A group of outside experts appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration called on Wednesday for “urgent action” to address safety risks in the nation’s aviation system, highlighting issues like staffing shortages among air traffic controllers and outdated technology.
The F.A.A. announced the formation of the group, the National Airspace System Safety Review Team, in April after a string of close calls at airports across the country, and the panel issued a 52-page report on Wednesday laying out its findings.
In addition to calling for the F.A.A. to address the shortage of air traffic controllers and improve its aging technology, the report also recommended changes in how the agency is funded, such as more broadly shielding it from government shutdowns.
“The current erosion in the margin of safety in the N.A.S. caused by the confluence of these challenges is rendering the current level of safety unsustainable,” the report said, referring to what is known as the National Airspace System.
The group of experts was led by Michael P. Huerta, who served as F.A.A. administrator under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump. It also included other former federal officials and former union leaders.
“There are no easy short-term fixes to address many of these challenges,” Mr. Huerta told reporters on Wednesday. “Addressing risk in the N.A.S. requires the F.A.A., the administration, Congress and others across industry to work together collaboratively.”
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