An internal Federal Aviation Administration survey revealed concerns among some inspectors about the agency’s approach to overseeing Southwest Airlines Co., according to a Wall Street Journal report.
In the survey, around three-quarters of respondents mentioned that the culture in the FAA’s Dallas-area office that oversees Southwest hasn’t improved in recent years, following concerns regarding its oversight of the airline. Some respondents have raised questions on the office’s commitment to safety, the documents indicated (as reported by The Wall Street Journal). The article mentioned that 14 out of the 18 respondents said they disagreed or strongly disagreed that the office’s culture has improved over the past two years. 7 of the respondents showed disagreement that the office was committed to aviation safety.
The report also mentioned that FAA failed to take measures to prevent Southwest from flying several used planes that lacked complete documentation of inspections and repairs, and that the airline regularly communicated incorrect luggage-weight data used for takeoffs and landings.
“Southwest maintains a culture of compliance, recognizing the safety of our operation as the most important thing we do, and any implication that we would tolerate a relaxing of standards is unfounded,” a Southwest spokeswoman said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In 2019, the FAA removed three senior managers at its Southwest office following allegations of lax safety enforcement by the office.