GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) training of its safety-related work forces, focusing on FAA progress in implementing its Flight Plan for Training. GAO noted that: (1) in 1989, 28,000 FAA employees attended training; (2) an increase in staff, the modernization of the air traffic system, and new safety inspection requirements resulted in a greater need for FAA to conduct training and improve its training methods; (3) so far, the FAA Flight Plan for Training, which cost $406 million, has made little progress, primarily due to limited funding and the need for plan revisions; (4) internal appraisals and audits indicated that FAA did not evaluate training contracts promptly, which resulted in inadequate contractor performance and wasted money; and (5) FAA was not fully using its training capability, since it had not established accountability for class attendance.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to develop criteria for determining priorities for its training modernization program, Flight Plan for Training.|
|Department of Transportation||2. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to develop performance standards for controller field training contracts with measurable tasks and milestones, and implement them before expanding contracted instruction.|
|Department of Transportation||3. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to clearly designate management accountability for ensuring the use of training slots.|