Why does the FAA not take immediate and rapid action on safety issues when a flight crew member, the NTSB or anyone else for that matter brings the issue and a solution to their attention? Quite a simple answer really: the FAA is run by lawyers and not safety professionals. Lawyers deny that there is a problem of their own origin, because to “admit a problem” ( lawyerspeak, not safetyspeak) would be to admit fault and therefore legal liability in a tort court.
Instead of safety resolutions, the FAA maintains deniablity until pressure from the press and the public is so great that they cannot deny “something has to be changed!”, usually the result of a press grabbing major air disaster, such as Continental/Colgan 3407.
A safety professional, on the otherhand, would have been looking at the problem, in this case, flight crew training, as soon as the first evidence of a problem was revealed.
The sad part about the lawyer approach of the FAA is that hundreds of innocent people have to die and grab headlines in order for a change to be made.
If the FAA were instead run by safety professionals, changes would occur without a lot of needless loss of life.
As far as comments such as, “Regulation created in a knee jerk reaction can do more damage to the commercial air industry than the industry (or passengers) can afford. Is it worthwhile to ground perfectly safe aircraft and aircraft operations on the basis that if there are no aircraft flying or no-one can afford to travel by air no crashes can happen…” frankly, I do not even know where to categorize this illogical line of reasoning.
As far as I know, there has never been a recommendation by a safety professional that said no aircraft should be flying or make flying so expensive that no one can travel. These kind of statements are known as “make up an outlandish course of action, pretend that a safety professional said it, and see how many people you can fool,” type of statement, also know as “red herrings.”
Safety on the other hand is good for business.