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Airport Funding: FAA's and Industry's Cost Estimates for Airport Development
GAO-17-504T: Published: Mar 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2017.
The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) estimate of the costs for planned capital development at airports over the next five years is about $32.5 billion, compared to the Airports Council International-North America's (ACI-NA) estimate of almost $100 billion, both for the period 2017-2021. The difference between these two estimates can be attributed to a number of factors, but most significant...
Aviation Certification: FAA Has Made Continued Progress in Improving Its Processes for U.S. Aviation Products
GAO-17-508T: Published: Mar 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2017.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made progress in addressing two rulemaking committees' recommendations regarding its certification process and the consistency of its regulatory interpretations.FAA has completed 13 of 14 initiatives for addressing the 6 certification process recommendations. For example, 5 of the 13 completed initiatives involved improving and expanding its program...
Commercial Space Launch Insurance: Weakness in FAA's Insurance Calculation May Expose the Federal Government to Excess Risk
GAO-17-366: Published: Mar 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2017.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revised its method for calculating insurance requirements to address some known weaknesses. FAA is the part of the Department of Transportation that determines the amount of insurance that commercial space launch companies must purchase to cover damages from accidents that harm third parties—that is, the uninvolved public—or federal property and pe...
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: Improved Planning of Future Rehabilitation Projects Could Prevent Limitations Identified with SafeTrack
GAO-17-348: Published: Mar 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2017.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) planning of SafeTrack did not fully align with leading project management practices. While WMATA generally followed leading practices to coordinate with stakeholders, it did not comprehensively collect and use data on the condition of its assets, analyze project alternatives, and develop a project management plan before starting work. WM...
Radioactive Sources: Opportunities Exist for Federal Agencies to Strengthen Transportation Security
GAO-17-58: Published: Feb 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 2017.
Since September 11, 2001, the three federal agencies responsible for securing risk-significant radioactive sources (those considered most dangerous) during ground transport have taken steps to strengthen the security of these sources. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires source licensees to ensure that motor carriers transporting these sources have security measures, such as 24-hour mo...
Maritime Administration: Proceeds from the Sale of Obsolete Vessels Were Accounted for, Allocated, and Disbursed Consistent with Applicable Law
GAO-17-280: Published: Feb 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 2017.
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) accounted for and allocated about $75.9 million in proceeds from the sale of 90 obsolete vessels from the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) in fiscal years 2005 through 2015 in the Vessel Operations Revolving Fund (VORF) consistent with applicable law.Required Allocation of Proceeds from the Sale of Obsolete Vessels Maintained in the Vessel Operations Revolv...
DOT Discretionary Grants: Problems with Hurricane Sandy Transit Grant Selection Process Highlight the Need for Additional Accountability
GAO-17-20: Published: Dec 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2017.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) evaluated and selected Hurricane Sandy transit resilience projects for award based on a multi-step process, but did not take sufficient steps to ensure the process was consistent or appropriately documented. First, four technical review teams with expertise in infrastructure projects, program management, and hazard mitigation evaluated and rated projects. F...
School Bus Safety: Crash Data Trends and Federal and State Requirements
GAO-17-209: Published: Jan 12, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2017.
Based on GAO's analysis of data for 2000 to 2014, 115 fatal crashes involved a school bus on average each year—which is 0.3 percent of the 34,835 total fatal motor-vehicle crashes on average each year. The school-bus driver and school-bus vehicle (e.g., a defect) were cited as contributing factors in 27 percent and less than 1 percent of fatal school-bus crashes, respectively. Seventy-two percen...
Air Traffic Control: Experts' and Stakeholders' Views on Key Issues to Consider in a Potential Restructuring [Reissued on December 9, 2016]
GAO-17-131: Published: Oct 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 15, 2016.
Experts, aviation stakeholders, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials GAO spoke to said that if Congress decides to remove air traffic control (ATC) from the FAA, many issues should be considered. Key issues identified, consistent with GAO's past work, relate to: (1) organizational management, (2) funding and financing, and (3) transition time and related costs.First, organizational...
Freight Rail Pricing: Contracts Provide Shippers and Railroads Flexibility, but High Rates Concern Some Shippers
GAO-17-166: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
While rail contracts and tariffs are similar, contracts offer the flexibility to customize rates and terms to a specific shipper, according to selected stakeholders GAO interviewed. Both contract and tariff rates are based on market factors, such as competition, according to representatives from the four largest U.S. freight railroads. However, they noted that in developing contract rates, a railr...