Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on: (1) the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) monitoring of general aviation airports' compliance with federal land-use requirements; and (2) FAA's use of enforcement tools to resolve cases of noncompliance.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. To effectively implement the internal controls contained in FAA's compliance policy, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to revise current compliance policy guidance to airports to require regularly scheduled monitoring methods that provide for periodic on-site visits. In conjunction with periodic on-site visits, the monitoring component could include requiring periodic self-certifications of compliance from all airports and formally coordinating with interested parties who may have information about airports' compliance, such as general aviation organization field representatives. In addition, FAA should provide specific criteria for initiating enforcement action and set reasonable timeframes for taking progressively stronger enforcement actions in cases in which efforts to achieve voluntary corrective action are unsuccessful.|
|Department of Transportation||2. In those cases of noncompliance that FAA cannot resolve in a reasonable period of time, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to apply the enforcement tools already provided by Congress by holding field offices accountable for taking enforcement actions, particularly in cases of long-term, repeated, or willful unauthorized land or revenue use.|
|Department of Transportation||3. Until FAA develops and implements a compliance and enforcement program that provides adequate internal control over airports' compliance with federal requirements, the Administrator, FAA, should determine whether the internal control weakness disclosed in this report should be included when providing information to the Secretary for inclusion in the Secretary's annual report to the President and Congress, as required by the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act of 1982.|
|Department of Transportation||4. The Administrator, FAA, should resolve long-standing instances of noncompliance and revenue diversion by taking enforcement action to protect the public investment in aviation at the Queen City Municipal Airport and at Bader Field. FAA should also require that Kansas City obtain a fair market appraisal of the value of airport land and, upon closing Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport, reinvest an amount equal to the appraised value in local area airports to promote aviation, as required by FAA's policy.|