Safety Initiative Targets "Pushy Passengers"

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In Alaska, where safety records are relatively atrocious, the FAA has launched an ad campaign aimed at encouraging passengers to inspire safety-conscious operators. Radio ads urge passengers to not pressure pilots into overloading planes. Other campaigns recommend that passengers fly with carriers who are registered with the "Medallion Foundation. The Circle of Safety program began by contacting school districts (kids from rural areas routinely fly to basketball tournaments and the like) and urging them to set strict safety standards. Now it's broadening its appeal to "pushy passengers" who encourage unsafe attitudes and practices in the pilots who carry them over some of the most forbidding territory anywhere. Go figure. As AVweb told you in September, the Medallion Foundation is trying to change the culture of risk and machismo that characterizes some Alaska operators into one that puts safety first. "We say, 'You know you'll be contracting with someone operating at higher standards if you contract with a Medallion carrier,'" Angela Elgee, manager of the FAA's systems safety and analysis branch, told the Anchorage Daily News.