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Saturday, June 29, 2013

FAA quirks - Unsolvable Americanistic standoff with the world?

The Federal Aviation Administration audits civil aviation authorities of other countries on compliance to ICAO rules and guidelines, as well as oversight capability and activity. However something continues to irk me throughout these years. The FAA continue to audit and even slap 'sanctions' in form of country categories based on compliance to ICAO, but did they ever slap themselves?

Remember the fuss on the change the FAA imposed for the phraseology from "position and hold" to "line up and wait" to be inline with the rest of the world? I recall many American pilots saying it's ridiculous and unnecessary, some even said the change would compromise safety! If they want to talk about safety, let's not forget the JFK controllers who are famous for being "cruel" to international airlines with crew who can go about talking to ATC in English in other countries, by doing their fast talking non-ICAO compliant English, with the famous "do you understand English" insult thrown in the radio frequency. Yet American pilots complain about going to countries where ATC can use other language over the radio, such as Spanish, French, and Russian, citing it reduces collective situational awareness and therefore such a practice should be stopped.

Here's my not so serious viewpoint: Why not start by stopping these FAA standard phrases over American airspace and use ICAO compliant phrases, then we can all talk!
Image taken from: http://www.facebook.com/cleared4takeoff

Of course, the above is not entirely accurate, but then I'm sorry if you think I was being 100% serious!