FAA bans departing safety inspectors from working for airlines for 2 years

Safety inspectors who leave the Federal Aviation Administration will be barred from immediately going to work for the airlines the agency regulates, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced Friday.

Under a rule finalized Friday, safety inspectors will have to wait two years before they take jobs with airlines. LaHood said that would eliminate the possibility of conflicts of interest when FAA employees perform safety inspections of airplanes.

The flying public can rest assured that our aviation safety inspectors will remain focused on protecting the flying public without any conflicts of interest,” LaHood said in a news release.

Babbit agreed, saying, This rule establishes clear restrictions that will improve our safety culture here at the FAA and throughout the aviation industry.”

The prohibition applies to workers in the FAAs Flight Standards Service program.