Audit Initiated of FAA’s Oversight of SkyWest Airlines’ Maintenance Program

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA), based on our preliminary data analysis and FAA safety information related to some concerns, initiated an audit of Skywest Airlines’ maintenance program. “Our objective will be to assess FAA’s oversight of SkyWest Airlines maintenance practices,” a statement from the FAA said.

“[Our] top priority—includes oversight of commercial passenger carriers’ safety programs. According to FAA regulations, each airline must establish and maintain a safety management system—a formal, top-down focus on managing safety risks,” said the FAA. “Using this approach, FAA and air carriers identify hazards and implement corrective actions that mitigate risk. For example, air carriers must identify root causes for hazards and proactively manage risk to prevent accidents. In previous audits, we uncovered weaknesses in FAA’s oversight of maintenance at Allegiant Air, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. However, similar concerns have been raised about FAA’s safety oversight of air carrier maintenance at SkyWest Airlines—including the Agency’s relationship with the airline over regulatory compliance matters.”

The announcement went on the say, “Specifically, we will evaluate FAA’s actions to address SkyWest’s maintenance non-compliances and violations. We will conduct our audit work at FAA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and at the FAA office responsible for oversight of the carrier. We will also visit SkyWest’s headquarters in St. George, UT, and its maintenance hub in Salt Lake City.”