The FAA today published a Notice of Proposed Information Collection in the Federal Register indicating its intent to collect customer service surveys from willing general aviation pilots regarding Lockheed Martin’s operation of flight service stations. According to the Notice, “[t]he results of the survey will be used as a measure in evaluating Lockheed Martin’s performance of the service”.
Comments on the Notice may be mailed or delivered to the FAA at the following address: Ms. July Street, ABA-20, Room 613, Federal Aviation Administration, Information Systems and Technology Services Staff, 800 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20591 and must be received on or before August 29, 2005. You may also contact Ms. Street for more information at the above address or at (202) 267-9895.
It is nice to see that the FAA is being proactive about maintaining some oversight over Lockheed Martin’s operation of the flight service stations, although this probably doesn’t appease those who are opposed to any outsourcing of the flight service station operations. Also, surveying customers regarding their experiences could end up being simply “lip service” if the FAA does not act on the feedback it receives through the surveys. Personally, I will be curious to see whether this is another situation where private industry can perform the functions better and cheaper than government or whether operation of flight service stations really should remain a government function. Time will tell.