June 26, 2017
Requested by Senator Dianne Feinstein
FAA Has Taken Steps To Identify Flight Deck Vulnerabilities but Needs To Enhance Its Mitigation Efforts
Recent incidents have drawn renewed worldwide attention to flight deck safety and security, including securing cockpit doors. On March 24, 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the Alps, killing all 150 people onboard. The crash was determined to have been caused by the deliberate and planned action of the co-pilot. After the Germanwings crash, Senator Dianne Feinstein requested that we evaluate the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) oversight of commercial airline flight deck safety. Our audit objectives were to assess the effectiveness of FAA’s actions to (1) identify vulnerabilities to flight deck security, and (2) mitigate identified flight deck vulnerabilities.
We made six recommendations to FAA to improve cockpit safety and security; FAA concurred with three recommendations, partially concurred with one recommendation, and non-concurred with two recommendations. We are requesting that FAA reconsider its response for two recommendations.
THE DEPARTMENT HAS DETERMINED THAT THIS REPORT CONTAINS SENSITIVE SECURITY INFORMATION (SSI) that is controlled under 49 CFR parts 15 and 1520 to protect Sensitive Security Information exempt from public disclosure. For U.S. Government agencies, public disclosure is governed by 5 U.S.C. 552 and 49 CFR parts 15 and 1520. SSI has been redacted from the report version posted here.