(StraightNews.org) – The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) wants to hire people with severe intellectual disabilities as part of a diversity recruitment drive. The Diversity and Inclusion plan will welcome applications from people with disabilities in hearing and vision, as well as “missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability, and dwarfism,” according to the agency’s website. The FAA states that “diversity” is “integral” to ensuring safe and efficient travel throughout the United States.
The FAA is overseen by Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg, regulates civil aviation, and employs around 45,000 people.
The news comes as the FAA is under scrutiny for lax safety standards following the recent grounding of a fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9 jets. On January 5, a faulty door plug caused a door to break away on an Alaskan Airlines plane en route to California. The door was located in an Oregon resident’s backyard, and the aircraft turned back to Portland airport and landed safely.
The company that produced the door plug, Spirit AeroSystems, was subject to investor lawsuits last year, citing “widespread quality failures.”
The FAA said the incident should not have happened and must never happen again, while Boeing said it would work with the agency to ensure higher standards.
Critics of the new hiring policy, however, say the FAA is not committed to safety and is placing American lives in danger. A New York Post op-ed said the “ psychiatrically disabled” will now be involved in “making sure that planes don’t hit the ground or each other.” It furthermore notes that the FAA has not made clear what roles will be available to people with severe disabilities.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk prompted a backlash when he complained about air safety and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hiring practices. Musk tweeted that DEI hires make travel less safe, and was quickly condemned by civil rights groups. Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, called Mr. Musk’s comments “abhorrent and pathetic.”
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