Aviation Term Paper

Question

The paper must be written in accordance with APA standards using the current edition. The required length is 5 pages excluding the cover page, charts, tables, graphs, diagrams, photographs, the reference page, or the appendix. The format will be double-spaced, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman, and 12pt font. 

Topic for the term paper is required to be directly related to aviation or aerospace legislation. I have chosen to write about the Department of Transportation Act of1966.

The paper needs to have the following headings:

-Summary,

-Problem,

-Significance of the problem, -4 Alternative Actions.

Answer

Contents

Summary. 2

Problem.. 2

Significance of the Problem.. 6

Four Alternative Actions. 6

References. 8

Department of Transportation Act of 1996

Summary

The United States Department of Transportation Act of 1966 was enacted so as to ensure a safe, efficient, fast and affordable transportation system in the United States. The aim was to develop programs that relate to transportation, come up with transportation policies and resolve any problems or complications regarding the transportation industry. The idea of the transportation department was conceived by Najeeb Halaby who was the head of the Federal Aviation Agency and presented as a bill to the congress by President Lyndon Johnson the following year. The main problem associated with the department lies in its division of responsibilities seen in the way it took one year to clearly define the responsibilities of the Department of Transport and those of the Housing and Urban Development. Through effective leadership, a forum for addressing overlapping responsibilities, coming up with joint responsibilities and significant legislation, such problems can be avoided altogether.

Problem

In order to understand how and why the United States Department of Transportation Act (US DOT) of 1966 came into existence, one must first understand the operations of the Federal Aviation Agency. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), previously known as the Federal Aviation Agency, is an agency of the United States of America that has the authority to handle all matters relating to civil aviation (Burkhardt, 1967). These matters include, but are not limited to, the construction of airports, certifying aircraft and qualified personnel, the operation of airports, the duty to protect assets of the United States during the launching of commercial space vehicles and the management and direction of air traffic (O’Neil & Krane, 2012). The FAA has four different lines of business (LOBs): the Airports (ARP), Aviation Safety (AVS), Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and the Commercial Space Transportation (AST).

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The ARP is the line of business that is involved with the planning of projects relating to the construction of airports. It also ensures that the projects are run smoothly and in accordance with the federal regulations that have been put in place. The AVS, on the other hand, is the body of the FAA that is responsible for certification of anything and anyone in the aeronautical engineering field. It certifies qualified pilots, mechanics, aircraft, airlines, and general aviation personnel. Just like the traffic associated with road transport, planes also have the traffic concept which if not handled correctly, can lead to overlaps that may be catastrophic. The ATO line of business therefore control and move air traffic in the most efficient way possible within the National Airspace System. The last LOB, the AST, plays a crucial role in protecting assets of the United States is relevant whenever commercial space vehicles are being launched or re-launched (Graham & Graber, 1984).

At the time the Act was being proposed, Najeeb Halaby, the head of the Federal Aviation Agency suggested that transportation be a cabinet-level post that would integrate the FAA to the president in June 1965 before leaving office. According to Halaby, in order to have decisive development in terms of transportation policies, a department of transportation was a necessary formation (1994). The current president, President Johnson, believed that Halaby was right and that the nation did need a fast, convenient, safe, efficient and affordable transportation and that the only way to achieve all that in one package was by establishing the Department Of Transportation. For this reason, President Johnson established a bill in mid-1966 on the creation of the department, which was later passed in October, the same year.

The department was designed to play several roles, the first one is coming up with transportation policies. Secondly, it was charged with the work of overseeing all present and future transportation programs and lastly, resolving any problems or complications associated with transportation (Gray, 1972). The newly established US DOT was made up of several agencies, including the Saint Lawrence Seaway Commission, the Federal Railroad Administration, the FAA, the Coast Guard, and the Federal Highway Administration. Like many other departments or Acts passed by the congress or enacted by the president, this DOT Act had several problems some of which have been addressed in the subsequent revisions and some that are yet to be resolved.

Indeed, a department is only as good as its leadership and division of responsibilities. In the case of the DOT Act of 1966, it took about a year after its establishment before the responsibilities regarding urban mass transportation were clearly defined between the DOT and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department (Weiner, 2012). After several deliberations, both the DOT and the HUD agreed on their responsibilities. Under research and development, DOT was responsible for improving the transit systems while HUD was declared responsible for urban transportation. Moreover, DOT was considered responsible for mass transportation grants and managing the training programs for the capital grant programs while the HUD was in charge of providing certification (Gray, 1971). Regardless of the setbacks, the department is still up and running, decades after it was established. Meanwhile, looking at the charts presented below, one notices the dynamics of transportation (particularly the airline industry) and housing development that necessitated the establishment of the Department of Transportation.

Significance of the Problem

The problem of division of responsibilities is significant as it shows that without a clear-cut plan or clearly defined responsibilities, a department could see its end. During the one year of deliberation between the HUD and the DOT, so much could have been accomplished. Aside from the time that was lost, the department failed to take off on a positive note (Mohl, 2008). In truth, most if not all departments have had issues with the allocation of responsibilities both internally and externally. External interdepartmental problems tend to be of a more serious kind as members of one department tend to feel like their work is being interfered with by other departments. In order to solve such problems or avoid them altogether, I recommend that four possible actions be taken.

Four Alternative Actions

Before any department is developed, a lot of consideration should go into the leadership position. Leadership says a lot in terms of the level of maturity when it comes to solving both internal and external departmental problems. Therefore, I believe that one of the actions that can be taken to avoid any conflicts in the departments is to pick the best leaders that are most suited for the role. Moreover, having competent leaders goes a long way in terms of their ability to allocate responsibilities. Effective leadership is what makes the difference between the success and failure of a department.

The second action would be to create a forum whereby an overlap in the responsibilities allocated to departments can be addressed in an open manner. Such forums should be held before any department is added or established so that the interested parties can decide whether the department is actually needed or if it serves the same purpose as an already existing one. For instance, both the DOT and the HUD have somewhat overlapping responsibilities. This explains why it took both departments about a year to decide on the best way to allocate the responsibilities for quality outcomes to be attained. If such issues were addressed before the establishment of the DOT Act, the resulting interdepartmental problems could have been avoided altogether.

Thirdly, in cases where there is an overlap in the responsibilities in two or more departments as in the previous case, there can be joined responsibilities instead of having a situation where rules are completely distinguished. This is perfectly reflected in the way HUD and the DOT decided to share their responsibilities regarding research and development. Such decisions should be made only after determining what both parties have to offer. Moreover, sharing responsibilities is the best way to resolve any disputes that may come with the deliberations. It is important to not only distinguish responsibilities but also to ensure that the responsibilities allocated can be accomplished with ease.

Lastly, laws have a big role to play when it comes to the establishment of important and significant departments (Pozner et al, 2004). In the United States, for instance, the decision to create the US DOT was not made overnight. It was made after months of deliberations and meetings to decide whether the country needed such a department. By understanding what the country needs in regard to the legislations and leadership, stakeholders can come up with departments that best perform the stipulated administrative functions.

References

Burkhardt, R. (1967). The Federal Aviation Administration (Vol. 5). London: FA Praeger.

Graham, J. D., & Garber, S. (1984). Evaluating the effects of automobile safety regulation. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 3(2), 206-224.

Gray, O. S. (1971). The Response of Federal Legislation to Historic Preservation. Law and Contemporary Problems, 36(3), 314-328.

Gray, O. S. (1972). Section 4 (f) of the Department of Transportation Act. Maryland Law Review, 32, 327.

Halaby, N. E. (1994). The Friendly Aviation Administrator. Aviation Week’s Business and Commercial Aviation.

Mohl, R. A. (2008). The interstates and the cities: the US Department of Transportation and the freeway revolt, 1966–1973. Journal of Policy History, 20(2), 193-226.

O’Neil, P. D. & Krane, D. (2012). Policy and Organizational Change in the Federal Aviation Administration: The Ontogenesis of a High‐Reliability Organization. Public Administration Review, 72(1), 98-111.

Pozner, C. N., Zane, R., Nelson, S. J., & Levine, M. (2004). International EMS systems: The United States: past, present, and future. Resuscitation, 60(3), 239-244.

Weiner, E. (2012). Urban transportation planning in the United States: History, policy, and practice. Houston, TX: Springer Science & Business Media.

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