The DOT's internal watchdog group told lawmakers Thursday the FAA is not doing enough to oversee contractors that perform maintenance on commercial jetliners. The FAA and airline officials defended outsourcing, noting the industry's accident rate has never been lower. "The U.S. airline industry's maintenance-related safety record is the best it has ever been," Air Transport Association Vice President Basil Barimo said. "If there were a systemic problem with contract maintenance, the safety data would have exposed it."

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