FAA Lost Track of Majority of General Aviation Aircraft


In November, BW reported how there were little to no security restrictions for some 200,000 general aviation aircraft in the United States and how the Transportation Safety Administration asked operators to "police themselves" (BW,News, "High Anxiety," Nov. 17, 2010).

Friday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration reported that it was missing key information on who owns 119,000 GA aircraft, a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers.

"Anybody with a roll of duct tape can put any number they want on an airplane," GA operator Steven Lathrop of Ellensburg, Wash., told the Associated Press.

AP reports that to update the FAA registry, the agency announced it would cancel all aircraft registrations over the next three years. Owners will have three months to re-register. Those who fail to re-register will lose their certificates, and their planes must be grounded.