BOSTON, MA – July 16, 2008 - Mark Lund, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector and Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) member who uncovered serious safety issues during the August 2005 aircraft mechanics strike at Northwest Airlines, was honored today by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). When the FAA failed to address his safety concerns and instead became more interested with discrediting him as an inspector, Lund enlisted the aid of former Sen. Mark Dayton, who helped to engage the Inspector General (IG) to conduct an independent review of Lund’s concerns and possible mistreatment by the FAA. In October 2007, the IG validated Lund’s concerns and admonished the FAA for its treatment of him during this time. The IG report concluded that the FAA needed improved internal procedures to ensure that “comprehensive, independent investigations of safety allegations and recommendations are consistently performed.”
PASS, the union that represents more than 11,000 FAA employees including aviation safety inspectors is congratulating Mark Lund on his dedication to safety and appreciates ACFE’s recognition of him today. “We commend Mark Lund for his continued efforts in bringing forth serious safety concerns and on his commitment to the safety of the flying public,” said PASS President Tom Brantley. “FAA aviation safety inspectors take their oversight role to ensure public safety very seriously and they should never be quieted when it comes to bringing forward safety issues involving airlines. The flying public is well served by aviation safety inspectors such as Mark Lund, who believe their ultimate responsibility is to the flying public.”
Recent events have shown that FAA management is often more interested in airline operations, at times completely disregarding safety issues or failing to give them adequate attention. “If there is a lesson to be learned over the last few years, it is that the attitude of the FAA must change to one that puts the flying public’s safety above an airline’s solvency,” said Brantley.
In light of Mark Lund’s story and recent events involving whistleblowers at the FAA, members of Congress and the IG have raised concerns regarding FAA oversight but virtually no action has been taken by the FAA. In fact, inspectors continue to fear retaliation when elevating and advancing serious safety concerns. “The bottom line is that aviation safety inspectors should not have to risk their jobs to have the FAA take them and their safety concerns seriously,” said PASS Vice President of Flight Standards and Aviation Safety Inspector Linda Goodrich. “It is our belief that the actions of trailblazers such as Mark Lund will enable other aviation safety inspectors to come forward without having to face such adversity from the FAA in the future.”
PASS represents more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures and perform quality analyses of the aviation systems. For more information, visit the PASS website at www.passnational.org.