April 29, 2009

Bird strike info to be open to all

In the grand scheme of things, releasing data on birds hitting airplanes is not as weighty as CIA interrogation memos. The release of such information, however, is always a welcome advancement of transparency in Washington.

The Sunlight Foundation Blog reports that the Federal Aviation Administration requested comments "on a proposed ruling barring the release of data on airplanes struck by birds in the Federal Register."

The public reaction? Overwhelming:

[Ray] LaHood, [Secretary of Transportation], whose agency oversees the FAA, said that public comments ran "99.9 percent" in favor of making such information accessible.

LaHood said that FAA efforts to keep information about bird strikes secret "doesn't really comport with the president's idea of transparency."

Agreed. And the much publicized landing of Flight 1549 in the Hudson River only further highlights the public's right to know. The FAA has agreed with public opinion and will release the data.