Former NTSB Chairman: TAWS Not Coming Fast Enough...

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Compliance Criticized

The FAA needs to beef up its oversight and ensure that all airplanes that are required to have Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (TAWS) on board are in compliance, Jim Hall, former chairman of the NTSB, wrote in The Charlotte Observer last week. "In the United States during the past 12 months, there have been 12 instances where aircraft flew into an obstacle," Hall wrote. "Forty-five people died as a result of these crashes. Of the aircraft involved, two-thirds were required to have modern, updated terrain avoidance systems on board, but didn't." By March 29, 2005, all turbine-powered U.S.-registered airplanes with six or more passenger seats are required to have TAWS on board. The systems cost between $20,000 and $60,000, Hall wrote, "a fraction of the cost of multimillion-dollar helicopters or passenger aircraft."