Skip to main content

tv   FAA Administrator Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  May 16, 2019 5:51am-7:50am EDT

5:51 am
senate confirmation hearing of t he faa administrator nominee answered question about the certification of the boeing 737 plane and air traffic control modernization. the hearing of the senate commerce science and transportation committee is two hours. >> mr. dixon i would ask at this point you make your way to the witness table. the committee now convenes to consider the nomination of
5:52 am
stephen dixon for the position of administrator of the federal aviation administration prior to the retirement last year he served as senior vice president of the flight operations for delta airlines and began his career with nearly 30 years ago with delta and as a pilot following over a decade of military service as an air force fighter pilot. a graduate of the air force academy and george state university's law school. the president has nominated mr. dixon to be the administrator in the especially challenging time for the agency. the world's gold standard for aviation safety. however the recent overseas crashes off the 737 aircraft have raised serious questions about the role in aircraft certification. i hope to hear how he plans to restore the full confidence in the agency. if he is confirmed. i can assure him the committee
5:53 am
will continue its oversight and hold the faa accountable for any mistakes we uncover but we also stand ready to work on any necessary reforms. although safety is the foremost responsibility, the agency must also facilitate innovation in our airspace and we held a hearing last week on the integration of new entrants in the national airspace. unmanned aircraft are increasing every day tools with over 2 million drones projected to be operating over the next five years the commercial space launch sector is set to increase the number of launches and three entries through the airspace on way to and from outer space. urban air mobility companies are fast developing air taxis which will revolutionize travel and i want to be among the first customers. the bottom line is that the airspace especially at low altitudes is going to get busier
5:54 am
and they must help manage the safe and efficient integration of all users new and existing. if confirmed, he will also need to ensure long-standing efforts to modernize the traffic control system a specialty nexgen stay on track. the inspecto inspector general d accountability office have documented the cost overruns, significant delays and other problems in the modernization programs. mr. dixon has experienced working in these areas and if confirmed i hope he will be able to improve the overall management of these critical efforts so i look forward to the testimony and question and answer and i now turn to that is english ranking member for her opening statement. >> thank you for that productive markup and working together with our staff to work together through those issues and i want
5:55 am
to thank our coffee distinguished women are working on the bill. we definitely need more women and definitely wants to express my appreciation moving forward on such an important piece of legislation. >> if the distinguished ranking member would yield, thank you for once again pointing out that cooperation we have received on both sides of the aisle from our professional staff. this may have seemed like a rather quick 15 minute mar 15 mp that represents hours and hours of painstaking and knowledgeable work on behalf of some very talented staff members so i was once again as i will try to do throughout my chairmanship salute the staff of both parties
5:56 am
for making this move and bipartisan. thank you for building on it. >> it is great to use you again and thank you for being here today. i appreciate the willingness to serve the nation and the opportunity last week to discuss aviation issues and many of the challenges that would face you if you are confirmed. welcome to your family if anybody is confused which side they are on they are the ones without the notebooks on the other side. [laughter] i am pleased to have such a qualified nominee before us, a long career industries served him well and he's had a very distinguished military career, 27 years as a pilot and senior vice president for flight operations and served as a very important member of a lot of our key industry boards, faa and
5:57 am
nexgen implementation task force that you just mentioned. i hope if you are confirmed he will continue to provide strong leadership in those areas. the implementation is critical and as the skies continued to grow more crowded and congested we can't wait for the benefits that it would bring. if confirmed he will have plenty of issues that you will need to address. the recent tragic accidents of the 737 macs have brought a renewed focus to aviation safety and security. we can never let up on those issues in light of america's commercial industry remains extraordinarily safe, we need to keep working to make improvements in all areas of the industry and in all parts of the world. i'm glad to see we have families here from the 3407. and they've been consistent and resilient in continuing to help us focus on these issues. thank you for helping us focus on the cost of not prioritizing
5:58 am
these issues. the advocacy of the families first officer classification requirements have been one of the important issues that i know we will continue to look at here in this committee and in congress as we have for many years. we also need to continue our focus and increasing opportunities for new pilots and getting them adequately trained. also as a result of our efforts, congress has passed a pilot records database requirement in 2010 which is not fully implemented. i know the faa is working on the database to solve technical issues, but we need to get this up and running so when an airline hires a pilot it can have access to all relevant information about the potential hire so they can make the best choices. lestelast year congress also paa major reauthorization bill. this legislation and implementation is ongoing and there are several issues that need attention. the bill requires flight attendants to receive at least
5:59 am
ten hours of rest between the duties and flight attendants played a very critical role in flight safety so i'm pleased that they addressed that in the bill last year and we hope the implementation of this will move quickly under his leadership. the bill also contains several positions and i would like to thank the senator for his leadership on getting that legislation done. several positions on the contact powers which we discussed in our meeting via they are imports into smaller parts across the country implied we need to continue to work collaboratively with them. the committee has worked on putting together and protecting the contract power program and we look forward to working with you on how to implement improvements from last year's legislation and finally when it comes to expanding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles we are waiting on the identification rule to unlock so many of the potentials and i can tell you from my state perspective they
6:00 am
are playing a vital role in helping us on important resource management issues and helping first responders at the scenes of accidents so i hope we can continue to work with you to get a remote process moving before the deadlines that have been sent. i expect we will continue to remain engaged with you on many of these issues on innovation so i look forward to talking during the q-and-a about some of those but again thank you for your willingness to serve, and thank you to your family and for helping to support you on this big end of her. >> thank you senator cantwell. before turning to mr. dixon at this point i would like to insert into the record a statement of support from senator johnny isakson which includes his regret that he is unable to attend the hearing
6:01 am
today. senator isakson will be accompanying delegation senators at the funeral of senator lugar today, so we certainly understand senator isakson is in support of mr. dixon and also very much wanted to be a part of honoring senator lugar. with that said, mr. dixon, we turn to you for your opening statement and feel free to introduce your family. thank you, sir. >> thank you esther chairman, ranking member cantwell and members of the committee it is an honor to appear before you today as the president's nominee for administratonomineefor admil aviation administration and if confirmed, i look forward to working with you and the congress to enable and strengthen our world-class
6:02 am
aviation system. as mentioned, i appreciate the kind and generous introduction submitted by senator isakson. i'm humbled by this nomination and the opportunity to serve the nation. i'd like to thank president trump and the secretary for their confidence in me to lead to the faa during this important time. i also like to thank my good friend of the acting administrator for his strong principled leadership of the agency. but before i begin my remarks i would like to introduce my family, including a few who couldn't be here today, my father is feeling a bit and was unable to make the trip and my mother, they both lived in florida and i extend to them by love and gratitude for all of their support and encouragement over the years and also my father-in-law in georgia.
6:03 am
you need to get above 500. i'm sitting here in the territory and we need to keep the pressure on. i'd also like to introduce my family that i'm extremely proud of that have joined me today. sitting right behind me starting in the red, my wife som, the fay ceo and my wife. we are blessed with my children most of whom are here today, not all that my sons, andrew and nicholas and dan and his wife emily and our amazing daughters, elizabeth, her friend austin and bree and her husban son jordan. steve = jordan. and of course we also have with us today my niece and her husband. down on the end is the esteemed celebrated as the day and holds
6:04 am
the guinness book of world records for most photographs in the first year of life. thank you all for being here and for your love, support and encouragement. as you've heard i grew up in a family with a strong military tradition that places a high value on service to our country. my own career in aviation stands nearly 40 years. after graduating from the united states air force academy and completing air force pilot training i went on to instruct the t. 38 tactical fighter to beat a fighter pilot for several years and after completing my military service i've moved to delta airlines qualifying on the 727, 737, 750s of an, 767 and also the airbus a320 series aircraft. last october i retired after
6:05 am
serving the last 12 years as the senior vice president of flight operations there was responsible for the safety and operational performance of the company's global flat operations. i've also had the privilege over the years of collaborating with u.s. and international aviation industry leaders to advocate for commercial aviation safety and improvements to the national airspace system. the u.s. aviation system is the most dynamic, diverse and complex in the world and is a key contributor to the economy. as the safety regulator and operator of the national airspace system the faa provides the programs and infrastructure that helped to deliver unprecedented safety and mobility to the traveling public. if confirmed, i will work to ensure the faa remains focused on the secretary's priorities of safety, infrastructure investment and innovation and fulfills its mission with accountability to the american
6:06 am
public. of all of the priority is none is more important than safety and if confirmed as the administrator safety will be my number one priority as well. despite the track record of aviation safety in the u.s. over the past decade and more, we must never rest. humidity is always in order. as the gold standard among the aviation safety regulators and the wealth of the faa responsibilities go beyond the borders. i look forward to the opportunity to bring to the agency the knowledge and experience i gained in aviation operations and leaving stakeholder groups as it focuses on continuously improving safety performance not only for those who use the airspace but for those who use u.s. aviation industry products and services around the world. safety regulatory decisions should be rooted in the analysis from sound science and data with risk-based analysis that identifies precursors and prevents access before they
6:07 am
happen and considers both the cost and benefits of the new rulemaking. beyond safety, if confirmed also focuses on the stakeholder engagement, change of management, global leadership and people. i found over the years become a way to get things done is to foster a collaborative environment that welcomes diverse points of view and includes all perspectives and provides transparency. wheltd. hopefully manage the changes we are experiencing in the system today in terms of technology and the force. if confirmed, it would also be one of my highest priority is to ensure that we maintain preeminence as the global aviation leader in safety continuous improvement and innovation. finally none of what i've discussed up to this point is possible without supporting people. i worked with professionals for many years.
6:08 am
we have the most professional dedicated workforce in the world whether you are talking about air traffic controllers, inspectors, engineers or technicians. the team has an opportunity to shape the transformation of our aviation system. the chance to leave at this time is an honor and one i contemplate with humility and gratitude and if confirmed by will ensure people are supportive of the value and they know i have her bac your back wt comes to safety and new ideas. if confirmed i intend to perform my world of accountability to the stakeholders including the american public. it's always my priority and we will also be driven by the values of honesty, integrity and mutual respect. thank you for your consideration. i'm excited about the opportunity to serve the nation and i appreciate your time today very much i would be happy to answer any questions. >> we very much appreciate your statement. i need to ask you as we do all the nominees, if confirmed, will
6:09 am
you pledge to work collaboratively with this committee and to provide thorough and timely responses to our requests for information as we work together to address aviation policy? >> yes sir i will be happy. >> appreciate that. you mentioned in your written and oral statements you still consider the faa as the global gold standard. if confirmed, what will you do to restore the confidence in the united states and around the globe that indeed it is still a fact and will continue to be a fact?
6:10 am
>> a big part of the process is occurring today by getting confirmed eater at the head of the agency and one that has past experience and brings a fresh perspective to the agency. there is the 5,000 employees involved in daily operations and aviation safety in all aspects. a lot of good people and they need leadership and need to be supported so i look forward to doing that. we also take certainly the groups that are looking into the particular issues around 737 certification process to make sure that those recommendations are taken seriously and if there are any failures or processes that need to be adjusted that i would certainly follow up on that if confirmed. >> thank you. and then let me ask you also about commercial space.
6:11 am
the office of commercial space transportation which is often referred to as ast was established in 1984 as part of the office of the secretary of transportation and was transferred from the secretary's office to the faa primary function to regulate commercial space launch and reentry is in the spaceports. given the national importance of maintaining u.s. leadership in space, if confirmed, will you support the expansion and growth of the commercial space sector as he worked to integrate commercial space into the national airspace system and give your thoughts on that if you don't mind. >> i look forward to working with the committee and the agency and department on continuing to grow our commercial space capabilities.
6:12 am
as i think you all know, the number of commercial space space launch is projected folaunches r is rising by about 25%, and the trendline continues year by year so we certainly want to foster those opportunities and continue to innovate while at the same time protecting the safety of the existing aviation system that will also be occupying some of the same during launch and reentry operations i look forward to making a contribution and providing leadership to move all of that forward. >> thank you very much. senator cantwell. >> thank you again for your willingness to serve. there are so many questions i will just try to rush through some of the broad issues first and get to a more substantive question on the flight rules for that airline pilots obviously you are a pilot yourself.
6:13 am
you know we have a car g cargo carveout what do you think about that issue in trying to rectify this guy is and having everybody on the same standard? >> thank you for the question. it's important that we have one level of safety in the aviation system. however, many of the roles have developments and performance-based elements and all carriers whether they are cargo work passenger within the 121 world in any case realized there's preauthorization issues with expanding that to 135 and other disciplines, but everyone is required to have a management program that is approved by the faa and that includes cargo carriers. they may have a different way of
6:14 am
getting to the same level of safety but it does get to the same safety are. i understand this is an item of interest to many stakeholders and i think a continued dialogue on the subject is appropriate, and i look forward to working with you. >> and we look forward to working with you as well. on the flight attendants, you will help move along quickly? >> yes, senator. i realized it was a significant part of the reauthorization, and i don't have visibility into the specifics of how all of the items are being implemented, but i look forward to working with you to move forward. >> obviously it highlights the diligent efforts we need to continue on the safety at-large and obviously we have some pulmonary findings suggesting its impact on those accidents.
6:15 am
technology and automation are going to continue to be parts of aviation, and we don't want to see an overreliance on technology. we want those skills to continue to be there and this is something i didn't realize we were certified on all of those different types of carriers, but how do you view this as a potential for overreliance on automation, as both a possible detriment to the basic flying skills and healt how to best mae the human element in testing on these technology issues? >> as you know, we discussed this at some length in our office visit and it's one of the most important issues facing us
6:16 am
today. it's existed for a number of years. the interface between the pilot and machine is extremely important and as automation hasn continues to advance in capabilities, it provides many benefits in terms of workload management and being able to get the job done on the flight deck. however, it can create risks we need to mitigate, and over the years it's important to make sure pilots are maintaining their flight skills. i know a number of carriers in recent years have initiated programs to track playing skills as well as develop exercises that allow recurring training for pilots to move between the various levels of automation. they certainly need to continue those efforts and support them and work with the carriers.
6:17 am
>> do you think we have the adequate tools in place today? >> i do. i think that it continues to be in an area that needs to be developed, and the focus on the flight path management rather than automation itself is actually a more holistic to address the issue because it encompasses not only the manual flying skills but the various levels of automation a pilot may encounter during a particular flight, so it is more a strategic way to address the issue. the other thing that's nice about airplanes there are hundreds of new aircraft that have been delivered over the last seven or eight years, and it's much easier for carriers to manage performance on those airplanes to see here seeing not as much practice as we might like to see.
6:18 am
>> my time is expired i just want to say our sympathies are still with the families impacted by this tragedy and i'm glad to hear you say holistic because aviation is in the only issue this committee is dealing with. our two colleagues have been working on advanced vehicle legislation, so i'm sure their goal is to make this safer than we currently are today with our roads and highways and get this committee has to play a role of understanding how we move forward with a technology that will help us and make sure the oversight on the human aspects are considered so we will be focusing on every agency involved in moving us forward and thinking about this human interface and again back to the columbia explosion it took a long time for us to figure this out because we haven't really looked at things in a holistic
6:19 am
way. we haven't looked at the entire system nobody figured out that they would have a problem at a certain degree so i'm glad to hear you say that a holistic approach would be helpful. >> thank you senator cantwell. >> glad to see you here and you are willing to serve. in the last congress i have a privilege to chair the aviation subcommittee and senator of ther cantwell and i worked closely to represent the senate view of that and the package we negotiated there were a number of bipartisan provisions. i'm going to ask about two of them specifically. one is contract power and one is essential air service programs. the inspector general has validated the contract power program as cost-effective and what it does, serves over 250 smaller airports and i would also like to note almost half of
6:20 am
all the military operations out of civilian airports go in and out of contract at our airports given the importance of those and what they have to say about them in the bill, are you committed to working with the congress to ensure the continued success of the program? >> i very much support program and look forwartheprogram and lo working with the committee to move it forward. >> on the essential air service its authorized through 2023 the faa obviously has a role to play in analyzing the program cost ensuring compliance by participating the carriers can you give your commitment as mandated in the recent faa asked?
6:21 am
>> i understand the importance of the program and i fully support them and look forward to working with them. >> let me cover one other topic on the papers i looked at this morning, it said the faa basically outsourced the certification of equipment to boeing. i'd like you to talk about your view of how they work with manufacturers, and if you have this information hell does this compare with what happens in the eu for example? >> thank you for the question. i told the story of your referring to come in my experience is within flight operations i have not been directly involved in aircraft te aircraft certification process so it's difficult for me to say at the outside looking in exactly what happened in this particular instance.
6:22 am
i can tell you in the flight operations for the there is a delegation of certain types of flight standards into certifying pilots by the carrier and that has been very powerful over the years. if they did the fda a much better regulator and the carriers say for and improved the quality of pilots that are being qualified. it also has facilitated sharing of data that is becoming more and more important not only to the private sector but as a regular safety data sent to the extent that happens in the certification process i think that is very beneficial. how it was applied in the certification of this particular
6:23 am
aircraft is certainly something i look forward to digging into if i am confirmed, and i believe the various review groups that are looking into this, i think i would call particular attention at this point of the special committee on the aircraft certification to provide some very strong recommendations on how to improve that process going forward. >> two other quick follow-up on that. one, is it realistic to assume that they could pay for personnel to check everything in the checklist as opposed to designating trained personnel if they are certified by the faa? >> again that's something i would need to look into. i think in my own experience, it would be even if you could throw enough resources at it, working
6:24 am
with the private sector with the controls and protocols is going to allow the regulator to be more effective and add a lot more safety value than just throwing extra resources added. we can certainly talk about this at the appropriate time. >> i would also like you to look at what the eu countries do and what we compete with in terms of producing better product. what they do and how they do it. do you have any information on that today? >> my understanding, senator, it's pretty rudimentary at this point but my understanding is in most cases that actually delegates less of the work to a manufacturer then you see in some other jurisdictions including the eu that this is something the special committee and others will benchmark as
6:25 am
they look into the certification process. >> you will look at the raise will based on that additional information. >> absolutely whether they are process failures or gaps that need to be addressed that will certainly be right at the top of my list of confirmed. >> thank you, senator blunt. senator blumenthal. >> thank you for your service and to your family for their service. the chairman asked you how you would restore confidence and the simple fact of the matter is the f. a. a. faces a crisis of confidence, and if anything for the levels of distrust and doubt have been increasing in some of the reports that we have seen over recent weeks.
6:26 am
one of them, i'm not sure if this was the reports to which my colleague referred to pee appean "the wall street journal" and it describes in pretty impressive detail how the federal aviation administration has determined in its preliminary inquiry that the agency officials failed to participate or monitor some of the crucial safety assessments of the flight control systems for the 737 max. they delegated that review and faa engineers and mid-level managers detoured and in fact a separate report appearing today by cnn reported that the company boeing did not perform a flight test on a scenario with the
6:27 am
software system malfunctioned which is essentially what happened not once but twice, and disregarded a member of the complaints made by pilots. so, my question to you is will you commit to reverse the delegation to the extent that it has been done and excessively in overbroad of them abandonment responsibility with that duty the faa has to actively and proactively oversee because essentially safety on the cheap, which is what it does has been neither cheap nor safe and it gives the perception that the
6:28 am
fox in charge of the henhouse and the manufacturer in charge of oversight and that's why i've called for a new independent robust assessment of the 737 before it was allowed to fly again. well you review and reverse the excessive delegation of authority clacks >> you've raised several important issues but let me just say that if confirmed, i will never personally or professionally and kate gave to abdicate my responsibility and devotion to safety leading the faa and i would never put my family on an airplane i would never certified an airplane i wouldn't put my own family on and that's part of the reason we are here today. it's very important to not jump
6:29 am
to conclusions. i've seen the media reports, and i understand it is hard to tell plug-in without being inside of the agency and a privy to the data that the agency has exactly what did and did not occur at any particular point in time. what i will commit to you is i will take the recommendations from the special committee and of the investigation and the other groups that have been stood up to review the process and whatever corrective actions need to be taken or process changes need to be put in place, i can guarantee those will be accomplished. i look forward to working with the committee to make sure that happens. >> will you come back to report what it is before the 737 is allowed to fly again flex
6:30 am
>> i'm not sure the timeline. my understanding is some of the processes are ongoing even beyond thbeyond the timeframe we airplane could be contemplated to fly. i know the technical advisory board has brought in outside groups and the personnel who were not involved in the certification, and that is the groups that will take a look at this particular process and then the other groups are looking more at the failures of the overall. >> but ultimately it stops with you and i would like your commitment that you will come back to the committee before a plane is allowed to fly again with any of our families and report what the fda has found and whether and why it would be
6:31 am
certified. >> is confirmed i would be happy to work with the committee on getting the airplane flying again. i'm not sure what the contemplated timeframe would be indecisive b. in the seat by then. >> i asked your predecessor about contacts and conversations with the president or others in the white house which he declined to provide. will you connect to tell us the substance of conversations you may have with the president or the white house on these issues? >> specific conversations as i understand long-standing executive branch practice is that i wouldn't divulge specific conversations but certainly the subject matter of interest they will be as candid as i possibly can. >> if there's another round of questioning i have further questions. >> thank you senator blumenthal. senator cruz.
6:32 am
>> congratulations on your nomination. you have a beautiful family. i'm sorry to have the youngest isn't continuing to enjoy and entertain the hearing. [laughter] >> just like man >> just like many of the members. [laughter] in more ways than one. the question senator blumenthal is asking you i think are serious questions. the faa has long been referred to as the gold standard for aviation safety and i believe the events surrounding the certification and crashes have drawn that reputation into serious question. "the wall street journal" article from yesterday contains
6:33 am
many dismaying reports. it begins by saying the review is tentatively determined senior agency officials didn't participate in or monitor critical safety assessments of the flight control system for the 737 max check later implicated in two fatal crashes according to industry and government officials and it goes on to say certification process for the 737 boeing didn't flag of the automated stall prevention feature as a system whose malfunction or failure could cause a catastrophic event. and if the article later raises the very simple question also at issue is whether agency officials performed any assessment on their own about the systems initial safety classification that suggests a
6:34 am
serious breakdown in the certification process. the department of transportation inspector general has previously raised the concern of agency capture. do you agree that the report suggest the possibility of serious breakdown, and what should be done to fix it? >> thank you for the question, senator. again, the reporting externally it's hard to tell exactly when some of these things happen and how they occurred that i can cut bacputit to you if confirmed, il be looking into this very specifically, and the review processes including the
6:35 am
inspector general and the special committee, the joint authority's technical review and the technical advisory board all of that will form the basis of factions in addition to my own diligence in the agency to make sure any adjustments are made to the process that need to be made.
6:36 am
. >> that is knowledge the small matter that 346 lives were snuffed out and that was preventable for go not just those that our no longer with us but millions of americans millions of people they trust their children and strapped them into planes all of that depends upon the confidence of the public that the planes they are getting on our safe. so i would ask you, not to give it to the natural bureaucratic reaction that
6:37 am
defends what happens but instead ask seriously and vigorously could we have prevented these crashes to make sure we don't see another one because of the risk of agency capture? . >> thank you for raising that issue. please do not interpret my demeanor as satisfied with the situation or in any way saying that any accident is acceptable. it is not. and if i'm confirmed i promise you i am captain of the ship in the study and what the american public needs but that doesn't mean i will not be asking the tough questions and making the changes that need to be made. >> ad for this asking this
6:38 am
committee what the hell is wrong? . >> absolutely. >> let me note that i appreciate the chairman's leadership on the subcommittee jurisdiction on this issue and my thanks goes to him in the subcommittee staff. the before the senator began his question the truth of the matter is that we have dozens of constituents and other committee meetings scheduled at the same time. i appreciate every member of this committee taking the time to give us a successful meeting i just wanted to explain that.
6:39 am
you are next. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you for spending some time in my office discussing a variety of issues but the question that i have for you is by ranking member cantwell and how we have to think this through very carefully as automation is on the ground vehicles and other aspects of the transportation system. i want to ask a couple of questions that looks at the increased use of flight deck automation to get a sense of what they found in the report and then talking about the need for pilots to spend more time manually in control to have that man --dash to have
6:40 am
that system go down but in the report air carriers may not know to have the opportunity to fly. and then to analyze data to the extent they are using autopilot and daily operations. senior officials say they use them 90 percent of the time with no industrywide analysis. is that accurate? is that sufficient in your mind? . >> first of all, this is a carrier that i know my carrier was focused on and even participated in the flight path management initiatives back in that timeframe.
6:41 am
so the nice thing is it is able to make these measurements to bring the data to the floor so the carrier can put in those excise - - exercises and make the pilots aware of opportunities they have to practice manual flying skills. we do that at my company in conjunction with the pilots association as a very successful program as it continues to mature and develop and from what i have seen around the industry that continues the commercial aviation safety team. >> i love your reaction which is to say studies have concluded that pilots what is
6:42 am
mentioned for example, the recent flight safety foundation said a few years ago the manual flying skills of the commercial airline pilots while 80 percent reported they fly the aircraft below 10000 feet the aggregate scores fell below faa standards for these pilots despite the stated flight experience they could not do those using only the basic instrumentation that would be available if the automotive one - - automation failed during flight. what is your assessment and what more do we need to do? . >> manual flying skills but the ability to maintain situational awareness through various levels of automation. normally we talk about four levels of automation from raw data to flight director and
6:43 am
those to have a preprogrammed flight and to monitor the path then to put the airplane there and keep the. it is that simple but the skills that you need to do that and those different automation levels as things start to snowball not going the way that you thought it would go it could be the deviation but in my experience what they are concentrating on rather than in terms of practicing and then the training environment i also think the new training technology of the augmented reality is doing studies in
6:44 am
this area this will also help make more scenarios more realistic and valuable to have that variability of the scenario. >> one follow-up question. to restrict the use of autopilot during takeoff below 500 feet unless granted explicit authorization. what is your assessment? how do you approach those regulations? give me your thoughts. >> with the use of autopilot above 500 feet a lot of times that depends on the capability of the aircraft that can be certified and that is where the restriction is. i don't really have any issues with that.
6:45 am
i think most pilots in my experience will fly the airplane during the transition during the approach phase or until the flaps are up 95 percent of the time. so the restrictions don't really have any impact in that case. >> thank you senator peters. . >> thank you mister chairman and thank you for the time to visit about your priorities. i appreciate when i ask you about those priorities. number one is safety. as you have heard today there is a bipartisan agreement the safety of the flying public is paramount and we are quite concerned what happened with the boeing and mister peters
6:46 am
question about the ability to override those systems and to manually fly those planes into that degree of training is highly important. we did not talk about it which is vitally important for cargo. we know that this has led to greater access to us markets to increase tourism and trade. for our companies and consumers. these agreements really have helped us to secure the national security interests. so how do you approach these? will you continue to honor while at the same time to
6:47 am
address the national security concerns we all have? . >> i appreciate the question. open skies as a principal is something we have always supported. the concerns that are expressed whether the playing field there are a number of stakeholders that have those concerns but setting that issue aside is powerful. this is the issue that is not under the primary purview. certainly i want to be part of the discussions that were happy to work any aspect of
6:48 am
that. >> thank you so much. i yelled back. >> senator marquis? . >> thank you. earlier this year when acting administrator elwell appear before the committee i questioned him about safety enhancing features to save the lives of those 346 souls on two of their trend line - - 737 max which boeing had sold is optional as if it was premium seating but these safety features could have alerted the pilots that the doomed aircraft had faulty sensors. we don't do charge extra for childproof caps or seatbelts or airbags that come standard and so should all safety features. so the acting administrator
6:49 am
says the faa does not permit plane manufacturers to sell safety critical elements for an additional price. i agree with that. but the issue here is that the manufacturer such as boeing are allowed to sell safety enhancing features add an additional price that include backup fire extinguishers in the cargo hold, oxygen mask for flight crew or in this case the angle of attack indicator and the disagree lights. and you believe manufacturer should ever be allowed to charge additional for any safety enhancing feature that is a very important question and i am familiar with the issue. i agree that safety critical features need to be standard and they will always be standard. with respect to other features
6:50 am
and some context whether to be enhancement in one context could be a distraction and another and all i would say is that with respect to the aircraft certification process, we need to look very carefully at what should be safety critical and what should not. >> do you believe charging additional fees could discourage some airlines from including them? the angle of attack indicator and disagree lights? if you have to pay extra but they say that is enhancement
6:51 am
versus basic. >> i have flown many airplanes without those indications at all but whether in this particular instance it would be considered a safety enhancement feature i would have to rely on the data the agency currently has and also the special committee looking at aircraft certification. >> i think it is clear it would discourage airlines because they would assume the additional features are not necessary for the safety of the plane and as a result not feel that they would pay for that extra type of equipment so instruments that alert pilots to mechanics of issues with sensors in my opinion should not come with additional charges oxygen masks or backup fire
6:52 am
extinguishers should not come with an additional charge aviation safety should not be for sale that's why introduced a bill safety is not for sale act that ensures safety enhancing features are standard parts of the aircraft not something to be sold as all the cart add-ons. flight attendants and pilots and passengers all agree this is he essential to keep them safe in the skies. safety features must always be standard in this country hope we can move forward on that. if aa is currently considering the downgrading of the office that currently represents six states and 109 airports and i am concerned if those are transferred to another region
6:53 am
those priorities and needs of the region will not be quickly and effectively addressed. what you commit to not downgrade the office the regions have a particular role if confirmed happy to look into it but i don't have anything in particular on this line of sight. >> i can tell you though senatorial delegates would not be happy if that was downgraded. >> thank you senator marquis. i did take a look at the last issue's rick thank you for being here today i enjoyed your visit recently we are
6:54 am
grateful to have you here it has been a year since the faa formally rolled out the uis integration pilot program in one of the stated objectives is to test and evaluate the state and local operations and that included the time place and manner of uis operations would you agree the success will require state and federal and local coordination of responsibilities quick. >> i am thankful for that discussion that we had on this topic. yes i do think the integration pilot program has a very in
6:55 am
official between the federal role and operating that management traffic and to identify the state and local issues. to be an asset but those need to be balanced and happy to work that issue. >> there are some unique things that make them appropriate at certain levels in a way that other types of aviation might be different. there are those out there that suggest a - - faa should have that jurisdiction operating
6:56 am
more than a few inches above the ground and that is a concern to me to have your commitment we will make sure we evaluate it is not adequately testing the role of governments to drones you commit that happens quick. >> yes. as i said we need to make sure we strike that appropriate balance and the progress of the remote identification to carry out the responsibilities but also help to address other issues of concern to state and local jurisdictions i look forward to working with you
6:57 am
spirit the department of transportation has a shortage of air traffic controllers as well as historically high fail rates current law shows it has to be filled by those equal number of candidates taken from the public given the shortage in the high attrition rates in the public safety issues this is concerning live introduce the air traffic control readiness act would you be willing to work with us on reforms like these quick. >> certainly the issue was
6:58 am
very important and i believe with my initial understanding that we are see high levels of training and having said that the success rate of candidates going through the academy is what i will pay very close attention to. and i'm committed to working on that with you. >> and that requires the faa to submit those rulemaking is on supersonic aircraft to obtain special flight authorization if confirmed we
6:59 am
support the progress of the rulemaking to ensure it means that supersonic obligations quick. >> yes, sir, along with all the other provisions with the other reauthorization's i am definitely committed. not only that the level of international leadership to be put into place that they come along with the faa industry. >> thank you senator lee. >> thank you mister dixon and your beautiful family to serve i want to follow up on what senator lee is talking about about the drone industry.
7:00 am
i represent nevada which has become an incubator for the burgeoning commercial uav industry. we are currently one of 7 unmanned aerial systems designated test sites in the us and the only state with this designation. we have attracted a lot of innovative startups, forming partnerships with precision agriculture, pipeline monitoring, healthcare delivery, we are trying to do all kinds of things with different relators and things like that in the rural community, this is very helpful so these developments are very exciting but we also must promote responsible use of the new technology like the conflicting the nation's airspace to maintain the safety of commercial air travel and keep it safe and keep uavs away from their airports and flight paths. following up on senator lee's question i want to talk about cybersecurity and how you will work with our stakeholders and
7:01 am
partner with our agencies to ensure that cyber security of uavs, particularly those flying over populated areas, how you plan to work with that and support cybersecurity standards. >> thank you, for the question, it is a very important issue. not only as it pertains to you a a the entire aviation system and i know that as i recall there was a provision in the reauthorization cybersecurity review of all parts of the faa's processes and systems and i certainly intend to look into what other things we could be doing as an agency to work with other federal agencies that are concerned about the cybersecurity space. >> will you commit to bringing those plans back to was? >> of course. >> i would like to talk about oversight.
7:02 am
according to the inspector general, the faa has conducted oversight on all the 4% of all parts and so whether that is adequate or not we can discuss at a different time but some have argued in recent years the faa's philosophy has moved from one of enforcement to one of compliance where instead of penalizing for safety violations the agency has given industry the opportunity to correct safety violations without penalty to give them time to comply with regulations so i ask the same question to the acting faa administrators a few weeks ago and someone asked you this. from what you know heading into your role as faa director is this an accurate characterization and what do you think is the proper way to handle safety oversight?
7:03 am
where do we draw the line between compliance enforcement and safety violation? >> that is a great question and one i am sure we will be discussing in the context of the issues around aircraft certification and others as relates to aviation safety. as i see it and the faa is currently designed, in my experience safety issues not only in the us but internationally compliance is the goal. enforcement is one of the tools to get to the goal. what we want to do is be proactive. we don't want to wait. >> before an accident happens. >> we want to resolve these issues, have visibility of data the private sector has so you have to have oversight, you have to have mechanisms to manage programs and make sure the
7:04 am
private sector is executing in accordance with the processes the faa is overseeing. if we get to the point where for whatever reason there are enforcement action necessary, i am certainly if confirmed not hesitant to take that enforcement action. >> are you relying too much on compliance and less on enforcement penalties? >> it is something safety management systems the way they are structured are very powerful. i want to make sure we have the same process in place in all sectors of aviation if confirmed. we also need to remember that part of the compliance program is the incorporation of voluntary safety programs, pilots voluntarily reporting safety issues, flight attendants, aircraft maintenance
7:05 am
technicians, whoever sees a safety issue in the system is able to report that and not suffer themselves if they follow the process and that is powerful in terms of giving us many more data points then they would have to be proactive in safety regulations as it is today and it is what has led to the faa standard today. we need to make sure that is not compromised. >> i'm out of time. >> thank you, senator rosen. senator scott. >> thanks for being here in your military service. you work for a great company and thanks for your investment in florida. i finished eight years as governor of florida and we were focused on growing tourism, the biggest driver of jobs in our state.
7:06 am
last year we had 126 million tourists and 94 million came on a plane so aviation is important to our state. in your business experience have you seen examples, whether it was manufacture, airline put profits over the safety of the people flying on the planes? >> i'm very familiar with the state of florida, my parents live there now. they have over 27 years and we currently have a home near melbourne. it is near and dear to my heart as well as the state of georgia. i can only speak from my own experience leading flight operations at a major airline. the ceo of our company always held me accountable for safety and when i took the job i remember these words very well,
7:07 am
they were when it comes to safety you make the call. that means if we need to cancel a flight, if we need to make a different decision how we are running the operation on a daily basis, that is where that resides. that was a responsibility i took very seriously. i always felt, we were just talking about compliance over here. i always felt compliance, the culture of safety is a higher level than compliance so safety culture is really important. that is where pilots and dispatchers, air-traffic controllers, caring enough about safety in the system to go above and beyond and report issues is extremely important. that is also why when you are sitting at the headquarters or
7:08 am
even behind the line you realize you may see things as a leader and you are only seeing part of the story. you have to work hard to make sure you have the whole picture and the faa compliance program is part of that but not the only thing. it is all the other data you have to bring to bear the sets the bar and that is one reason the us has been so successful over the years. >> one of the things, one of the reasons we have so many tourists in our status people feel safe to fly there. i am convinced you care about safety. everything you said today, you care about safety. another thing, does the public perceive that the system is safe? how would you critique boeing and faa with the latest issue they are dealing with? how would you critique their ability to communicate how they are dealing with the problem and
7:09 am
what the solution is? >> as a nominee i would be reluctant. i would like to get confirmed first but certainly managing, whether it is a major whether disruption or it disruption, it is always important to be honest and transparent and have leaders talking about it and i certainly see myself if confirmed playing a very visible leadership role with the public. certainly in coordination with the secretary is appropriate and leadership by example is important so that is something that i think there have been case studies on how to manage some of these situations in different industries over the years and there's plenty of
7:10 am
evidence out there but we can always improve but there's going to be a process of making sure the public continues to be confident in our aviation system and i certainly would put my family, i would not certified airplane unless i thought it was safe. we are indeed the goal. >> you will do a great job on safety. my biggest concern is how transparent are they, to make the public -- given information to make important decisions. i think everybody can always do a better job at that. you will do a great job. >> thank you. senator susan. senator udall. >> you been asked a lot of
7:11 am
questions about 737s but i want to do a couple other ones. this week ellsworth air force base in south dakota is hosting a large force exercise in a training complex which covers my -- wyoming and montana. the rtc is the largest trainingin the continental united states it is poised to play a critical role in training fifth-generation aircraft like the f 35 in future be 21 bomber which we base at ellsworth but in order to optimize these semiannual exercises and accommodate realistic training scenarios for our airmen the faa must grant the air force waivers to exceed the range's current ceiling at 26,000 feet and fly to 51,000 feet. even though there is considerably less commercial travel through the prt see, this is a slow-moving process in part because the p rtc is governed by three traffic control centers, salt lake city ctr. denver center and minneapolis center.
7:12 am
streamlining of the waiver process will afford additional time to commit assets to these exercises with greater certainty. if confirmed will you commit to working with me in the air force to improve the process for obtaining prt see waivers to ensure our war fighters remain the most prepared to counter modern adversaries? >> thank you for that question. we talked about this in our visit. having quite a bit of experience in large tactical exercises i understand the importance of having the vertical and horizontal dimension of airspace and i do commit. this is something i would be happy to look into if confirmed. >> we appreciate your help and look forward to that. the proposal you are making for remote identification of
7:13 am
unmanned aircraft systems was delayed from may 1st of this year to july 21st. this will serve as the foundation for future us rulemaking especially the provisions included in the recent authorization act for the national airspace. in response to several disruptive incidents involving us incursions into restricted airspace senator markey and i sent a letter requesting updated timeline for the agency to issue this important rulemaking. if confirmed will you work to ensure the drone identification rule making is completed as expeditiously as possible? >> yes. as i said before, the remote identification rule is a key enabler of the next step of integrating unmanned systems into the airspace so i look forward to working with you on that. >> let's get that done. the fda has been working to implement the next generation
7:14 am
air transportation system which will modernize the nation's air-traffic control system and improve safety and efficiency of the nation's airspace. the agency facing limitation challenges in the past and has taken steps to address those challenges including increased stakeholder engagement such as the nexgen advisory committee. as both a pilot and former member of faa's advisory committee could you provide your perspective on agency implementation of next gen so far and if confirmed what actions would you take as administrator to assure the cortical modernization is fully implement it as soon as possible? >> thank you for that question. as you said, i have a long history with the nexgen advisory committee and the implementation task force. programmatically within the agency i don't currently have visibility as to where the programs stand with respect to
7:15 am
milestones but that is something i will be looking into with quite some interest and making sure we get things on track. the operationally looking at things from the other end of the telescope, stakeholder engagement is absolutely critical because it is what gets communities involved and gets airlines, aviation, all stakeholders involved, airports, to make sure we are all moving forward together and putting our priorities in a way that makes sense for the agency to execute on and be able to move forward so i look forward to continuing to work with the industry. i think it's very important that there be industry and national consensus on how to move forward and where but stakeholder engagement will be absolutely critical and that is really way to move things forward productively. >> we hope you can work
7:16 am
aggressively with us to catch up on where we need to be on an important topic. thanks, mister chairman. >> thank you, senator udall. senator duckworth. >> i thank you for holding today's hearing. mister dickson, thank you for sitting down with me recently. i enjoyed our conversation. before i get to questions i want to address the topic others have raised. i firmly believe atc privatization is reckless and i want to reinforce what chairman thune said on movement on implementation of nexgen. it is critical for our airspace. i am pleased congress rejected privatization in the last reauthorization and i believe it's time to focus on modernization. with that i want to move on to my question and express my appreciation for your commitment to upholding critical safety regulations. i was reassured to learn in a
7:17 am
meeting that you support the 1500 our pilot training rule and the safety benefits are unquestioned. my question is simple. if confirmed will you oppose any effort to weaken or lower the 1500 our requirement administratively including through so-called enhanced qualification programs? >> thank you for the question. i enjoyed our time together as well and look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with you and the committee on aviation issues which i'm very passionate about of course. the 1500 hour rule, the first officer qualification rule as you state has been a success. the track record of aviation safety in the us over the last decade or so has shown that. we need to recognize that our safety culture is not static and we want to keep taking advantage
7:18 am
of new technologies, better, more effective ways of training. i mentioned some of that earlier. what i will commit to you and would love to work with you on in the future if confirmed is any changes the safety bar has been set by the first officer qualification rule but any changes would clearly make the system safer than it is today and more effective training that it is today. >> thank you. i agree with you. and i want to emphasize any of the new more effective ways of training should never be lower than acceptable standards from today. another safety rule, the flight and duty rule. this would place outdated requirements with data-driven process. you were at the table during developer to this rulemaking and i want to get on the record that you recognize the safety benefits of this rule and if confirmed you will uphold the flight and duty rule is finalized and can you make a
7:19 am
commitment to that? >> i believe your referring to 117. i was involved, one of a number of industry stakeholders along with the faa and labor, a multi-year effort to get that done and i am certainly committed to ensuring it continues to be effective and implemented. >> i would like to talk about leadership of reform efforts. we rely on standardization toward the fsb report is the basis for proving pilot training, qualifications being necessary for operation of manufacturer modified aircraft. in conducting oversight issues related to the max crashes i was alarmed to learn the route 2017-18 come of the various revisions of fsb reporting examining differences between the 737 max and 737 in g failed to mention existence of an half.
7:20 am
the fsb would likely have reported a product activation cut out the future. an error of this magnitude indicates stomach weakness to how the ffc conducts evaluations. if confirmed, will you commit to working with me to update a 2013 advisory on conducting and using the evaluation to make sure that the board is given access to all relevant information? >> thank you for the question. flight standardization board is under the purview of flight standards. it is a component of the overall verification process but not with the certification office and certainly i think it falls if i am confirmed as i said earlier i would be looking at every aspect of this process as executed and make sure whether
7:21 am
it is training or awareness, if there were gaps, those need to be addressed. whatever the most effective way to make those adjustments you have my commitment to work with the committee on that. >> i would like to submit a question for record on developing an advisory circuit from the manufacture and maintenance and testing of the operational angle of the aircraft. >> that will certainly be permitted and thank you very much. senator sullivan. >> thank you for the good discussion yesterday. appreciate you coming by and appreciate the family being here and your outstanding decades of service to the country and the military and a pilot, you're very qualified for this position. i want to emphasize senator cruz's point which is a really important one, not just for the
7:22 am
faa but the whole topic of agency capture. federal agencies that are supposed to be independent become too cozy with the entities they are regulating, be it boeing or major airlines. can you reiterate or confirm that you will make sure that as you stated your number one focus will be on safety and your number one constituency is that knows that is not those you regulate but the american people. >> you have that ironclad commitment and i think i will call attention to my military service. it is charitable for a marine to refer to an air force guy as military. >> i do it all the time with the chairman. >> i guess the chairman as well. my track record of being able to work in a collaborative fashion and certainly to understand the
7:23 am
decision needs to be made by the agency and actions need to be taken to make sure the system safety is the highest priority and my service is to the american public if confirmed. >> let me talk about my state. alaska has very unique aviation needs. we had a tragic midair collision that took pl. monday and i want to offer condolences and prayers for the victims, 6 victims lost their lives. the families and medical staff in seattle, emergency responders and search crews are working hard. alaska has unique needs, infrastructure needs, the faa
7:24 am
reauthorization has a number of provisions that we see as lacking in very significant variations in infrastructure and destination airports throughout the state. visual flight rules, ifr flight rules. if confirmed will you commit to work with me on the implementation of those provisions and other infrastructure related needs? >> yes. as we discussed, i recognize alaska as a unique state in terms of not only is it a largely rural state but it is in many ways almost the last frontier and therefore it really does to an extent the we don't see in any other part of the
7:25 am
country rely on the fabric the community relies on aviation. >> let me deeper on that. there is an iron the you are touching on. we have 200 communities that aren't connected by roads. not just rural but extreme rural, the need for air travel, save air travel is so important to my constituents and yet small population states have a hard time competing with faa infrastructure needs but the formula as you know, disadvantages even though the need is so great. can i get your commitment as we talked about yesterday to work with you on making sure we are not disadvantaged particularly as relates to infrastructure funding when states like mine actually need that infrastructure funding and safety in ways that are critical
7:26 am
to so many alaskans. >> yes. i would be happy to work with you on that. there needs to be a balance and i used the word holistic leave before but i think it applies in this particular case. certainly if confirmed, the responsibility to manage and lead a national system is a very high priority but needs to be balanced with unique local considerations as you highlight. >> thank you and i know you will put together your schedule but we did talk about having you attend a meeting of our air carriers and other stakeholders in anchorage in late august and look forward to trying to get you up there but certainly want to get your commitment to come to alaska soon to see the great state. can i get that? >> i have been there many times and look forward to a return trip if confirmed. >> mister dickson. you saw senator lee's focus on
7:27 am
privatization. there's a lot of bipartisanship in this committee on the big issues. i want to associate myself with what senator lee mentioned about making sure students who go to university of alaska anchorage, we have a great school the trains future faa flight control safety officials for the faa. it would seem to me makes a lot of sense to make sure those individuals get a hard look from you as opposed to others but we want to work with you on those and other issues but appreciate your service, you are very well qualified for this job. >> dickson, i think you will be working with this committee on a lot of these issues.
7:28 am
senator baldwin. >> thank you, mister chairman. mister dickson. you undoubtedly recognize your nomination to lead the faa comes in a time of renewed concern about safety and opens questions how the faa approved the 737 max for flight and whether pilots were appropriately trained. there are ongoing investigations at the faa, here in congress and with the dot inspector general and at the department of justice. as head of the faa, what would you require of boeing before giving the green light to underground the 737 max. >> thank you for the question, senator baldwin. i would reiterate that i am not
7:29 am
privy to the criteria by which the airplane was certified, nor do i have complete visibility how it will be made airworthy again and what will begin to fly. i do, as you mentioned, put a great deal of emphasis on the various reviews. in particular the faa office of internal audit and the reviews that are going on under the auspices of the technical advisory board which is going to take an independent look and the fda you forming its decision as to those certifications of the aircraft to fly again. you have the faa, the air force and nasa and none of those
7:30 am
experts were involved in certification of the aircraft. that should give the public confidence in the airplane. the rest of the program writ large we need to see what all the investigations come out, to see if those processes need to be adjusted or if there were individual failures that need to be addressed. >> last congress congress passed the 5-year reauthorization in the bill included a number of reforms, worked on the carrier access amendment act to protect the rights of passengers with disabilities in their transportation. those reforms included creation of an advisory committee on air travel needs of passengers and development of an airline passenger with disabilities bill of rights. if confirmed do i have your commitment that the faa will
7:31 am
work to implement these important reforms without delay. >> one of my top priorities is looking at where the agency is on many items that were contained in the authorization, >> my amendment directing the faa to establish community and technical college centers of excellence to train students with career opportunities to expanding the use of small unmanned aircraft. the faa has missed the deadline to establish a process to designate schools as centers of excellence. if confirmed to do i have your commitment that the faa will designate centers of excellence without delay? >> if confirmed, this is something i will be looking into along with other issues you
7:32 am
mentioned to make sure we implement as quickly as possible. >> thank you. finally, we have a real need to ensure there are enough qualified airline pilots in the future, to provide service to rural airports across the country. we must do so without shortchanging safety. one piece of that focus, introduce a bipartisan aviator act to increase career opportunities for veterans, if confirmed, what can we count on doing to break down barriers that may impede veterans and other individuals from pursuing careers in aviation as pilots and much-needed maintenance professionals. >> this is a key part, i know
7:33 am
the secretary's workforce initiative, the initiative promulgated some time ago. also both the department and the faa have a pretty big bully pulpit that both can use to bring stakeholders together whether it is universities or technician training programs, community colleges. there has been a good bit of work done that has been fragmented by sector. and my previous company, to support young people through stem programs, with a more sure pipeline to get into pilot or technician career and i would support those efforts and taking an industry approach working with all stakeholders if confirmed.
7:34 am
>> senator blumenthal asked for a second round of questioning. he will be recognized and if senator gardiner completes a scheduled phone call you may be back in for his first round of questioning. senator blumenthal? >> thank you for your patience and enduring a second round. i wanted to ask you first about the issue of diverging planes, bradley airport is in between two major airports or centers of air traffic, boston and new
7:35 am
york, and frequently the host with very little notice to aircraft that need to land safely which is understandable and we welcome those flights. understanding pilots made a final decision where to diverge. can the faa educate pilots with all the variable options that may exist when one airport is reaching capacity? >> i would say it is something i would be happy to look into. it is not only a pilot issue. it is an issue in the case of a scheduled airline, between the airline off-center and the
7:36 am
captain works. we need to be careful. the captain is in command of the aircraft and that authority can't be infringed upon and there may be an equal choice, and through modern communications to get that information to the crew that can help with the process. >> i want to follow up on the question about 1500 hour rule. as you will know, to committed to leaving the 15 hour wall untouched unless directed differently by an act of congress. will you make the same commitment? >> i'm not familiar with that commitment.
7:37 am
my response to senator duckworth was intended to get to the same place. i would never do anything to water down the current protocol. we need to recognize our safety system, it needs to improve each and every day with continuous improvement. if there is a better mousetrap out there and we agree on that, that is where the agency would be removed. >> it is widely expected to be a good standard and better mousetrap but the burden of proof is seeking to change that rule. >> i have no intentions of disturbing that.
7:38 am
>> i want to finally ask you about a provision of the faa reauthorization act related to a commitment to studying the seed pitch and length of seats in airplanes including legislation, reauthorization that directs the faa within one year, to establish minimums for width and length in airplanes. we have yet to see faa take any action.
7:39 am
and what is the width and length? >> i'm aware of the provision with respect to the deadline, i don't have disability, and that is what i will work with you on. >> it is a matter not just of convenience and cover but also safety. >> that is an item of concern, yes. >> let me conclude, i understand the demeanor is measured. and and what the flying public
7:40 am
feels at the moment. there are passengers who will again on a 737 right now. i have talked to many of them. and our family and friends and neighbors, the crisis of confidence in a very direct and immediate way. that is the reason i heard independent and robust review by some kind of outside authority designated by the faa to win back confidence that we all feel has to be restored, not only for the 737 max. and relates, pilot training.
7:41 am
there was no pilot training in connection with potential malfunctions. and i would like to urge you, and your action, not your words today but in the action you take, bring that impatience to bear. in the long run it is necessary for the credibility of your agency. >> i appreciate your perspective and take it to heart. on the issue of training it is important pilots have all the information and training they need to operate the airplane at the highest level of safety. that's not in question. what is in question in my mind
7:42 am
is what happens in this particular circumstance and we need to get to the bottom of it. >> this particular circumstance but also the systemic failures that led to these circumstances. the broader set of issues has to be confronted. >> that is what i was referring to, process versus individual failures is what i was getting at. if there are broader issues, they certainly need to be addressed. >> i appreciate the opportunity to ask additional questions and i would like to ask the two articles that have been referenced earlier, the wall street journal article of may 14th and the cnn article of today be made part of the record. >> without objection, made part of the record. and senator blumenthal, let me
7:43 am
observe that you too are very measured in your demeanor but no one doubts the passion you bring to this issue. i have every confidence mister dickson's deliberate approach will serve us well. senator gardiner is recognized. >> thank you for patiently, and with great diligence going through this hearing today. thank you very much. aviation is a huge issue and huge industry driver. if you look at denver international airport and aerospace as well, announcement the four of the six cities in running for us space command are
7:44 am
located in colorado, highlighting the importance of aviation, aerospace. one big concern over the past year now. we discussed this in our office, the process of the next initiative. i continue to hear from my constituents in a number of communities, significant concerns about change of the flight paths and potential airplane noise and what it would mean to the denver area. it is support to conduct a process that is transparent and thorough, avoiding the problems we have seen around the country. sharon update where the faa is in this process. >> i agree, this is one of my primary priorities, stakeholder engagement and this is where it is writ large, engaging
7:45 am
communities and airports fully as the new more modern flight procedures that are put in place. with respect to the denver metroplex i know that there were several local townhall sessions conducted over a 6-week period and my understanding is the faa has taken all that into the process and will incorporate that public comment into future flight procedures. it is important going forward and certainly something i will look into if confirmed. beyond that i don't have specific visibility on the flight procedure for denver but it illustrates the point that we need the communities and
7:46 am
airports involved in these designs up front. it's more difficult to alter them after the fact. >> addressing local concerns and open dialogue open to dialogue with residents. >> as with any of these issues, there are important economic issues and local community issues as well as noise and other concerns the community would have and that is best handled in is open and transparent an environment you can possibly have. >> thank you for your willingness to serve. >> we had 20 members of this committee attend the hearing and 16 got to ask questions. i think you included your self very capably. i am very impressed. at this point, let me announce the record will remain open for one week. senators are asked to submit any
7:47 am
questions for the record with final submission deadline being close of business on wednesday, may 22, 2019. mister dixon -- mister dickson, any questions for the director you submit your written answers to the committee as soon as possible but no later than close of business on wednesday, may 29, 2019. we conclude the hearing and the committee expresses its appreciation. this hearing is closed.
7:48 am
[inaudible c >> is a look at live coverage thursday. on c-span the house is back at 10:00 eastern for general speeches with legislative business at noon. on the agenda is a bill to lower prescription drug costs and improve access to health care plans. on c-span2 the senate is voting
7:49 am
on judicial and executive nominations including jeffrey rosen to be the next deputy attorney general. later in the day massachusetts senator and democratic presidential candidate elizabeth warren holds a townhall in fairfax, virginia. on c-span3, house judiciary chair jerrold nadler and vice chair scanlon had a public reading of the mueller report with other house democrats. that starts with a news conference at 11:30 eastern followed by the full reading and new which is expected to last throughout the day and evening. >> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years c-span has provided america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington dc and around the country. so you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on