In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) requirements for participation in its Airport Certification Program, particularly: (1) its requirements for commuter airlines with 30 or fewer passenger seats; (2) the program's safety benefits and cost-effectiveness; and (3) alternative requirements and their impact on commuter airports.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to change the participation requirements for the Airport Certification Program to require certification for all airports that receive regularly scheduled service. If the Secretary deems it necessary to resolve uncertainty over his authority to certify commuter airports, he should seek specific authority from Congress.|
|Department of Transportation||2. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to develop a new category of certification for low-activity airports that would require full implementation of the risk-reduction features of the airport certification program and allow the use of alternatives for crash, fire, and rescue equipment.|