What Is FAA Safety Engineer Oversight?

February 11, 2023

what is faa safety engineer oversight

What is faa safety engineer oversight?

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) inspector and engineering workforces oversee the safety of the air traffic system by inspecting aircraft, ensuring they are designed and built to meet flight standards. These workers must keep pace with changing technology, new data-driven oversight methods, and more. But they don't regularly assess the skills and knowledge that are needed to do their jobs well, according to a GAO report published in September 2022.

What are the technical competencies that an inspector or engineer needs to perform their job?

The FAA's Office of Aviation Safety (AVS) has started to identify the technical competencies that its inspector and engineer workforces need to perform their safety mission. However, AVS does not assess these competencies on a recurring basis to efficiently target workforce strategies, such as hiring and training.

What are some of the key challenges in assessing these competencies?

The aviation industry is confronted with a host of new technology, data-driven oversight methods, and challenges to ensure safety. These changes require the agency to develop and implement a comprehensive competency framework.

What are some of the most common competency gaps?

AVS identified data analytics, systems thinking, and risk-based decision making as critical competencies that inspectors and engineers need to carry out their safety oversight roles. But AVS did not conduct recurring assessments of these competencies to determine the extent to which its employees possessed these skills and knowledge.

These assessments could help the agency better understand its hiring and training needs, and align those with its competencies. It should also assess how well its training curricula address the skills and knowledge that inspectors and engineers need to perform their jobs effectively.


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