Kind Words for Continental

In the easygoing days before deregulation, U.S. airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration were able to maintain a gentlemanly relationship without undermining the enforcement of safety standards. But in the new era of cut-rate competition, the FAA has been slow to adopt the sterner attitude necessary to keep America's skies safe. "In a game between two very aggressive teams, the referee has to have a fast whistle," says Jim Burnett, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "And we haven't had a fast whistle from the FAA." To some critics, this soft approach was particularly evident in the case of Continental...

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