FAA Moves Three Senior Managers Overseeing Southwest Airlines Amid Federal Investigation

The FAA has reassigned three senior managers overseeing safety and maintenance at Southwest Airlines in Dallas amid an ongoing investigation into the carrier's baggage weight and aircraft balance.The actions were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to The Dallas Morning News the staffing changes at the Southwest Airlines Certificate Management Office near DFW International Airport. He declined to give specifics on why changes were made. The agency said it does "not comment on personnel matters."The Journal's report, citing confidential sources, said the actions took place over the weekend and come amid an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation's inspector general into issues over documenting maintenance, calculating the weight of checked bags and incidents involving Southwest planes.The moves were spurred by allegations that managers retaliated against safety inspectors who reported problems, the Journal reported."We take allegations regarding safety oversight and retaliation seriously," said the statement from the FAA. "We also work continuously to improve the FAA organization's overall performance to meet our critical safety mission. To uphold these principles, we take appropriate action as necessary."A Certificate Management Office, such as the one with Southwest in Dallas, houses the group of FAA inspectors who oversee specific airlines. They carry out inspections and investigations and meet with the airline on safety issues.  Continue reading...

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