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As of February 1, 2023, there are 4825 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 464 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 20 of 36 Recommendations, including 0 Priority Recommendations
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Drones: FAA Should Improve Its Approach to Integrating Drones into the National Airspace System

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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of FAA should develop a drone integration strategy that includes all seven elements of a comprehensive strategy. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of FAA should evaluate its current documentation to identify options to more clearly communicate how applicants can satisfy drone operational request requirements, and communicate FAA's internal process for reviewing and approving operational requests. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of FAA should develop and document a formal lessons-learned process for its drone integration activities that includes all six key practices for a lessons-learned process. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of FAA should implement the formal lessonslearned process it develops for its ongoing drone integration activities, including Part 107 waiver reviews and the BEYOND program. (Recommendation 4)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Aviation Safety: FAA Should Strengthen Efforts to Address the Illegal Practice of Intentionally Aiming Lasers at Aircraft [Reissued with revisions on Aug. 26, 2022]

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The FAA Administrator should determine what information from pilots and crewmembers would be most useful for investigating laser incidents, and how best to collect the information and to share it with law enforcement. (Recommendation 1)
Open

The Department of Transportation concurred with the recommendation and said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will review its information collecting process, revise the pilot reporting questionnaire, and develop a procedure to collect and share this information with law enforcement in 2023.

Federal Aviation Administration The FAA Administrator should improve its quarterly reports to Congress on laser incidents by routinely seeking information from other agencies on related federal investigation and enforcement actions and disclosing, in those reports, any limitations with the data. (Recommendation 2)
Open

The Department of Transportation concurred with the recommendation and said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will begin meeting with the Department of Justice, Executive Office of the US Attorneys, to request that Federal information related to laser prosecutions be provided to the FAA on a quarterly basis starting December 2022. FAA plans to include this information in quarterly reports beginning March 2023.

Federal Aviation Administration The FAA Administrator should work with FBI and FDA to explore re-establishing an interagency working group on outreach to educate the public on the hazards of lasers and the illegality of aiming lasers at aircraft. (Recommendation 3)
Open

The Department of Transportation concurred with the recommendation and said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will meet with Federal Bureau of Investigation and Food and Drug Administration officials by March 31, 2023 to explore re-establishing and determining the benefits of an interagency working group.

Federal Personal Property: Better Internal Guidance and More Action from GSA Are Needed to Help Agencies Maximize Use of Excess

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration should ensure that internal guidance on considering excess personal property incorporates, at a minimum, relevant roles and responsibilities, when it is practicable to check for and obtain excess property, and how to evaluate the suitability of excess property for meeting agency needs. (Recommendation 3)
Open

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. In November 2022, FAA said it would update its internal Personal Property Process and Procedure Guide to incorporate relevant roles and responsibilities, when it is practicable for those involved with new acquisitions to check for and obtain excess property for reuse, and criteria for evaluating the suitability of the excess property for meeting the agency's needs. FAA said it plans to finalize its update by January 31, 2023. We will continue to monitor FAA's efforts to

Aircraft Noise: FAA Could Improve Outreach Through Enhanced Noise Metrics, Communication, and Support to Communities

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration should identify appropriate supplemental noise metrics, such as the "number above" metric, and circumstances for their use to aid in FAA's internal assessments of noise impacts related to proposed PBN flight path changes. (Recommendation 1)
Open

As of January 2022, the FAA has said it is conducting a noise policy review and plans to consider whether and under what circumstances supplemental, companion, or alternative noise metrics are appropriate to inform research and policy considerations. FAA plans to complete this review by the end of 2022.

Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration should update guidance to incorporate additional communication tools that more clearly convey expected impacts, such as other noise metrics and visualization tools related to proposed PBN implementation. (Recommendation 2)
Open

As of January 2022, the FAA plans to update guidance on community outreach by the end of 2022.

Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration should, related to post-implementation outreach, provide clearer information to airports and communities on what communities can expect from FAA, including the technical assistance FAA can provide. (Recommendation 3)
Open

As of January 2022, the FAA plans to develop an appropriate process and post-implementation outreach tools by the end of 2022.

Freedom of Information Act: Actions Needed to Improve Agency Compliance with Proactive Disclosure Requirements

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The FAA Administrator should track the number of proactive disclosures for all required categories and report this information in DOT's Annual FOIA Report. (Recommendation 4)
Open

The Department of Transportation concurred with the recommendation. As of August 2022, FAA stated it is developing a plan to track and report proactive disclosures. We will continue to monitor FAA's progress and follow-up with them as necessary

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: FAA Could Strengthen Its Implementation of a Drone Traffic Management System by Improving Communication and Measuring Performance

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration should provide stakeholders with additional information on the timing and substance of future UTM testing and implementation efforts, using FAA's UTM website or other appropriate means. (Recommendation 1)
Open

FAA said it would publish a final report for the UTM Pilot Program, update the UTM Concept of Operations, and publish the UTM Implementation Plan, to provide stakeholders with additional information on the timing and substance of future UTM testing and implementation efforts. FAA published the final report for the UTM Pilot Program in August 2021. FAA said it planned to update the Concept of Operations by the end of 2022 and publish the UTM Implementation Plan by Spring 2023. GAO will continue to monitor FAA's efforts to implement this recommendation.

Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration should develop performance goals and measures for its UTM implementation plan. (Recommendation 2)
Open

FAA said it plans to incorporate the performance goals and metrics for UTM implementation into a planned UAS implementation document that will be published after publication of the UAS Integration Strategy. The plan is targeted for completion in Spring 2023. GAO will continue to monitor FAA's efforts to implement this recommendation.

Aircraft Noise: Better Information Sharing Could Improve Responses to Washington, D.C. Area Helicopter Noise Concerns

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The Administrator of the FAA should direct the Office of Environment and Energy to develop a mechanism to exchange helicopter noise information with operators in the D.C. area. (Recommendation 1)
Open

In April 2022, FAA officials met with local helicopter operators to examine trends in helicopter complaint data and discuss helicopter noise mitigation efforts. FAA officials also stated that they have initiated a dialogue with local helicopter operators and plan to share summary-level FAA noise complaint data with them. FAA officials stated that the noise complaint data shared with helicopter operators will exclude personally identifiable information. We will continue to monitor the implementation of this recommendation.

Aviation Certification: FAA Needs to Strengthen Its Design Review Process for Small Airplanes

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5 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Federal Aviation Administration The Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service should assess the resources needed to efficiently implement Amendment 64. (Recommendation 1)
Open

DOT agreed with this recommendation. In June 2022, DOT noted that FAA's Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) has appointed an executive with direct accountability for consensus standards-related activities and created a new Consensus Standards Management Branch to support these efforts and ensure that FAA support requirements and activities are properly coordinated and aligned to agency priorities. DOT also noted that AIR has also been tracking measures of effectiveness for its Amendment 64 implementation, including: participation in standards development relative to FAA priority; number of

Federal Aviation Administration The Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service should develop procedures for staff's review of applicants' proposed means of compliance under Amendment 64, including how the means of compliance should be documented, what level of detail is needed, and who should be responsible for approving the proposed means of compliance in various scenarios. (Recommendation 3)
Open

DOT agreed with this recommendation. DOT noted that FAA's Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) established the Policy Implementation Section on December 6, 2020, to improve FAA's ability to anticipate and address policy and procedural issues and questions between aircraft certification offices (ACO) and the policy organization. DOT stated that each ACO will have a dedicated resource within AIR to raise and resolve issues and questions associated with policy and proposed means of compliance. DOT also stated that AIR will develop revisions to the current policy and procedures to provide

Federal Aviation Administration The Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service should provide information to staff to address their uncertainty regarding (1) the circumstances in which an issue paper is required, and (2) how to ensure staff's concerns are documented and resolved in situations in which staff are not to use an issue paper. (Recommendation 4)
Open

DOT agreed with this recommendation. DOT noted that FAA is working to improve the issue paper process by providing improved guidance on when using an issue paper is appropriate, and developing an issue resolution process to address staff concerns raised during the review process. FAA anticipates this guidance will published by September 30, 2023. We will continue to monitor FAA's progress in implementing this recommendation.

Federal Aviation Administration The Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service should implement a strategy to regularly collect, address, and share information and guidance resulting from employees' feedback regarding implementation of Amendment 64. (Recommendation 5)
Open

DOT agreed with this recommendation. In May 2021, DOT noted that FAA made organizational changes to directly address this recommendation. DOT stated that the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) created the Strategic Policy, Small Airplanes Section, in December 2020 to focus on strategic policy specific to small airplanes. DOT stated that this Strategic Policy, Small Airplanes Section provides a direct channel for aircraft certification offices and industry to present feedback on Amendment 64 certification policy, and for AIR to identify and implement appropriate adjustments. DOT noted that

Federal Aviation Administration The Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service should implement a method to track Amendment 64 projects by certification basis. (Recommendation 6)
Open

DOT agreed with this recommendation. In July 2022, FAA officials stated that they can pull information from a system to identify new type certificates that use Amendment 64 as the certification basis. FAA officials noted that while the system cannot identify amended and supplemental type certificates that use Amendment 64 as the certification basis, each certification office keeps a list of projects for which Amendment 64 is applicable. We will continue to monitor the FAA's progress in implementing this recommendation.

Note: the list of open recommendations for the last report may continue on the next page.

Have a Question about a Recommendation?

For questions about a specific recommendation, contact the person or office listed with the recommendation. For general information about recommendations, contact GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office at (202) 512-6100 or apqa@gao.gov.