Monday, July 01, 2013

United States Aircraft Registry Contains Errors Hindering Terror Checks

U.S. registries of pilots and aircraft contain incomplete information that may interfere with screening for terrorists and investigations of aviation accidents, according to a government report.

The Transportation Department’s inspector general found about half of foreign-owned aircraft registered with the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t list required information such as the owners, a report out today found.

Pilot registrations often contain incomplete addresses, making it difficult for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to locate people for required security screening, the report found.

“These data weaknesses largely stem from FAA’s lack of formal quality control procedures to regularly reassess the integrity of the registry’s data and information systems,” Louis King, assistant inspector general for financial and information technology audits, said in the report.

Auditors found 130 cases in which planes were registered multiple times to different entities, making it difficult to identify the owner. The U.S. registry contains 350,000 planes and helicopters.

“While this is a small number of discrepancies, the impact is potentially significant if a serious incident occurs and FAA is unable to identify the aircraft’s owner in a timely manner,” King said in the report.

The FAA, which is in the process of re-registering all aircraft, said it agreed with five of the inspector general’s eight recommendations.


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