Friday, April 11, 2008
By TERRY MAXON and DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News
American Airlines chairman and chief executive officer Gerard Arpey said Thursday that he is taking "personal responsibility" for the bad maintenance that has forced the carrier to cancel some 3,000 flights this week for aircraft inspections.
MD-80s sat on the sidelines at Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday, when American Airlines canceled more than 930 flights as inspections continued. The Fort Worth-based carrier has canceled 570 flights scheduled today.
"I run the company. "Mr. Arpey told reporters at an afternoon news conference. "so if there's any blame to be had, it is my fault, and I take full responsibility for this."
American canceled more than 930 flights Thursday as its mechanics, quality assurance inspectors and engineers worked to ensure that the carrier's fleet of 300 MD-80 jets would meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
On Tuesday. American grounded its fleet of aging MD-80s, which have an average age of more than 18 years and include some past their 25th birthday, to redo checks of the wiring harnesses in the right wheel well of the jets - only two weeks after it had performed the same inspections.
The FAA has said in recent days that its enforcement hasn't changed or become stricter. But Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said airlines have told her they've noticed a difference.
"The standard is now being very, very rigidly enforced and leeway is being taken away," Ms. Hutchison said. "I can't say if it's good or bad. But I know that it's changed."
Today, the U.S. has five to eight aviation fatalities per 100 million people who fly each year, during the mid-1990s, it was about 45 deaths per 100 million people flown.
16. What situation is being reported in the passage?
A. American Airlines is trying to meet the FAA regulations.
B. American Airlines is canceling 570 flights today.
C. American Airlines is blaming its CEO Gerard Arpey.
D. American Airlines is making internal inspections.
17. According to the passage, American Airlines ______.
A. is going to have a new chairman and CEO
B. only operates from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
C. is an airline that has 3000 MD-80 airplanes
D. is a company that is headquartered in Fort Worth, Dallas
18. The American Airlines has ______.
A. 3000 flights B. 300 MD-80s
C. 930 different planes D. 570 airplanes
19. The FAA and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison seem to disagree on ______.
A. the total number of flights of American Airlines
B. whether FAA is enforcing its regulations too strictly
C. whether the FAA standard is being taken away
D. the usefulness of the FAA regulations for airlines
20. The ultimate problem that prompted the grounding of the American Airlines fleet is that ______.
A. the fatality rate has doubled in the last 15 years
B. it has not met the FAA maintenance standard
C. its airplanes are far too old to fly any more
D. it has not done any inspections before