Using Aviation Resources in the United States More Efficiently

LCD-76-445: Published: Mar 31, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1977.

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There are 12,000 airfields in the United States, of which more than 4,000 serve the general public and the military community. To promote safety, manage airspace and resources, and provide the required logistics for these functions, the Federal Government has invested more than $1.6 billion to support aviation.

The Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Transportation provide overlapping services, including weather information dissemination and airspace management, much of which could be more efficiently managed and coordinated. The military services and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unnecessarily operate radar approach control facilities independently in adjoining airspace sectors. All three departments operate duplicating weather facilities in some areas, which leads to excessive personnel requirements. FAA and the military developed navigational aids independently, and the military departments are maintaining rarely used navigational equipment. In addition, some military airfields operate when air traffic is virtually nonexistent. Legislation delegated the principal responsibility for aviation functions and air safety to Transportation and Commerce, and permitted the necessary latitude for the Defense Department to fulfill its national defense responsibilities. Lack of coordination among the three departments has resulted in inefficient use of facilities and personnel.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The departments involved should support a high level effort to develop ways in which aviation requirements can be planned and coordinated to assure economy and efficiency. Collectively, civilian and military aviation support functions should be reviewed; services that can be consolidated, eliminated, or curtailed should be identified; and similar services within the agencies and departments should be taken advantage of.

    Agency Affected:


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