Research work on the Aviation’s Ethical Codes
The Aviation’s Ethical Codes: How much they are being followed?
Aviation industry really had its boom in the 1960s-1970s, since then it only gained popularity as the mean of transportation and the competition in many major airlines only increased since then. Many airlines in competition either took the path for luxurious flights to its customers at higher price tags and limiting customer’s approach to them, but some insisted on keeping the price tag as low as possible and increase the customer quantity but sacrificed the comfort and other additional needs that might become a necessity in the future for them. Such as, using old models of airplanes, lesser qualified technical and pilot staff, low quality of food, low quality of the upholstery and etc.
Major Airlines and Regional Airlines
This sort of approach may have given major airlines to have second thoughts about which path they would like to follow. So, they developed a new path that can be pronounced as corporate diversification, through which they started to contract with other regional airlines and they sourced their regional flights to these regional airlines and the regional airlines started to provide their services at a very low price. Meanwhile, major airlines continued their international flight, which in return brought them massive amounts of income and brought investment. However, regional airlines were for domestic use only and they started to suffer from the “low cost tickets regime” that was being implemented by the major airlines to generate profit for them by reducing the cost of the tickets for the domestic users of the airliners.
In the late 1990s, many major airlines began outsourcing more flying to independent regional airlines due to increased price pressure from competitors. According to the Frontline investigation film Flying Cheap, a new approach called code-share contracts emerged, which further changed the competitive structure of the airline industry. Under these contracts between the major airlines and their regional carrier airlines, the regional airline adopts the same ticketing code and colors as the major. (MCGUIGGAN, 2012)
The regional airlines and major airlines cut out a deal that the regional airlines will be using the same features of major airlines such as the color of the uniform of the staff, the codes on tickets that will be assigned to the passengers, the logo and other identities that will manipulate a passenger into believing that he or she is travelling in a major airliner.
Pilot Eligibility And Wages
Pilots make almost 8 flights and then they are compelled to sleep at a low cost accommodation in which they are provided with only 2 bedrooms and almost 14 pilots are assigned to a single unit of such accommodation. This also compromises the pilot’s morale and their focus from their duties, in result they make loosely considered decisions and take safety protocols as a hurdle in their way to accomplish their job.
I once knew a pilot who logged his instrument currency requirements (holds and approaches within the previous six months) by flying his airplane alone in VFR conditions. One day I inquired as to how he went about doing this and his reply was that he simply didn’t look out the window during the flight (this is a good spot in the story to note that I was at least happy to hear that he wasn’t wearing a hood while solo!). (Talleur)
Examples of such incidents will be found frequently in the regional flights and they defeat the purpose of safety regulations that are developed for the public transportation safety.
Due to the low cost of the tickets, its difficult to keep up at par to the FAA’s legal ethics and laws to make a flight. The pilots that are being assigned to the flight are mostly amateur and are being hired at a very low wage that is compromising the pilot’s judgement and increasing the tension on the captain. Due to the low wages, pilots are compelled to keep working for 16 hours a day and even after working 80 hours a week they receive the wage of 20 hours of service. The commission that is made for working late hours is also eliminated . Pilots only make 21$ an hour and their yearly wage does not exceed 18,000$ – 21,000$.
According to the U.S. government Accountability Office, the regional airlines are responsible for the last six fatal commercial airline accidents (Dillingham). These incidents mostly take place due to the ignorant behavior of less qualified and low paid pilots in the regional airlines.
FAA Duties and Responsibilities
FAA’s duties and responsibility is to develop such rules and regulations that provide maximum safety and security to the aircraft passengers. They are assigned to takechecking and grading the maintenance work and evaluate the skills and eligibility of the airlines. But its approach is also very limited.
The FAA only has about 4,300 inspectors to oversee the safety of about 25,000 commercial flights in the U.S. every day, including flight operations, pilot certifications, and maintenance (Frontline Flying Cheap). Given these conditions, the FAA’s competence and capacity to conduct adequate oversight is limited, particularly its ability to control the growing regional airline business. (MCGUIGGAN, 2012)
Not only this, but there seem to be cases that are being surfaced in which FAA is being targeted for hampering ethical laws as well.
This comes after Southwest had reportedly been passed by inspectors and made 60,000 flights on planes before they were inspected. The inspection managers were reporting to the FAA that the plans were check for safety when in actuality they were not. The shock of this scandal enraged the FAA who immediately went into action by proposing a new law and making Southwest Airlines pay a $7.5 million federal penalty for missing required structural inspections on 46 of its older-model jets. The rule requires a 2 year cooling period for inspectors or managers before working for agencies they have close ties to. (Kast, 2011)
The FAA developed aviation rules and regulations need to be amended. There is an obvious and prior need to increase the strength of the FAA to develop a strengthened force which can inspect airliners of every level. The regional airline policies need to be reinstated with better and secure policies which will reinforce the security protocols and safety of the passengers as well as increase the quality of the pilots that are being hired and provide them better wages and commissions that will contribute as higher standardsof living and will ensure their focus and decisions they make for public safety and comfort.
Kast, J. (2011, September 22). FAA Issues Ethics Rule for Safety Inspectors. Retrieved from Airlines and Logistics: http://ksb100-003airlogistics.blogspot.com/2011/09/faa-issues-ethics-rule-for-safety.html
MCGUIGGAN, L. (2012, April 9). The Cost of Safety: Ethics and the Airline Industry. Retrieved from business government society 2: https://bizgovsoc2.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-cost-of-safety-ethics-and-the-airline-industry/
Dillingham, Gerald L. “Aviation Safety.” U.S. Government Accountability Office. U.S. Government, Mar. 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2012. <http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589444.pdf>.
Talleur, D. A. (n.d.). Ethics and aviation: dilemmas frequently arise. Retrieved from Canadian Owners and Pilots Association: https://www.copanational.org/PilotsPrimerAug10.cfm