FAA safety oversight of aircraft repairs is faulted

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog says the Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight of hundreds of domestic and overseas repair stations that service U.S. airliners is ineffective and doesn’t target stations most likely to present safety risks.

The Department of Transportation’s inspector general said in a report released Monday that a supposedly risk-based safety inspection system adopted by the FAA “falls short of being truly risk-based.” The report said this is especially true for foreign repair stations.

To save money, U.S. airlines increasingly have outsourced their aircraft repair and maintenance to repair stations in countries in which labor rates are cheaper.

The report said the FAA’s oversight lacks the rigor needed to identify safety deficiencies and to verify that problems are corrected.

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