There are changes ahead for the U.S. aircraft registry due to new provisions in the recently passed FAA reauthorization bill, as well as anticipated recommendations stemming from ongoing investigations by the DOT Inspector General (IG) and Government Accountability Office (GAO), panelists said yesterday at Corporate Jet Investor Miami 2018.
Under the reauthorization bill, the FAA’s Oklahoma City-based aircraft registry is required to become fully digitized within three years, including all non-digital registry information and manual-/paper-based processes, business operations, and functions. The agency must also install systems that allow digital submission of information and conduct any transactions electronically.
Further, the reauthorization bill will allow the FAA to charge a manual surcharge “for certain matters conducted in person” and prevents a government shutdown from affecting the registry. It also directs the FAA to initiate a rulemaking by early February that would extend the duration of general aviation aircraft registrations from three years to seven.
Meanwhile, the DOT IG and GAO audits, spawned by last year’s Boston Globe reports that criticized the registry, will cause even more, yet-to-be-determined changes. A DOT IG audit report on the efficiency of the FAA registry is imminent, while one on security is expected next year. The GAO report is also anticipated to come out next year.