Transportation safety (1 - 10 of 77 items)
Commercial Space: FAA Should Examine How to Appropriately Regulate Space Support Vehicles
GAO-17-100: Published: Nov 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2016.
Company officials GAO interviewed identified potential uses for “space support vehicles”—which include a variety of aircraft from high-performance jets to balloons and the aircraft portion of a hybrid launch systems (a vehicle that contains elements of both an aircraft and a rocket-powered launch vehicle)—but the size of the market for these uses is unclear. Company officials said they pla...
Hazardous Materials Transportation: Better Guidance and Planning Could Enhance DOT's Explosives Classification Oversight
GAO-16-715: Published: Jul 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2016.
The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) oversight of the labs that issue classification recommendations for new explosives is limited by a lack of guidance, and stakeholders have mixed views on PHMSA's oversight. To receive a classification for a new explosive, manufacturers must have an approved test lab examine the explosive and s...
General Aviation: Observations Related to Liability Insurance Requirements and Coverage for Aircraft Owners
GAO-15-740: Published: Sep 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2015.
Based on GAO's 50-state survey of state aviation officials and analysis of state statutes and regulations identified by such officials, the vast majority of states do not have liability insurance requirements for general aviation (GA) aircraft owners and operators (i.e., pilots). As of April 2015, 11 states have some variation of a liability insurance requirement or aircraft financial-responsibili...
Aviation Safety: Proposals to Enhance Aircraft Tracking and Flight Data Recovery May Aid Accident Investigation, but Challenges Remain
GAO-15-443: Published: Apr 16, 2015. Publicly Released: May 18, 2015.
The crash of Air France Flight 447 (AF447) off the coast of Brazil in June 2009 and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) in the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014 highlight several challenges authorities may face in locating aircraft in distress and recovering flight recorders. First, oceanic surveillance is limited, and an aircraft's position may not be precisely known. For...
Aviation Safety: Additional Oversight Planning by FAA Could Enhance Safety Risk Management
GAO-14-516: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2014.
The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Organization completed Safety Management System (SMS) implementation in 2010, and five other FAA organizations are implementing it now. SMS is an approach to collect and analyze safety data to identify hazards, manage risks, and take corrective action before an accident occurs. FAA's implementation activities include developing internal SMS g...
Aviation Safety: FAA Efforts Have Improved Safety, but Challenges Remain in Key Areas
GAO-13-442T: Published: Apr 16, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2013.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for approving the design and airworthiness of new aircraft and equipment before they are introduced into service. FAA approves changes to aircraft and equipment based on evaluation of industry submissions against standards set forth in federal aviation regulations and related guidance documents. In September 2011, we reported that, overall,...
Department of Transportation: Key Issues and Management Challenges, 2013
GAO-13-402T: Published: Mar 14, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2013.
Leveraging surface transportation investments to further national interests: The Department of Transportation (DOT) faces several challenges leveraging investment in surface transportation networks to meet national goals and priorities. For example, DOT has to transition to a goal-oriented, performance-based approach for highway and transit programs, as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in...
Aviation Safety: Certification and Approval Processes Are Generally Viewed as Working Well, but Better Evaluative Information Needed to Improve Efficiency
GAO-11-14: Published: Oct 7, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2010.
Among its responsibilities for aviation safety, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues thousands of certificates and approvals annually. These certificates and approvals, which FAA bases on its interpretation of federal standards, indicate that such things as new aircraft, the design and production of aircraft parts and equipment, and new air operators are safe for use in the national ai...
Aviation Safety: Icing and Winter Weather-Related Recommendations That NTSB Has Issued Since 1996 (GAO-10-679SP), an E-supplement to (GAO-10-678)
GAO-10-679SP: Published: Jul 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2010.
This document is an E-supplement to GAO-10-678. Ice formation on aircraft can disrupt the smooth flow of air over the wings and prevent the aircraft from taking off or decrease the pilot's ability to maintain control of the aircraft. Taxi and landing operations can also be risky in winter weather. Despite a variety of technologies designed to prevent ice from forming on planes and to remove ice th...
Aviation Safety: Improved Planning Could Help FAA Address Challenges Related to Winter Weather Operations
GAO-10-678: Published: Jul 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2010.
Ice formation on aircraft can disrupt the smooth flow of air over the wings and prevent the aircraft from taking off or decrease the pilot's ability to maintain control of the aircraft. Takeoff and landing operations can also be risky in winter weather. Despite persistent efforts by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and others to mitigate icing risks, icing remains a serious concern. GAO r...