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GSA Advisory Board Releases Report onAircraft Management in the Federal Government

GSA #9496

June 24, 1998
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced the release of a report by its Aircraft Management Policy Advisory Board. The report is the most recent in a series of initiatives that have focused attention on the need to improve the safety, efficiency and management of aircraft owned, operated or leased by the federal government. Federal aircraft are used for many jobs, including fighting wildfires, managing wildlife, transporting prisoners, search and rescue, counter-narcotics activities, aeronautical research, and border patrol. The Board's report does not address Department of Defense aircraft.

Chairman of the Advisory Board, Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn, said "The Board was pleased to have the opportunity to look into this important segment of federal government service." He also said that aviation is important to the business of many individual agencies and it is the obligation of federal aviation to set the standard for all others.

Although GSA has no aircraft of its own, the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 gives GSA management policy responsibility for all federal property, including aircraft, and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-126, specifically requires GSA to chair the Interagency Committee on Aviation Policy and to set aircraft management policy for all federal agencies except the Department of Defense.

The report states that public aircraft should set the Nation's standard for safe and efficient operations. The Board made nine recommendations that focused on safety and indicated a need for the fundamental restructuring of the standards that govern the operation of Federal aircraft. Recommendations included:

� Reorganizing federal aircraft responsibility so that GSA has clear responsibility for aircraft management policy.
� Assigning responsibility for oversight and regulation of federal aircraft to the Federal Aviation Administration
� Establishing a single safety standard for all federal aircraft.
� Requesting a follow-up study of non-Federal aircraft management by State and local governments.

Marty Wagner, Associate Administrator for GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy said that GSA established the Advisory Board in 1997 to examine all aspects of management, operations and safety of the approximately 1,600 aircraft owned, operated or leased by the federal government.

The Board was chaired by Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn. Dunn, selected the following individuals as Board members: Frank L. Jensen, Jr., President Emeritus, Helicopter Association International; John W. Olcott, President, National Business Aviation Association; Beverly J. Sharkey, Esquire, Aviation Safety Inspector, Federal Aviation Administration; Vice Admiral Robert H. Shumaker, U.S. Navy (Retired); and Dr. John G. Stewart, Management Consultant and National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.

The Report of the Aircraft Management Policy Advisory Board is on the Internet at http://policyworks.gov/org/main/mt/amrtoc.htm. For more information, contact Henry Maury at (202) 208-7928.