Changes In Store For LAX FSDO

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Flight Standards District Offices in Southern California are slated for consolidation, and this will mean moving about two dozen inspectors out of the FSDO at Los Angeles International Airport, the FAA said yesterday. "No jobs are being lost nor is headcount being reduced; we are simply going to be moving our aviation inspectors closer to where the work is -- which is generally not at LAX but elsewhere in Southern California," FAA spokesman Donn Walker told AVweb. The announcement has caused some concern among staffers at LAX, according to an inspector who spoke to AVweb. "This is one of the busiest offices in California, and customer service is excellent right now, because we're right at the perimeter of the field. If we're moved to another office, even just 25 miles away, that can mean an hour and a half travel time in local traffic," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He added that "a lot of people in the office are upset about this," and he doesn't see any valid operational reasons, or any benefit to the customers, in making the change. He also expressed concerns about whether the other FSDOs in the region have space to accommodate the LAX inspectors.

There are 27 FAA inspectors currently working in the LAX office, three of whom are scheduled to retire this year, plus several support staff. "Unlike in the past, there are currently no Part 121 air carrier certificates being managed at the LAX FSDO," Walker said. "That greatly reduces the need to have a large Flight Standards presence near the airport. Employees who now work at the LAX FSDO will be able to work at other Flight Standards locations in the area, which in many cases will reduce commute times and put them closer to where their actual work is. We don't have a timetable yet for this; right now this is just in the planning stages. The bottom line: This will have absolutely no effect on our customers."