GAO's Review of the Federal Aviation Airport Grant-in-Aid Program

Published: Jan 24, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1978.

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An ongoing review has been conducted of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) airport grant-in aid program which provides funds for the planning and development of airports. Under this program public airports are eligible for matching Federal grants for a wide variety of projects to improve their safety and capacity. Part of the review has included preliminary results of a questionnaire sent to airport operators. Congressional hearings have been held to determine whether FAA is using the trust fund to meet airport safety needs. On the topic of aviation safety, of the 400 airports responding to the questionnaire, 63% indicated that they were satisfied with what had been accomplished at their airports, 15% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and about 15% were dissatisfied. Of the respondents, 345, or 86%, had applied for a grant since 1970. Of 336 respondents, 43, or 11%, had experienced lengthy delays. Thirty-four percent of the respondents indicated that no one associated with their airport knew what development projects FAA recommended for their airport. Sixty-two percent of the respondents indicated that they had important needs at their airports which were not eligible for grants. Fifty-six percent of respondents believed that instructions for applying for airport development grants were very clear and understandable while 13% disagreed. (SW)