Aviation rulemaking : further reform is needed to address long-standing problems
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Aviation rulemaking : further reform is needed to address long-standing problems

  • 2001-07-01

Filetype[PDF-4.94 MB]

  • English

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    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Planning and Policy
    • Abstract:
      The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) was requested to conduct a review of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) rulemaking process in order to identify ways to improve its efficiency. GAO established 3 research questions: (1) What are the time frames for FAA's rulemaking, including the time FAA took to initiate the rulemaking process in response to statutory requirements and safety recommendations and, once begun, to develop and publish significant rules? (2) What were the effects of FAA's 1998 reforms on its process and on its time frames for completing rulemaking? (3) How effective were FAA's reform efforts in addressing the factors that affect the pace of the rulemaking process? Briefly, the time frames for key steps in FAA's rulemaking process varied widely for the 76 significant rules GAO reviewed. From fiscal year 1995 to fiscal year 2000, FAA initiated about 60% of rulemaking projects mandated by the Congress and about a third of rulemaking projects recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) within 6 months of the mandate or recommendation. However, 1/4 of the mandates and 1/3 of the recommendations took 5 years to initiate. Once the rule was formally initiated, FAA took a median time of about 21/2 years to proceed from formal initiation of the rulemaking process through publication of the final rule. The productivity of FAA's rulemaking process for significant rules decreased after FAA's 1998 reform. As part of its rulemaking reforms, FAA established its own time frames for the process: 450 days to proceed from initiation of rulemaking through the release of the proposed rule for public comment and 310 days to finalize the rule after the close of the public comment phase. GAO found that FAA met these time frames less often after the reforms then before them. FAA's limited implementation of the reforms did not solve long-standing problems.
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