A DOT Office of Inspector General audit found that while the FAA is investing billions of dollars in new technology, it hasn’t kept up with facilities needed for ATC activities. According to the audit, “The FAA is encountering maintenance problems at several facilities due to its previous, decentralized approach to facility maintenance and its lack of a structured process for funding recurring maintenance.”
Following a congressionally ordered probe of outsourced aircraft maintenance by the DOT Inspector General, the FAA and air carriers were put on notice to improve their oversight of the 4,159 domestic and 709 foreign repair stations certified by the FAA to perform maintenance on U.S. aircraft.
Last Wednesday’s congressional hearing on FAA certification and “alleged regulatory lapses in the certification and manufacture of the Eclipse EA-500” is just the beginning of the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector general’s
The DOT’s office of inspector general (IG) last month opened a cost-oriented audit of the FAA’s airspace redesign program. In 1997 the FAA launched a multi-year program to modernize the ATC system and now expects to spend $250 million on more than 30 separate airspace projects.
The Air Transport Association (ATA) contends that the recently issued DOT Inspector General report on National Airspace System usage proves the airline trade group’s assertion that business jets aren’t paying their “fair share.” ATA said the report’s findings “confirm what airlines have long been saying: that business jets are being subsidized by airlines and their customers.
The FAA will be able to cope with the loss of almost half of its air traffic controller workforce over the next nine years if it can keep better track of attrition by locale and assess a new controller’s potential to certify at a certain ATC facility level, according to the Transportation Department’s office of inspector general (OIG).
Concerned with the FAA’s recent history of cost and schedule overruns in acquiring equipment to update ATC, as well as shortfalls in that equipment’s performance, DOT’s inspector general (IG) is auditing the agency. The objective of the IG’s investigation is to ensure that Congress and the agency are able to meet the growing demand for air traffic services and get the most bang for the taxpayers’ buck.
In a report released in late May, the Transportation Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said the FAA has made “significant progress” in reducing runway incursions compared to five years ago. But it cautioned that the serious risks associated with runway incursions underscore the need for maintaining vigilant oversight and a proactive approach to preventing severe accidents.
Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead, a tireless ally of disgruntled airline passengers and often a thorn in the side of the nation’s airlines, resigned last month after nearly nine years to join a Washington law firm. The DOT has not yet named his successor.
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