Wicker Statement on FAA’s Safety Oversight of Southwest Airlines

February 11, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General released an audit report that identified a number of concerns regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety oversight of Southwest Airlines: 

“The IG report highlights very concerning lapses in FAA’s safety oversight,” said Wicker. “A carrier’s safety culture should be overseen with the highest standards to ensure the traveling public is safe. The Commerce Committee has been investigating many of the same issues brought to light by the IG report and will continue its oversight and investigation into these matters.”

Last November, the committee released a fact sheet highlighting information the committee received from whistleblowers alleging improper issuance of airworthiness certificates for 88 Southwest Airlines airplanes. Wicker also sent a letter to FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson expressing concern about these aircraft. 

The committee is currently conducting an investigation into aviation safety and exercises jurisdiction over the FAA.