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Anthony Broderick: In the Thick of Battle

June 18, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ In aviation circles, ``Tony″ means Anthony J. Broderick of the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency’s chief regulator and final arbiter on who gets to fly, he’s been in the thick of every big battle since 1988.

When a crash such as the ValuJet disaster occurs, Broderick is before the public, usually as the FAA’s spokesman on hard-to-understand issues.

But no more. Under pressure from the White House, the FAA shook up its staff and announced new ways of doing business. Broderick, who had been known as ``Mr. Safety,″ was the top casualty, taking early retirement.

His formal title was associate administrator for regulation and certification and his responsibility was enormous: ruling on the airworthiness of planes, certifying pilots and mechanics and others in safety-related positions, certifying maintenance enterprises and overseeing 7,300 U.S. commercial airlines and air operators.

His job entailed virtually every facet of domestic and international civil aviation and was at the heart of the country’s air safety efforts. He had a whopping budget to boot, about $350 million a year, and 4,300 employees in Washington, nine regional offices and in more than 125 field offices.

At 53, Broderick has major government service awards to his credit. In 1979, he was designated one of 10 outstanding young men and women in the Federal Service. He has honored by the president both as the 1982 Meritorious Executive and 1991 Distinguished Executive.

Broderick was a casualty of the May 11 crash of a ValuJet DC9 in the Everglades that killed all 110 people aboard. In announcing Broderick’s retirement, FAA Administrator David Hinson acknowledged that the agency did not accurately judge the line’s airworthiness before the crash.

Hinson said the new regulations are ``an acknowledgement that we need to do it differently and in some cases more efficiently.″

Broderick is a physicist who came to the FAA 20 years ago from private industry as chief of its high altitude pollution program. He is recognized internationally as an expert on ozone reduction in the upper atmosphere.

His talents were recognized early and he quickly rose through FAA ranks, as deputy associate administrator for aviation standards, and associate administrator.

But he also was in the trenches of bureaucratic wars and was criticized for moving too slowly on safety regulation.

Last year a long-simmering fight with Transportation Department Inspector General A. Mary Schiavo became public. At a Senate hearing, she effectively called on the FAA to kick him out.

Broderick is a 1964 graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor of science degree in physics. He and his wife, Sylvia, have two children.

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