carrier Training Branch has articulated a number of serious safety concerns associated with allowing untrained and unqualified nonpilots into air carrier flight decks. Furthermore, the FAA has not identified any particular business need for such observers (see draft FAA Order 8000.110R), but that is not the point of this suggestion. Rather, this suggestion's purpose is to point out that this new program will cost the American taxpayer a significant amount of money (surely measured in the many millions of dollars) while at the same time being completey unnecessary. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 121.547 already provides for access by such persons who may reasonably have need, provided approval is obtained from the air carrier, the FAA, and the pilot in command. Because such access is already permitted and provided for, this "110R" program appears to be nothing more or less than a pure, completely unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars.
Idea No. 3468