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Are airlines embracing complacency over improved safety?

One of the problems when safety improves is complacency. Some are worried that the airline industry is suffering from that sense of complacency right now. Since a deadly airline crash has not happened in the United States in almost four years, the airline industry is reluctant to have to comply with any new safety standards.

But it's important that the industry does not forget about its responsibility to get passengers to their destinations safely. Embracing new technology and spending the money now could save money on personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits in the future.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

The president of the Flight Safety Foundation said the "extraordinary safety record" over the last few years is precisely the Federal Aviation Administration "isn't able to act proactively and ensure safety into the future."

And while safety experts acknowledge that new planes are safer than they ever have been, many still worry about pilot training and the human element. A former member of the National Transportation Safety Board said that airlines are resisting the costs associated with implementing new regulations. According to the numbers, federal regulations average about $6.2 million per life saved.

The FAA has been working on pilot work hours for years. Pilot error and lax training was determined to have played a role in the last fatal commercial airline crash in 2009. But airlines won't have to comply with any new rules until Feb. 2019. In that time period, much more could go wrong.

It appears that the airline industry would rather protect its bottom line than do everything to be proactive in ensuring passengers' safety. Potential passengers should be aware of their rights before getting on a plane.

Source: Associated Press, "Fatal air crash decline presents safety challenge," Joan Lowy, Oct. 19, 2012

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