Audit Reports

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Short- and Long-term Efforts to Mitigate Flight Delays and Congestion

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We issued recommendations to the Department and FAA regarding short and long-term efforts to mitigate flight delays and congestion based on our May 18 testimony before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation. In that testimony, we stated that increasing flight delays are caused, in part by the increased use of regional jets, the expansion of low-cost air carriers and waiting times at airport security lines. We recommended that the Secretary, BTS, and TSA work together to develop and report monthly airport-specific waiting time metrics for both peak and off-peak hours. We also recommended that FAA issue updated capacity benchmarks for major airports as soon as possible. FAA issued benchmarks in 2001 in response to a 2000 OIG recommendation that it measure the maximum traffic an airport can handle under varying weather conditions.