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Aviation Safety Inspectors

History

Although the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate and control interstate travel via the highway, railway, and water, it does not mention anything about the air. Indeed, the framers of that document did not foresee the age of air travel that would begin in a little more than 100 years. The Wright brothers may have flown the first airplane in 1903, but air travel was not regulated until 1926 when the Secretary of Commerce was given the authority to create a regulatory system. This system was the precursor to the agencies that would later employ many aviation safety inspectors. The system evolved as much as it could to keep pace with the burgeoning field of air transportation until the 1950s, when it could no longer handle the rapidly occurring changes in the field and became outdated. To address these changes, the Federal Aviation Agency was created in 1958. The Federal Aviation Agency was given the authority to promote the development and safety of air transportation through regulations. One of its responsibilities is to set and enforce safety standards. It later became a part of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and was renamed the Federal Aviation Administration.

Another government agency concerned with aviation safety, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), was established in 1967 as a part of the DOT and was made an independent agency in 1975. The NTSB is responsible for investigating aviation accidents, determining the probable cause of accidents, and making recommendations for safety improvements in the field of aviation. Outside of the United States, the growing need for air safety issues and regulations was addressed by the creation of the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1944 and the International Air Transport Association in 1945.

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