The Transportation Department says nine big U.S. airlines now hire outside contractors for 70% of their major maintenance work, double the rate of four years ago. With heavy maintenance outsourced to Central America and Asia, the DOT inspector general worries that FAA inspectors assigned to individual airlines are unable to visit repair stations on a regular basis. "We actually concur with all the inspector general's recommendations," said an FAA spokesman. "We have procedures in place that already address some of the recommendations, and we have some projects in progress that address others."
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