GAO: FAA Should Identify Long Term R&D Priorities, Address Statutory Reporting Requirements

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The Government Accountability Office has called on the Federal Aviation Administration to implement initiatives to identify FAA’s long term research-and-development priorities and  comply with research-related statutory reporting requirements.

GAO said Monday it found that FAA does not fully meet requirements, guidance and leading practices on the management of the agency’s R&D portfolio.

FAA has yet to address all statutory reporting requirements such as the identification of long term research resources in the National Aviation Research Plan and the creation of the R&D Annual Review, GAO added.

The congressional watchdog noted FAA has begun to explore ways to improve the usefulness and timeliness of its R&D reports but the agency has yet to specify necessary changes.

GAO also found that FAA does not formally study the impact of its R&D activities on the private sector because FAA and the industry have varying research objectives.

Three private companies told GAO there is “little evidence” that FAA’s actions prevent private sector firms from launching their own R&D projects.

GAO recommended that the Transportation Department direct the FAA administrator to outline long term R&D priorities; disclose project selection methods; and validate that FAA’s NARP and R&D Annual Reviews meet statutory requirements for content.

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