Report: DFW Tracon Managers Lied About Errors

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Management at the Dallas-Fort Worth Tracon investigated operational errors and deviations, but routinely and intentionally misclassified them as pilot errors or non-events, the FAA said late last week. That conclusion was reached after an investigation by the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General. The OIG report, prompted by whistleblower allegations, found that between November 2005 and July 2007, Tracon managers misclassified 62 air traffic events as pilot deviation or non-events when it fact there were 52 operational errors and 10 operational deviations. In response, the FAA removed both the facility manager and assistant manager at the Dallas-Fort Worth Tracon from their positions. Additional personnel actions may be taken, the FAA said. "I am deeply disturbed by the findings in this report," said Hank Krakowski, chief operating officer of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization. "I am personally committed to making sure the IGs recommendations are implemented and that managers are held accountable."

The OIG report will be investigated further by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. The FAA said it will accelerate deployment of the Traffic Analysis Review Program (TARP) -- software that automatically detects losses of aircraft separation at terminal facilities. The program will be implemented at the DFW Tracon by the end of fiscal year 2008, and nationwide by the end of next year.