Southwest Response to Office of the Inspector General Audit

Published on : Monday, February 24, 2020

Southwest AirlinesIn 2018, the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated an audit of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety oversight of Southwest Airlines. Southwest fully cooperated with the OIG throughout the process, sharing a common goal of strengthening industry and Southwest Safety practices. Within the audit, the OIG takes a closer look at a few operational challenges Southwest has focused on during the last year—specifically, the airline’s Weight and Balance Program and maintenance records “conformity” work on pre-owned aircraft.



The OIG data collection for the audit concluded last fall and, since that time, we are proud to say that we’ve made significant progress on both of the two primary operational items mentioned in the report.



With regard to Southwest’s Weight and Balance Program, we’ve implemented automated baggage scanning and tracking in all of our domestic Stations as of December 2019—equipping Employees with hand-held scanners to further baggage count accuracy and enhance the integrity of our Weight and Balance Program. As part of this effort, Southwest invested in more than 3,400 scanners and currently scans more than two million bags per week. Since implementing the scanners, the airline has seen substantial improvement in Weight and Balance Program accuracy and consistency across our system.



With regard to the conformity issue, Southwest’s Technical Operations Team has worked diligently to ensure that each of the 88 pre-owned aircraft cited in the report have undergone a comprehensive, physical inspection, from nose to tail, to ensure all maintenance records and repairs are documented.



As part of Southwest’s Safety Culture, the airline maintains a transparent relationship with the FAA, which includes an FAA-Approved Safety Management System designed to manage and mitigate operational risks and execute safe operating programs and practices. Southwest Airlines recognizes that maintaining the Safety of our operation is the most important thing we do. With this in mind, we continuously seek new ways to improve our practices and any additional enhancements or oversights into our Safety Management System that result from the OIG’s audit are welcome additions to our already robust Safety Culture.


Source:- Southwest Airlines

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