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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) management of special-use airspace set aside for military training, focusing on its: (1) approval process for special-use proposals; and (2) monitoring of existing special-use airspace.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to require standardized user reporting of actual usage data for restricted areas and expand the reporting requirement to other areas, such as military operations areas.
Closed - Implemented

Recommendation status is Closed - Implemented.

FAA has developed a reporting system for obtaining actual utilization data for restricted areas and military operations areas. Changes to FAA regulations and manuals have been made.
Department of Transportation The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to review periodically the usage reports and ensure that the airspace is being used for the designated purpose.
Closed - Implemented

Recommendation status is Closed - Implemented.

FAA issued Action Notice A7450.1, which directed regional air traffic divisions to conduct detailed reviews of restricted area and military operations area utilization reports to determine if the area's utilization is consistent with the airspace designation. FAA Order 7400.2C requires regional air traffic divisions to review annually the utilization of special-use airspace.
Department of Transportation The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to establish standards for measuring the effectiveness of special-use airspace utilization to develop a starting point for all regional discussion of modification or disestablishment of special-use airspace.
Closed - Implemented

Recommendation status is Closed - Implemented.

Guidance and review procedures have been refined on the basis of information obtained during fiscal year 1992 in Special Use Airspace Program Reviews of FAA regional offices. Publication of change 5 to FAA Order 7400.2C has been delayed to complete an update of the entire order. Separate instructions will be sent to all FAA regional offices to implement the new standards. The agency expects to complete this action by January 1995.

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