May 19, 2006
Small Communities Aviation Delays and Cancellations
Project ID: CR-2006-049
On May 19, we issued our audit report on Small Community Aviation Delays and Cancellations. This audit was requested by the Senate Commerce Aviation Subcommittee. We found that, in our sample of scheduled passenger air service, flights from small communities incurred about the same rate of flight delays as those from large communities, but the delays were longer and small community flights were cancelled at higher rates than flight from larger communities. We also found that when the national aviation system is congested (usually due to weather), the FAA and airlines work together to balance demand with capacity. FAA may implement programs to halt or delay flights in the most severe conditions and the airlines may exercise some flexibility to rearrange delayed flights. Only an airline may cancel a flight.