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GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) efforts to ensure the safety of the flying public. GAO noted that: (1) although recent aviation accidents have received much publicity and raised considerable public concern, air travel remains generally safe; (2) FAA is having difficulty keeping pace with advances in aircraft technologies; (3) FAA has taken years to develop a system to target its inspection resources; (4) FAA has strengthened commuter pilot training requirements; (5) FAA is addressing identified concerns about air taxi safety; (6) FAA has taken some actions in response to increased concerns about the safety of foreign air carriers; (7) FAA can better prepare private pilots for flying in mountainous areas; (8) FAA has acted to better ensure that aging aircraft meet requirements; (9) FAA has not implemented improved deicing provisions for commuter airlines; (10) deployment of advanced safety technologies has been delayed; (11) FAA faces challenges to being more proactive in promoting aviation safety; (12) FAA continues to have difficulty in ensuring that its staff are appropriately trained in new technologies; (13) data problems may jeopardize the new FAA inspection targeting system; and (14) FAA needs to improve its aircraft malfunction data.

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