Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS)
The Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) is FAA’s new approach to air carrier safety oversight. We found that ATOS is conceptually sound because it is data-driven, targets inspector resources to the highest risk areas, and results in comprehensive solutions to safety problems. However, the system is not reaching its full potential, and significant challenges to full implementation still exist. First, FAA needs to finish developing key elements of ATOS—specifically, its processes for analyzing ATOS inspection results and for ensuring corrective actions are implemented for weaknesses found in air carrier maintenance and operations systems. Second, FAA needs to better prepare its inspectors to carry out ATOS by improving inspector training and locating qualified inspectors where they are needed most. Third, FAA needs to establish strong national oversight and accountability to ensure consistent ATOS field implementation. FAA agreed with our recommendations and has indicated that corrective actions are underway.