Faa To Put Airline Safety Data, Without Rankings, On Internet

Responding to complaints that travelers lack basic airline safety information, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that its Internet site will provide some safety data by the end of February.

The FAA also said it will begin publicizing through news releases major civil fines - in most cases, $50,000 and higher - for safety and security violations.

The effort to make the information more available is an outgrowth of the clamor that followed the fatal Valujet Airlines crash in the Everglades in May, after which the FAA acknowledged ongoing safety problems at the Atlanta-based airline.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who asked the FAA last year to give the public access to safety information, hailed the agency’s decision.

“For the first time, the flying public will be able to conveniently determine if their airline has major safety problems,” Wyden said during a news conference Wednesday at the Capitol.

FAA officials said some of the airline safety data will include incidents as far back as 1978.

But the FAA, reportedly under pressure from some airlines, will not make available rankings in terms of safety, despite providing such a ranking to outgoing Transportation Secretary Federico Pena last year.

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