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What GAO Found

In brief:

  • Our preliminary analyses indicates that as of February 2013 FAA staffed facilities are generally in fair to good condition based on their Facility Condition Indices (FCI); however, we found that (1) there is not one reliable source with information on the condition of FAA’s entire staffed facility portfolio and (2) the methods to determine facility condition vary so that information about the condition of one type of facility may not be comparable to that of other facility types. In our final report, we intend to discuss in greater depth the variation in methods to determine condition and the extent to which data from the various sources are reliable indicators of facility condition.
  • Our initial analysis of the workers’ compensation claims filed by FAA employees and accepted by Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP) from 2007 to 2012 indicates that the most common types of injuries and illnesses sustained by FAA employees range from mental, emotional, or nervous conditions to joint pain. In addition, we found that the number of injuries and illnesses resulting in workers’ compensation claims filed by FAA employees and accepted by OWCP, from 2007 to 2011, steadily decreased from 1,336 to 907. Our final report will detail the extent to which FAA has complied with established standards for timely processing of workers’ compensation claims.
  • FAA has mechanisms to track its response to safety deficiencies identified through its annual inspections. In our final report, we plan to further discuss our analysis of the number and types of hazards identified by FAA and OSHA safety and health inspections and describe the extent to which FAA mitigated those hazards.
  • In 2012, FAA reorganized its Air Traffic Organization (ATO) to better coordinate facilities management activities to ensure that critical operations facilities—such as terminal facilities—are in good condition. Specifically, ATO uses a project prioritization model with criteria and scoring to evaluate and prioritize maintenance, repair, and restoration projects to ensure that those with the greatest need are addressed first. In our continuing work, we will review and analyze information on ATO’s criteria and processes for determining requirements and implementing maintenance, repair, and restoration projects to sustain its operations facilities.

Why GAO Did This Study

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 mandated that GAO study the condition of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facilities, FAA employee occupational safety and health issues, and the resources allocated to FAA facility maintenance and renovation. The mandate required us to report to Congress and the FAA Administrator on the results of our study not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the act. In accordance with the reporting date of the mandate, we briefed the committee staffs on our preliminary results on February 13 and 14, 2013. This letter summarizes and formally transmits the information that we presented at these briefings. We will complete our full study and issue our report in electronic format later this year.

For more information, contact Gerald Dillingham at (202) 512-2834, or

Full Report