Faa hr chief objects to her flights go around


Well-Known Member

For Immediate Release
September 29, 2008
CONTACT: Boston Logan Tower NATCA Facility Representative Matt McCluskey, 508-208-6270; mattmccluskey6@comcast.net

BOSTON – Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration twice shut down the critical runway safety radar system at Boston Logan International Airport known as AMASS (Airport Movement Area Safety System) on orders from high-level FAA management to investigate a routine, safe go-around event involving an arriving AirTran flight that had on board Ventris Gibson, the FAA’s assistant administrator for human resources management.

Apparently upset at having her flight’s landing interrupted, Gibson attempted to blame a controller for the incident. Said Logan Tower NATCA Facility Representative Matt McCluskey: “This was a frivolous, pointless investigation that ended up jeopardizing the safety of the airfield by taking away a critical piece of equipment that helps us prevent runway incidents by sounding alarms in the tower if evasive action to stop a collision is required.”

The incident occurred on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 10 p.m. EDT. A US Airways flight landed but was slow in exiting the runway because it had to roll to the end of the runway due to a taxiway closeure. The AirTran was on a short final approach. The delay by US Airways forced controllers to issue a go-around instruction to AirTran to prevent an unsafe landing. There are an estimated 900 go-arounds at Logan each year. Most, like this one, are routine and safe.

But Gibson ordered an investigation. So the next day, FAA headquarters in Washington requested a replay of the event on the AMASS radar system. In order to view the replay, the entire system has to be brought off line. The system was down for approximately two hours during the busy afternoon rush. Local FAA management found no irregularities with the go-around and no loss of separation between the aircraft.

But that wasn’t good enough for Gibson. The FAA sent Director of Runway Safety Wes Timmons to the tower the next day, Sept. 4. He wanted to see a replay of the event on the AMASS radar system so they shut down the AMASS a second time during the morning of Sept. 4. Again, nothing improper was found. The controller was not accused of any wrongdoing.

“Taking down a safety critical piece of runway equipment because a senior executive was mad about being delayed from a go-around is unacceptable to us and, at a minimum, contradictory to the FAA’s stated goal of reducing runway incursions,” McCluskey said. “This is also an example of the FAA’s worsening punitive culture where the goal is to intimidate and harass controllers with the hope of finding something they can discipline them for.”

I feel bad for you poor chums that have to deal with this type of ineptitude.

But - then again - bringing all upon yourselves I suppose.

Sorry to the veterans who never asked for these ridiculous witches to have so much control over a safety oriented NAS.


Staff member
Oh, my word.

At least this level of cluelessness hasn't infected the TSA.




ATC RET 2003

No More Vectors
Wait!... There's MORE!!!

Check out this little speech she delivered at the FFA's 50th anniversary shindig... and listen for her acronym for the NTSB. Plus, she calls Bobby a formal naval aviator (as opposed to the more casual type of naval aviator, I suppose).

Try to have a beer in hand as you watch so that it won't be a complete waste of 2:42.




Well-Known Member
What if firefighters ran the world? What if pilots and controllers ran the FAA?

Now let's apply this to some (the appointees) at the the NTSB and the DHS/TSA/e-i-e-i-o circus, too.

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"This is the easiest job I've ever had."


Well-Known Member
I'm just wondering why she's still employed...time to write your congressmen folks. If they're really as adamant about fighting waste as they claim they are, this woman will be gone.


New Member
That's funny timing. My dad was just there last week and he comes home to start a rant about the layout of that airport. He was also talking about some plane with German pilots talking with ATC who could not understand their controller. Control was clearing them to come in and they kept asking how much longer they had to hold. This went on for a few minutes.

Good times.