Audit Reports

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FAA and Industry Are Advancing the Airline Safety Act, but Challenges Remain To Achieve Its Full Measure

Requested by the Ranking Members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and its Aviation Subcommittee and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and its Aviation Subcommittee
Project ID: 

On January 31, 2013, we issued a report on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) progress and challenges in implementing the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010.

We found that FAA has made considerable and important progress implementing many elements of the Act, such as advancing voluntary safety programs, improving pilot rest requirements, and establishing better processes for managing safety risks. We also found the Agency has not sufficiently targeted assistance to smaller air carriers who are furthest behind in developing new safety programs. In addition, FAA faces challenges with meeting timelines for key rulemaking efforts and with developing a long-term strategy for transitioning to a new pilot records database, including addressing privacy concerns. We made five recommendations to FAA to improve its efforts in implementing the Act. FAA concurred or partially concurred with all five, but we are requesting that the Agency submit additional information or reconsider its response for three of them.




Closed on 07.28.2015
No. 1 to FAA

Fully implement the Act-required ASAP and FOQA plan that assists smaller carriers in developing these safety programs.

Closed on 07.15.2013
No. 2 to FAA

Determine how many Part 121 pilots currently do not meet the heightened qualification standards required by the Act, and assess the data for the potential impact on FAA and air carrier operations

Closed on 04.01.2014
No. 3 to FAA

Develop and communicate with key stakeholders the status of major milestones, including the proposed rule, to improve timeliness and accountability for implementing the new Pilot Records Database.

Closed on 01.14.2016
No. 4 to FAA

Require inspectors to determine if air carriers have modified policies, in accordance with the Act, to retain pilot records for the new, centralized electronic pilot records database.

Closed on 05.27.2021
No. 5 to FAA

In developing the Pilot Records Database, require training records for all unsatisfactory pilot evaluation events to include written comments from the examiner to aid in identifying specific performance deficiencies.