Monday, March 4, 2013

787 Defects Raise Questions About FAA Designee Progam

Reuters had an interesting article this weekend about the degree to which the FAA relies on employees of aircraft manufacturers to inspect the design and manufacture of aircraft. While the article focuses on a change in policy that was implemented eight years ago, the industry's regulatory practices have long reflected manufacturers' advantages over regulators with regard to budget size and technical expertise. This dynamic is well-captured by John Braithwaite and Peter Drahos in their chapter on Air Transport in Global Business Regulation. At one point, Braithwaite and Drahos go so far as to describe the development of aircraft airworthiness standards by writing, "It is exaggerating only a little to say that Boeing sets regulatory standards for the world." (p. 460)

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