The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has introduced a diversity and inclusion hiring initiative targeting individuals with disabilities, as stated on the agency’s website. This move, part of the FAA’s broader DEI strategy, aims to recruit individuals with various disabilities, including severe intellectual and psychiatric conditions, as a matter of federal policy.
According to the agency, people with ‘severe’ disabilities are among those currently lacking representation in the aviation industry.
Elon Musk sounded the alarm over the diversity push. He asked on X, “Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety?”
“People will die due to DEI,” wrote Musk.
Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety? That is actually happening. https://t.co/FcTyzZD0uW
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 10, 2024
Just had a conversation with some smart people could not believe this is happening https://t.co/fcu4MZ1l5O
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 15, 2024
“Targeted disabilities are those disabilities that the Federal government, as a matter of policy, has identified for special emphasis in recruitment and hiring,” the FAA’s states on its website, Fox News reported.
“They include hearing, vision, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability and dwarfism.”
The FAA’s DEI plan claims that “diversity is integral to achieving FAA’s mission of ensuring safe and efficient travel across our nation and beyond.”
Updated on March 23, 2022, the FAA’s diversity hiring guidelines reflect a commitment to inclusivity under the oversight of Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s Department of Transportation.
The FAA’s decision comes amidst heightened scrutiny following a recent incident where a door blew out on a Boeing 737 Max 9 during an Alaska Airlines flight, leading to a grounding of all 737 MAX 9 planes and an in-depth inspection by the FAA.
The development has reignited debate on social media and among public figures regarding the impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives on airline safety. Other critics, including Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh, academic James Lindsay, and others have questioned the prioritization of DEI hiring over safety.
.@porterstansb wrote about the crisis of leadership at Boeing over a year ago- and now he sees major risks to airplane safety because of their DEI obsession- that and more on this Buck Brief ⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/EI6XlXRylT
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) January 10, 2024
In contrast, civil rights groups have condemned such views, defending the importance of DEI in the aviation industry.
“Because diversity is so critical, FAA actively supports and engages in a variety of associations, programs, coalitions and initiatives to support and accommodate employees from diverse communities and backgrounds. Our people are our strength, and we take great care in investing in and valuing them as such,” the FAA reads.