DOT IG: FAA Aviation Registry Lacks Accuracy, Completeness

AINalerts » July 11, 2013
July 12, 2013, 2:37 PM

A recently completed audit by the Transportation Department’s inspector general has found that the FAA’s Civil Aviation Registry does not provide all of the information needed for aviation safety and security measures. According to the DOT IG, the FAA lacks the information it needs on the identity of noncitizen aircraft owners and has incomplete information on pilot certifications.

FAA regulations require owners to update or correct the information in their registry records periodically, but the agency does not check these reregistrations against the original records to ensure accuracy and regulatory compliance.

“We found incomplete registrations for about 5,600 aircraft, or 54 percent, owned under trusts for non-U.S. citizens,” the audit report said. “As a result, the FAA has been unable to provide information on these aircraft to foreign authorities upon request when U.S.-registered aircraft are involved in accidents or incidents in foreign lands, as required by the Convention on International Aviation.”

Similarly, the registry lacks complete information on pilot certifications, which makes it difficult for law enforcement officials to use the registry to conduct security screenings required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, or to detect pilots who provide false information.

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on July 12, 2013 - 2:19pm

According to recent rules all aircraft have been reregistered last year and the new registration is valid for 3 years only so it is not possible that there is still incomplete info.

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frank hendricks
on July 12, 2013 - 2:48pm

I contacted the FAA twice online, as per directions in the last couple years, to become current with my AC registration but I never got a response.... Should I Be concerned? When I looked up my reg. on AOPA, it stated "registration info. unknown", and I've had the same N# all along. They don't look any different on the side of my airplane.

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pilot jeff
on July 12, 2013 - 4:57pm

If you don't recall sending the government any money, check the re-registration schedule at You need to see when your N number expires. The last two groups are coming up. It appears that after December 31 2013 all aircraft should of been re-registered.

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Ronald Smith
on July 12, 2013 - 5:04pm

It must be diffcult to house so many meatheads in one Federal Agency

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Michael DeAngelis
on July 12, 2013 - 6:53pm

I have an owner who's aircraft registration expires in November. Her notice says to send it in by July 31 to avoid lapse, so all aircraft are not re-registered yet.

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paul fusillo
on July 13, 2013 - 7:45pm

It is a wonder that any registrations are complete. This department is the worst gov't agency branch I have ever dealt with. They lose things. They mail correspondence to the wrong address, They take months to respond and just about never answer the phone. I dealt with them for 50 years and they are worse now than ever.

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on July 24, 2013 - 1:38pm

frustrated; will be selling my J-3 soon... don't want to deal with it anymore!

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