Aviation Safety: FAA’s Efforts to Implement Recommendations to Improve Certification and Regulatory Consistency Face Some Challenges

Among its responsibilities for aviation safety, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues certificates for new aircraft and parts, and grants approvals for changes to air operations and aircraft, based on federal aviation regulations. Various studies, the Government Accountability Office's prior work, and industry stakeholders have raised questions about the efficiency of FAA’s certification and approval processes, as well as the consistency of its staff in interpreting aviation regulations. Over time, FAA has implemented efforts to address these issues, but they persist as FAA faces greater industry demand and its overall workload has increased. The 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act required FAA to work with industry to resolve these issues. In response, FAA chartered two committees—one to address certification and approval processes and another to address regulatory consistency—which recommended improvements in 2012. In 2013, FAA published an implementation plan for addressing the certification and approval process recommendations and promised to publish an implementation plan for addressing the regulatory consistency recommendations at a later date. This testimony provides information on FAA’s progress in implementing the (1) certification and approval process recommendations and (2) regulatory consistency recommendations. It also discusses future challenges industry stakeholders believe FAA will face in implementing these recommendations. This testimony is based on GAO products issued from 2010 to 2014, updated in July 2014 through reviews of recent FAA and industry documents and interviews of FAA officials and industry representatives.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 28p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01531888
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-14-728T
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 23 2014 4:18PM