Commercial aviation (31 - 40 of 308 items)
Aviation Safety: Status of FAA's Actions to Oversee the Safety of Composite Airplanes
GAO-11-849: Published: Sep 21, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2011.
Composite materials, made by combining materials such as carbon fibers with epoxy, have been used in airplane components for decades. Although composites are lighter and stronger than most metals, their increasing use in commercial airplane structures such as the fuselage and wings has raised safety concerns. Boeing's 787 is the first mostly composite large commercial transport airplane to undergo...
Aviation Safety: Enhanced Oversight and Improved Availability of Risk- Based Data Could Further Improve Safety
GAO-12-24: Published: Oct 5, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 13, 2011.
Takeoffs, landings, and movement around the surface areas of airports (the terminal area) are critical to the safe and efficient movement of air traffic. The nation's aviation system is arguably the safest in the world, but close calls involving aircraft or other vehicles at or near airports are common, occurring almost daily. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides oversight of the ter...
Airline Passenger Protections: More Data and Analysis Needed to Understand Effects of Flight Delays
GAO-11-733: Published: Sep 7, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2011.
Flight delays and cancellations are disruptive and costly for passengers, airlines, and the economy. Long tarmac delays have created hardships for some passengers. To enhance passenger protections in the event of flight disruptions, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently introduced passenger protection regulations, including a rule that took effect in April 2010 designed to prevent t...
General Aviation: Security Assessments at Selected Airports
GAO-11-298: Published: May 20, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2011.
General aviation accounts for three-quarters of U.S. air traffic, from small propeller planes to large jets, operating among nearly 19,000 airports. While most security operations are left to private airport operators, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), provides guidance on threats and vulnerabilities. In 2004, TSA issued suggested...
Airport and Airway Trust Fund: Declining Balance Raises Concerns over Ability to Meet Future Demands
GAO-11-358T: Published: Feb 3, 2011. Publicly Released: Feb 3, 2011.
This testimony discusses the status of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (Trust Fund). Established in 1970, the Trust Fund helps finance the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) investments in the airport and airway system, such as construction and safety improvements at airports and technological upgrades to the air traffic control system, as well as FAA operations, such as providing air traff...
Integration of Current Implementation Efforts with Long-term Planning for the Next Generation Air Transportation System
GAO-11-132R: Published: Nov 22, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 2010.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead implementer and planner for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)--an ambitious, multiyear, multibillion-dollar overhaul of systems, procedures, aircraft performance capabilities, and supporting infrastructure that will create an air transportation system that uses satellite-based surveillance and navigation and network-centri...
Aviation Safety: Certification and Approval Processes Are Generally Viewed as Working Well, but Better Evaluative Information Needed to Improve Efficiency
GAO-11-14: Published: Oct 7, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2010.
Among its responsibilities for aviation safety, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues thousands of certificates and approvals annually. These certificates and approvals, which FAA bases on its interpretation of federal standards, indicate that such things as new aircraft, the design and production of aircraft parts and equipment, and new air operators are safe for use in the national ai...
Aviation Weather: Agencies Need to Improve Performance Measurement and Fully Address Key Challenges
GAO-10-843: Published: Sep 9, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2010.
The National Weather Service's (NWS) weather products are a vital component of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) air traffic control system. In addition to providing aviation weather products developed at its own facilities, NWS also provides on-site staff at each of FAA's en route centers--the facilities that control high-altitude flight outside the airport tower and terminal areas. NWS...
Aviation and the Environment: Systematically Addressing Environmental Impacts and Community Concerns Can Help Airports Reduce Project Delays
GAO-10-50: Published: Sep 13, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2010.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that the number of flights in the United States will increase 20 percent by 2024. It also has identified numerous airports that will need to expand to handle more flights. However, increasing airport capacity and operations poses potentially significant impacts on the environment and quality of life for surrounding communities. This report addres...
Aviation Safety: Icing and Winter Weather-Related Recommendations That NTSB Has Issued Since 1996 (GAO-10-679SP), an E-supplement to (GAO-10-678)
GAO-10-679SP: Published: Jul 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2010.
This document is an E-supplement to GAO-10-678. Ice formation on aircraft can disrupt the smooth flow of air over the wings and prevent the aircraft from taking off or decrease the pilot's ability to maintain control of the aircraft. Taxi and landing operations can also be risky in winter weather. Despite a variety of technologies designed to prevent ice from forming on planes and to remove ice th...