AVIATION SAFETY: AIR TAXIS--THE MOST ACCIDENT-PRONE AIRLINES--NEED BETTER OVERSIGHT

The General Accounting Office conducted a study to (1) determine the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) level of inspection effort for air taxis and (2) provide information on the Office of the Secretary of Transportation's (OST's) economic fitness standards as applied to air taxis. Briefly, GAO found the following: Despite the fact that air taxis have a higher accident rate than other commercial airlines, FAA's information shows that 27% of air taxis did not receive required inspections in fiscal year 1990. In contrast, only 8% of air carriers and commuters did not receive required inspections. Also, FAA's routine inspections generally did not detect the violations that led to emergency orders revoking air taxis' operating certificates. Inspectors told GAO that a heavy work load affected their ability to perform inspections and that even when inspections are done, some violations are difficult to detect. FAA's special inspections are generally more comprehensive than routine inspections and have been more effective in identifying air taxis' safety violations. However, FAA has not performed (1) all required annual routine inspections of air taxis or (2) an industry-wide special inspection of air taxis since 1985. In some cases, air taxi operators' financial distress and poor compliance attitude contributed to safety violations. Air taxis do not have to meet OST economic fitness standards, such as having sufficient financial resources to operate and a satisfactory compliance attitude. OST officials stated that they believe requiring air taxis to meet these standrrds would place an undue burden on the industry.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, Committee on Public Works and Transportation, House of Representatives.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1992-1

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 18 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00620445
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/RCED-92-60
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1992 12:00AM