Substantial Savings Available To The Military Services Through Increased Recapping of Aircraft Tires

B-146753: Published: Feb 1, 1968. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1968.

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GAO reviewed the aircraft tire recapping practices in the Department of Defense, focusing on the substantial savings that could be realized by the government if tires used on military aircraft are recapped as many times as practicable.

GAO noted that: (1) by recapping aircraft tires as many times as the condition of casings permits, commercial airlines get more recaps per tire than the Air Force and Navy are obtaining; (2) the Air Force and Navy do not recap tires as extensively as the airlines do because of arbitrary restrictions on the number of times a tire can be recapped and, in the case of the Navy, because of ineffective administration of the tire recapping program; (3) the Army has not established a program for recapping aircraft tires; (4) using recapped aircraft tires often saves as much as 50 percent of the cost of new tires and, as shown by the practices of the airlines, is considered consistent with safety requirements; (5) GAO's review of Air Force, Navy, and Army recapping practices indicates that all three services could realize significant savings by recapping aircraft tires more extensively; (6) these savings could be as much as $1.6 million annually for the Air Force and the Navy; (7) if it were found to be practicable to increase the recapping of tires for high-speed and jet aircraft, substantial additional savings could be realized; and (8) GAO could not assess the potential for savings through greater recapping of Army aircraft tires due to a lack of centralized records on the volume of recapping tires by the Army.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should issue policy guidance to the military departments relative to the recapping of aircraft tires. The Department of Defense should periodically review the recapping policies and procedures established by the military departments to ensure that savings through recapping are realized to the maximum extent feasible.

    Agency Affected:


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