The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a safety recommendation urging the FAA to form a working group to “better review, prioritize and integrate” Alaska’s aviation safety needs into its safety enhancement process. The recommendation cited concerns that a lack of coordination and the “silo-like nature” of the FAA are impeding the development of a “comprehensive plan for implementing and maintaining various safety efforts in Alaska.” To address the issues, the board called for the FAA to work with Alaska aviation industry stakeholders to revise its process for enacting and supporting those safety efforts.
“We need to marshal the resources of the FAA to tackle aviation safety in Alaska in a comprehensive way,” said NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt. “Whether it is a Part 135 flight or a pleasure trip, all pilots must deal with Alaska’s challenging geography and weather. We need to give them all the tools and resources to do so safely.”
The board says the recommendation (PDF) stems from a Part 135-focused roundtable discussion held with Alaska aviation stakeholders last September in Anchorage. According to NTSB data, the accident rate for Alaska from 2008 to 2017 was 2.35 times higher than for the rest of the U.S.