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IMORAL ACTS OF COMMUTER AIRLINES AND MAJOR AIRLINES The federal government plays an important role in assuring the safety of air travel It has done so since the enactment of the Air Commerce Act of 1926 and it continues to play a leading role in aviation safety today Although the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 ended all economic regulation of the airlines it did not end government regulation of safety All safety requirements and programs in place at that time are still in force and many new regulations have been added The Federal Aviation Administration The primary responsibility for airline safety regulations lies with the Federal Aviation Administration FAA Congress established the FAA as an agency of the Department of Transportation DOT when it created the department in 1967 It is the successor to the Federal Aviation Agency an independent agency created by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 The FAA is responsible for developing maintaining and operating the nations Air Traffic Control ATC system Nearly three-fourths of the FAAs 52000 employees are involved in some aspect of ATC whose mission it is to ensure the safe separation of aircraft during flight and to sequence aircraft for taxiing takeoff and landing FAAs other major functions include reviewing the design manufacture and maintenance of all aircraft equipment setting minimum standards for crew training establishing operational requirements for airlines and conducting safety-related research and development In short it sets the minimum safety standards for the airlines and acts as the publics watchdog for safety Aircraft Certification Federal law requires that the FAA certify all civil aircraft operating in the United States as airworthy There are well over 200000 licensed civil aircraft in the United States 98 of them are privately owned general aviation aircraft small planes used primarily for pleasure flying training corporate travel and agricultural purposes like crop spraying FAAs certification process begins with the design of an aircraft FAA aeronautical engineers participate in the design
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