FAA General Statements

General statements are information shared with the public that was not addressed by an official press release.  

All issued press releases are posted separately on our Press Release page.

Statements related to General Aviation incidents may be found on our Accidents and Incidents page.

News media with questions on other topics may contact us at pressoffice@faa.gov.


April 15, 2024

Drone Deliveries
The FAA is committed to safely integrating drones into our National Airspace System and the agency recently authorized several drone operators to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) without the use of visual observers. We are focused on developing standard rules to make BVLOS operations routine, scalable, and economically viable. The agency chartered the Beyond Visual Line of Sight Aviation Rulemaking Committee on June 9, 2021, to provide safety recommendations to the FAA and we are reviewing their final report. 

March 18, 2024 

Airworthiness Directive (AD)
The FAA bases Airworthiness Directive Compliance times on the risk from the issue that’s being addressed; and considers all relevant public comments before issuing a final AD.  The FAA is responsible for the safe and efficient integration of space operations into the U.S. airspace system and that maintaining safety for people in the air and on the land and water during all space launch and reentry operations is paramount. We assess how space operation impacts the airspace and establishes aircraft hazard areas and times when aircraft must not enter. These temporary flight restrictions (TFR) are issued days in advance of the planned space operation. Pilots are responsible for checking for and following any TFRs in their planned flight route. TFR violations may result in delay or cancellation of the space operation and violators are subject to FAA penalties.

March 19, 2024 

Airport Runway Verification (ARV) 
The new Airport Runway Verification (ARV) tool at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport provides controllers with visual and audible alerts if an approaching aircraft is lined up with the wrong runway, a closed runway, a taxiway, or even the wrong airport; each airport environment can be tailored so the alerts trigger based on the distinct surface configuration and airport arrival routes. Austin is the latest airport to receive the tool because traffic has increased since COVID; funding for adapting and deploying ARV is part of the annual Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) /Terminal Automation appropriation in the FAA budget.  

March 15, 2024

LATAM Flight 800
The FAA is convening a Corrective Action Review Board (CARB) to review Boeing's proposed Multi-Operator Message (MOM) in response to the incident on LATAM Flight 800 on March 11th. The process will include reviewing the 2017 service bulletin related to the switches in the pilot seats. The CARB, made up of safety experts, will provide feedback to Boeing prior to issuance. The agency will continue to monitor the situation closely. 

Starship OFT-3 Launch Mishap 
The FAA requires all licensed commercial space transportation operators to have an FAA-approved mishap plan containing processes and procedures for reporting, responding to, and investigating mishaps. Based on the nature and consequences of the mishap, the FAA may elect to conduct an investigation into the event or authorize the operator to perform the investigation in accordance with its FAA-approved mishap plan. The FAA typically directs the operator to lead the mishap investigation to ensure the company implements and complies with its FAA-approved mishap plan and other regulatory requirements. 

Airport Runway Verification (ARV) 
The software tool can be used at all air traffic control facilities with Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS). This includes sites with and without airport surface surveillance systems. It provides wrong-surface alerting that supplements existing airport surface surveillance capabilities.

Airport Runway Verification (ARV) Facilities
The goal is to make ARV available at all facilities with Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS). This encompasses 493 towers and Terminal Radar Approach Controls (TRACONs); there are 13 facilities with ARV, the latest system was installed at the tower at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

March 14, 2024

Debris Risk 
The FAA reviewed SpaceX’s concerns and stands by the report as written. It is critically important to determine the amount of surviving debris from reentering satellites, and the resulting risk to aviation and public safety. While we recognize SpaceX’s efforts to exemplify responsible space behavior, the FAA must continue to evaluate and promote enhancements in public safety. We also provided our response letter to SpaceX.  

SpaceX Starship Mishap OFT-3 
The mishap involved both the Super Heavy booster and the Starship vehicle. No public injuries or public property damage have been reported. The FAA is overseeing the SpaceX-led mishap investigation to ensure the company complies with its FAA-approved mishap investigation plan and other regulatory requirements. 

Solar Eclipse
In advance of a solar eclipse, the FAA asks airlines and pilots flying under air traffic control to plan ahead and file a preferred route. Advanced planning will minimize route changes and help the FAA better manage the flow of traffic in busy airspace, resulting in fewer delays. The FAA also advises pilots that many regular activities such as practice approaches and pilot training operations at airports in the path of the eclipse may be extremely limited and possibly prohibited during the eclipse. Pilots should check NOTAMs and Temporary Flight Restrictions frequently to ensure they have current information.  

March 13, 2024 

Pilot Rest and Duty Regulations 
The FAA has strict duty and rest regulations for pilots and airlines must have fatigue risk management programs. We don’t have a separate database of incidents where pilots fall asleep during flight, but we investigate every incident that is reported. The FAA has multiple voluntary programs that allow airline workers to report incidents and concerns, and we closely monitor them to identify any potential trends. The FAA also requires US airlines to have Safety Management Systems (SMS). An SMS is a set of policies and procedures where companies identify, monitor and address potential operational hazards early on before they become serious problems. 

Commercial Space Launch Site Regulations - SpaceX Starbase  
The Starbase does not require an FAA Launch Site Operator License. SpaceX is required to obtain an FAA Vehicle Operator License to conduct Starship Super Heavy launch operations from there which references certain launch site regulations that are relevant to launch operations from an exclusive-use site. The FAA provides compliance oversight.  

March 12, 2024 

Audit of Boeing’s 737 MAX  
As part of its aggressive oversight of Boeing and its suppliers in the wake of the January 5th plug door incident involving a Boeing 737 MAX 9, the FAA recently concluded an audit of Boeing’s production line that went above and beyond FAA’s standard inspection process. The FAA identified non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control. Our audit is complete, but it is part of an ongoing investigation, and we cannot release further details. As FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker has said: “This won’t be back to business as usual for Boeing. They must commit to real and profound improvements. Making foundational change will require a sustained effort from Boeing’s leadership, and we are going to hold them accountable every step of the way.” The FAA has halted production expansion of the Boeing 737 MAX, is exploring the use of a third party to conduct independent reviews of quality systems. The FAA will continue its increased onsite presence at Boeing’s facility in Renton, Washington, and Spirit AeroSystems’ facility in Wichita, Kansas. FAA has also mandated a comprehensive action plan from Boeing to address its production issues, giving the company 90 days (May 28, 2024) to complete this critical plan. 

March 11, 2024 

Boeing 737-9 MAX 
The FAA approved a thorough inspection and maintenance process that must be performed on each of the grounded 171 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft. Upon successful completion, the aircraft will be eligible to return to service.

March 8, 2024 

Drones 
It’s illegal under federal law to shoot at an aircraft. A private citizen shooting at any aircraft – including unmanned aircraft – poses a significant safety hazard. An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air.  

March 7, 2024 

Electric Air Taxi Flights  
The FAA expects to see more traditional aircraft transitioning to electric, hydrogen and hybrid propulsion and airports should start planning for the increased electrical demands that AAM aircraft and electric aircraft will require.

Ground Handling Regulations  
Airports and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are primarily responsible for airfield worker safety. The FAA requires U.S. airlines to have Safety Management Systems (SMS). An SMS is a set of policies and procedures where companies identify, monitor and address potential operational hazards early on before they become serious problems. Airlines’ Safety Management Systems should identify and address a wide range of potential hazards, including those affecting their airfield workers. When events occur, the FAA works with an airline to ensure its SMS takes into account and mitigates the factors that led to the event we now require large commercial airports to have SMS and the FAA investigates accidents and incidents that occur when aircraft are taxiing to and from their gates. 

March 4, 2024 

Commercial Space Payloads  
The FAA’s role is statutorily limited to considering whether the license applicant or payload owner or operator has obtained all required licenses, authorizations, and permits, and demonstrated the launch or reentry of the payload would not jeopardize public health and safety, the safety of property, U.S. national security or foreign policy interests, or the international obligations of the United States. The FAA evaluates the payload information provided per the regulatory requirements and coordinates an interagency review. With the advice of other federal agencies, the FAA makes a final determination.  

March 1, 2024 

Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVRs) 
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) initiated rulemaking to require newly manufactured aircraft to be equipped with cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) capable of recording for 25 hours. The agency also is launching an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) that will provide recommendations to the FAA about installing existing, new, and upgraded investigative technologies in aircraft. The ARC will consider flight data recorders. 

February 29, 2024

Safety Belts
FAA regulations require passengers to have their seat belts properly secured during taxiing, takeoff and landing. The regulations do not define the term properly secured but require passengers to follow crewmember instructions concerning the use of safety belts. Regulations also require crewmembers to brief passengers on when, where, and under what conditions the safety belt must be fastened about that passenger. So passengers must obey cabin crewmembers’ instructions on how to wear the belts.

February 28, 2024

Boeing Action Plan
"Boeing must commit to real and profound improvements,” Administrator Whitaker said following the meeting with Boeing CEO and President Dave Calhoun and his senior safety team. “Making foundational change will require a sustained effort from Boeing’s leadership, and we are going to hold them accountable every step of the way, with mutually understood milestones and expectations.” Administrator Whitaker also told Boeing that he expects the company to provide the FAA a comprehensive action plan within 90 days that will incorporate the forthcoming results of the FAA production-line audit and the latest findings from the expert review panel report.  

February 27, 2024

Human Spaceflight Regulations
Federal law prohibits the FAA from regulating the safety of commercial crew and spaceflight participants. This legislative moratorium, originally established in 2004 and extended multiple times by Congress, is set to expire on March 8. The FAA established a rulemaking committee to examine the development and cost of future commercial human spaceflight occupant safety regulations, updated its recommended practices, and is working with international organizations to develop voluntary consensus standards. 

Law Enforcement Assistance Program
The FAA’s Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) agents work regularly with federal, state and local law enforcement concerning pilots who may be engaged in illegal activities or using aircraft to engage in them. The FAA also routinely supports law enforcement requests for pilot and aircraft registration information. 

February 26, 2024

Aircraft Certification
The FAA appreciates the hard work and dedication of the expert panel members who completed this extensive review in preparing this report, which meets a requirement of the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act. We will immediately begin a thorough review of the report and determine next steps regarding the recommendations as appropriate. We will continue to hold Boeing to the highest standard of safety and will work to ensure the company comprehensively addresses these recommendations.  

Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL)
The FAA has issued special airworthiness certificates in the experimental category to a number of Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) manufacturers for flight testing but have not yet certified any eVTOLs for commercial use. 
  
Commercial Space Transportation
The FAA is working diligently to attract, hire and retain additional staff for various positions within the Office of Commercial Space Transportation. This effort includes human spaceflight, of which we have filled six of 10 new positions. For all positions we are developing a strategy for future recruitment and retention efforts to obtain quality candidates with the desired skillsets. Areas that we are looking into include signing bonuses, retention packages, expanded outreach efforts, and other hiring incentive programs. 
 
Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee
The FAA is planning future rulemaking to incorporate the Flight Test Harmonization Working Group’s (FTHWG) recommendations into the regulations that cover the manufacturing of these aircraft. The FAA is also considering rulemaking to incorporate an Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee’s recommendations for aircraft envelope protection. 

February 23, 2024

NOTAMs and Temporary Flight Restrictions
The FAA asks airlines and pilots flying under air traffic control to plan ahead and file a preferred route. Advanced planning will minimize route changes and help the FAA better manage the flow of traffic in busy airspace, resulting in fewer delays. The FAA also advises pilots that many regular activities such as practice approaches and pilot training operations at airports in the path of the eclipse may be extremely limited and possibly prohibited during the eclipse. Pilots should check NOTAMs and Temporary Flight Restrictions frequently to ensure they have current information. 

February 22, 2024

National Airspace System
The FAA is committed to safely integrating drones into our National Airspace System. We are focused on developing standard rules to make beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations routine, scalable and economically viable. The agency chartered the Beyond Visual Line of Sight Aviation Rulemaking Committee on June 9, 2021, to provide safety recommendations to the FAA. 

February 20, 2024

National Airspace System Safety Review Team
The FAA’s number one priority is safety and we held a Safety Summit in March 2023 to hear from leaders across the aviation industry. The FAA took immediate action following the Safety Summit and an independent report from the National Airspace System Safety Review Team 

Emergency Medical Kit
FAA regulations require specific medical training for flight attendants; a commercial flight cannot take off without a complete, sealed Emergency Medical Kit; airlines must regularly inspect all equipment, including the emergency medical kit and if the seal of an emergency medical kit is broken, and any item is used, the entire kit must be replaced before the next flight departs; and U.S. air carriers typically carry two emergency medical kits to ensure they have a sealed one for the next flight. The FAA does not keep statistics on in-flight medical emergencies. 

Controller Workforce Plan
Certified Professional Controller salaries at Bradley can range from $67,000 to more $100,000. Under Public Law 92-297, air traffic controllers are usually required to retire at age 56. 

February 16, 2024

Spoofing and Jamming Incidents
The FAA does not track spoofing and jamming incidents for other regions. 

Pilot Certificates
Since 2012, the FAA has increased the number of pilot certificates issued annually across many categories including Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates, which are required to fly for scheduled airlines. The number of ATP certificate holders has increased overall by 12.5 percent since 2012, with a very small decrease from 2020 to 2021. 

February 15, 2024

Boeing Quality Control
Administrator Whitaker received valuable feedback from FAA employees involved in the oversight of Boeing, and met with FAA inspectors on the ground at Boeing who are auditing the company’s manufacturing quality control. Whitaker toured the Boeing 737 production line with Boeing senior leadership to learn more about their production and manufacturing processes. Additionally, he spoke with Boeing engineers and mechanics to better understand the safety culture at the Renton facility. 

Airworthiness Directive
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) mandating inspections that Boeing recommended in December for loose bolts in the rudder control systems on 737 MAX airplanes. All U.S. airlines completed the inspections in early January. The FAA carefully reviewed the inspection results, which found no missing or loose rudder bolts. Boeing recommended the inspections after an international operator discovered a rudder bolt with a missing nut while performing routine maintenance. The company discovered an additional undelivered aircraft with a nut that was not properly tightened.  The FAA alerted foreign aviation regulators about the AD through a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC).

February 13, 2024

Accident and Incident Data System (AIDS)
Not all mechanical issues fall under the definition of accident and/or incident and therefore are not reportable to the AIDS system. Reports are entered into AIDS when the FAA becomes aware of an accident or incident and begins their investigation. The FAA requires airlines to file Service Difficulty Reports when specific events occur that are separate from incidents that may be reported in the AIDS system.   

National Airspace System
Safely integrating drones into the National Airspace System is a key priority for the FAA. Speaking generally and not relation to any specific case, the FAA small drone rule permits operations over people, under certain circumstances, depending on the level of risk that a drone poses to people on the ground. 

February 12, 2024

Airworthiness Directive
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) mandating inspections that Boeing recommended in December for loose bolts in the rudder control systems on 737 MAX airplanes. All U.S. airlines completed the inspections in early January. The FAA carefully reviewed the inspection results, which found no missing or loose rudder bolts. Boeing recommended the inspections after an international operator discovered a rudder bolt with a missing nut while performing routine maintenance. The company discovered an additional undelivered aircraft with a nut that was not properly tightened.  The FAA alerted foreign aviation regulators about the AD through a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC). 

Modernized Tower Simulation System
The new modernized tower simulation system at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport control tower. The new system has enhanced graphics and capabilities that will provide immersive, high-fidelity training for controllers.  

February 9, 2024

Enhanced Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program
The FAA is working to accelerate its training and hiring of air traffic controllers through an Enhanced Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program. The FAA is authorizing institutions in the AT-CTI program to provide the same thorough curriculum offered at the FAA Air Traffic Controller Academy. After graduating from one of the eligible schools, new hires can immediately begin localized training at an air traffic facility. These graduates still must pass the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA) exam and meet medical and security requirements. Major media included:  

February 8, 2024

Transonic Aviation
Transonic had certified unapproved parts provided by a UK-based company called AOG Technics. Transonic’s owner this week sent a letter to customers claiming the FAA forced them to stop operating. 

February 7, 2024

Drones
The FAA is responsible for the safety of our National Airspace System. This includes all airspace from the ground up. While local laws or ordinances may restrict where drones can take off or land, they typically cannot restrict a drone from flying in airspace permitted by the FAA. 

February 6, 2024

JFK Airport Warehouse
The FAA does not operate airports. A municipality or state government may work with an airport to seek permission from the FAA to allow temporary use of airport property for non-aviation purposes. In cases where FAA approval to do this is required, a number of objective factors are considered, including safety and whether the property might be needed for aviation-related purposes. If approved, the requestor is responsible for all costs associated with the operation, including security. 

February 5, 2024

Terminal Doppler Weather Radar
The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) system Sustainment 3 will continue and be maintained until 2030, thus there are no new radar sets. 

February 2, 2024

Emergency Medical Kit
FAA regulations require specific medical training for flight attendants. A commercial flight cannot take off without a complete, sealed Emergency Medical Kit. Airlines must regularly inspect all equipment, including the emergency medical kit. If the seal of an emergency medical kit is broken, and any item is used, the entire kit must be replaced before the next flight departs. U.S. air carriers typically carry two emergency medical kits to ensure they have a sealed one for the next flight. The FAA does not keep statistics on in-flight medical emergencies.

PFAS-Free Firefighting Foams
In May 2023, the FAA published a transition plan for airports to use if they decide to change over to the new foam when it became available. Airports can use both types of foam until they can fully transition to the PFAS-free product. The FAA continues to recommend that they use foam with PFAS only during an actual emergency. We encourage airport operators to follow state and local requirements for containing and cleaning up discharged firefighting foam. 

February 1, 2024

Boeing 737 MAX
The FAA will bolster oversight of Boeing through comprehensive reviews of the production and manufacturing quality system to ensure Boeing is delivering safe and conforming airplanes. These reviews will occur at the Boeing 737 MAX facility in Renton, Washington, and at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas. A dedicated team of approximately two dozen aviation safety inspectors will conduct them. The FAA will use data from the reviews to identify trends and any areas that need increased oversight or additional auditing. During the period of enhanced oversight, the FAA will regularly assess trends, corrective actions and the effects of any changes to the quality system. The duration of the enhanced oversight will depend on results of the review of data and metrics, determination of the root cause of the Jan. 5 door plug incident and implementing appropriate corrective actions and other mitigations. It will continue until the FAA is confident that the quality system is producing safe and conforming airplanes. 

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing agreed with the FAA that their production should not increase. The FAA issues airworthiness certificates for Boeing 737 MAX airplanes and would not issue certificates for any newly produced aircraft that exceed the monthly production rate.

Conformity Inspection Record
A Conformity Inspection Record is a document the FAA prepares for an airplane before the agency issues an airworthiness certificate. The document shows that the airplane conforms with all design standards and FAA regulations. The specific document you’re asking about identifies three items of FAA-discovered non-conformance that Boeing addressed before the FAA issued the airworthiness certificate. It is not uncommon to discover some items of non-conformance during final checks.  

FAA Regional Airports Division
The FAA has strict safety protocols for air shows and does extensive safety planning internally and with air show organizers and participants. The first step in getting an air show approved is applying for, and receiving, a waiver from the FAA. For airports that have airline service, the FAA will not issue a waiver until the FAA Regional Airports Division has reviewed and concurred with the airshow event Ground Operations Plan. Airport operations during airshows depends on various factors, including the size of the airport. Arrangements can be made to accommodate airshow activities while maintaining regular airport operations. 
 

Last updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2024