Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Transportation's (DOT) licensing and the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) implementation of a program which examines foreign civil aviation authorities' compliance with international safety standards, focusing on FAA: (1) assessments of foreign countries' compliance with international standards; (2) oversight of foreign carriers that fail to meet international standards; and (3) actions taken in response to safety concerns with foreign carriers.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to require its field offices to perform comprehensive inspections of foreign air carriers that fly into the United States when FAA: (1) finds that their home governments do not comply with international standards; and/or (2) becomes aware that the carrier has serious safety problems. These inspections should continue until FAA determines that the home government meets international standards and that the carrier is operating safely. FAA should also specify the nature, frequency, and timing of these inspections.|
|Department of Transportation||2. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to give priority to assessing the oversight capabilities of those countries that FAA determines have one or more carriers with serious safety problems and work with the countries to ensure that their oversight capabilities are sound.|
|Department of Transportation||3. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to promptly notify all relevant field offices of serious safety concerns about foreign carriers.|