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Highlights

GAO discussed the status of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) major work forces. GAO noted that: (1) FAA spent much of the 1980s ensuring that it had sufficient air traffic controllers and safety and security inspectors to fulfill its responsibilities; (2) the primary FAA challenge is to redistribute its work force and fulfill prior commitments; (3) FAA is reassessing its controller and security staffing standards and is developing a system to better target inspection resources toward areas that need the most attention; (4) FAA has used contractors and overtime to bridge the gap between its estimated maintenance staffing needs and availability; and (5) FAA training efforts to ensure that new aircraft designs and systems meet safety standards have fallen short.

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