Monday, October 22, 2007

It's A Secret

On our dime, too. AP (10.22.07), via Carpetbagger:
"Anxious to avoid upsetting air travelers, NASA is withholding results from an unprecedented national survey of pilots that found safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than the government previously recognized.

NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years.

NASA Sits on Air Safety Survey

"Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly."

"Just last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers."

The AP fought for 14 months under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act to get the info. According to NASA's associate administrator Thomas S. Luedtke, "'(r)elease of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey'."

NASA also claimed pilot confidentiality was another reason it wasn't going to release the study, "although no airlines were identified in the survey, nor were the identities of pilots".



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