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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.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
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.
Closed - Not Implemented
In fall 1989, the Secretary of Transportation sought legislative authority. However, Congress did not introduce legislation in this regard. Accordingly, GAO is closing this recommendation.
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.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Department of Transportation (DOT) agreed with this recommendation, but needs changes in legislation, which it pursued to give it statutory authority. Congress did not introduce such legislation. Accordingly, GAO is closing this recommendation.

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