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Pilots Denounce FAA for ‘Environmental Justice’ and 'Inclusive' Spending Instead of System Upgrades

Pilots blast FAA for ‘environmental justice’ and 'inclusive' spending over system upgrades

January 13, 2023: Pilots are not happy about the Federal Aviation Administration’s latest budget that outlined millions of dollars for "inclusive" language, "racial equity," "environmental justice," and "climate change" while ignoring needed system updates.

Several flights were grounded Wednesday when the FAA’s nationwide system experienced an outage due to a damaged database file.

The system is reportedly 30 years old and is not on track to be updated for another six years due to “budgetary concerns.”

Image above: The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is seen on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Roanoke, Va. Flight delays and cancellations rippled across the U.S. early Wednesday after computer outage led to a grounding order for all departing aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration.(Scott P. Yates/The Roanoke Times via AP)

Meanwhile, the FAA’s 2023 budget requests include spending millions on "inclusive" language, "racial equity," "environmental justice," and "climate change,” which has upset pilots.

"Ridiculous, neither the DOT nor FAA should be involved with being a social 'petri dish' investing in such nonsense," JP Tristani, an aviation expert, veteran, and pilot, told Fox News, adding that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg "is responsible and accountable for the oversight of the FAA."

Aviation lawyer Sal Lagonia shared Tristani’s sentiments.

"The spending on nonessential issues within the agency does nothing to help these technological blunders," Lagonia said. "Just look at the change as to what NOTAM stands for. It has been ‘Notices to Airman' for many years. Recently, the agency spent a great deal of money and effort to take the word ‘man’ out of the title and instead call it ‘Notices to Air Missions.’ Documents had to be changed to the new name, etc. Spend that effort and money on bolstering the systems that makes and keeps flying safe.”

Image above: A traveler looks at a flight board with delays and cancellations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Thousands of travelers were stranded at U.S. airports due to an hours-long computer outage.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

"Such an important system needs to work. Technology is great until it stops working. As a pilot, we have backup plans for how we plan our flights. The agency needs to behave similarly by having backup upon backup," Lagonia added.

Tristani also blasted the FAA’s investments, saying they have “nothing to do with the highest standards and training and performance standards required in this highly technical industry."

"My interest was/remains the safety of my aircraft, my training and that of my copilot, the route I'm flying, and the only ‘climate change’ I am interested in is the weather along the route,” Tristani added.

Problems with the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions system that failed Wednesday were apparently resolved with a hard reset of the system.

However, calls for FAA reform have increased, particularly from Republican lawmakers.


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