After months of bad 737 MAX revelations, now this.

Southwest Airlines first Boeing 737-800 lands at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Feb. 6, 2019

The U.S. government’s Office of the Special Counsel announced last week they are investigating the Federal Aviation Administration on how it handled the approval process to let Southwest Airlines fly between California and Hawaii, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Special Counsel’s office that found FAA managers lowered the bar for Southwest pilots and other officials.

The Justice Department began investigating after a government whistle-blower complaint, according to the WSJ story. The employee has been granted federal whistle-blower protections.

The report said FAA managers gave Southwest preferential treatment, rushed the approval process for Hawaii flights, and cut corners. The decisions were “based solely on the finances of the airline.”

Despite FlyersRights campaigning against it – Southwest won Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards, or ETOPS, certification from the FAA in February 2019. The approval is necessary for airlines seeking to operate transoceanic flights.

It’s almost like government regulators can’t be trusted to oversee the airlines anymore.

FlyersRights has reported on several other areas where the FAA was lax and incompetent on safety – such as the Boeing 787, 777x and helicopter safety.