US watchdog will review FAA safety oversight of airlines

The Transportation Department is reviewing federal oversight of maintenance at Allegiant Air and American Airlines.

The department's inspector general is narrowing a 2017 review of Federal Aviation Administration oversight of all airlines to focus on just two. The agency says it's responding to FAA's shift from enforcement to working with airlines to fix possible violations of safety rules.

Several members of Congress asked for a review of Allegiant, which has been the subject of critical press coverage since 2016. Allegiant says it obeys all FAA rules and welcomes the review.

A spokesman said Thursday that American was shocked to be a focus of the review and stands by its safety record.

FAA says its approach is to look for safety risks before they become serious, then make sure they're corrected.