In the aftermath of two Boeing 737 Max accidents, some observers are speculating that the company and its air-safety regulator are too close for comfort. It is hard to reconcile that suspicion with the fact that the Max took five years to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, even though it is a derivative of a previous design. The reason FAA allows industry to perform many of the routine tasks associated with certification is so that government resources can be focused on safety-critical matters. And the system works: over the last 10 years, 7 billion passengers have been transported on domestic flights in the air space FAA regulates, and a grand total of one has died in an accident. That’s about as close to perfect as we are likely to see in this life. So let’s focus our safety concerns in areas where there is real evidence of problems, rather than inventing imaginary culprits to blame. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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