Inspector general: FAA has yet to create federally mandated pilot database

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet created a database of pilot records, as required by law, for use by air carriers, the U.S. Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General said in a recent audit.

The 2010 Airline Safety and Extension Act required the FAA to develop a pilot-records database (PRD), in which pilots' records would be kept for the duration of the pilot’s life. Air carriers then can use this information when hiring pilots.

The FAA said giving air carriers information about the training and performance of pilots is an important safety measure, but the organization’s efforts and progress in creating and developing the database have been slow, and the end result remains uncertain.

The FAA does not estimate that it will have a PRD up and running before the year 2017. It also estimates that the database will not be fully operational until at least 10 years after the act became law in 2010.

In addition, the organization must choose how to best include historical records, as well as how air carriers will make the transition to using the database. The FAA must also determine how air carriers will access the new database.

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