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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed whether: (1) airlines increased scheduled flight time to keep reported delays at a minimum in response to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) on-time performance reporting requirement; and (2) DOT verifies that flights omitted from reported data because of mechanical problems had in fact experienced mechanical problems.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation 1. The Secretary of Transportation, as part of the effort to increase the usefulness of the on-time data, should assess the feasibility of requiring airlines to report the reasons for non-mechanical cancellations. Airlines currently report flights cancelled for non-mechanical reasons, but would need to include the reasons for such cancellations in their monthly on-time data so that DOT could assess the type and frequency of each reason.
Closed - Implemented
DOT assessed feasibility and does not believe that the suggested new reporting requirement is justified.

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