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Federal Aviation Administration Information | FAA Facts

Many think that flying is one of the safest ways to travel, but the hard truth is that although large commercial aircraft rarely crash, smaller one- or two-engine aircraft are often involved in plane accidents. Who is in charge of aircraft regulations, and who is responsible for investigating aircraft accidents? The Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA.

The government began regulating air travel in 1926 with the Air Commerce Act, just a few years after the airplane had successfully been developed and before commercial airlines existed. The FAA was not fully developed until many decades later.

Just some of the FAA’s responsibilities include:

  • Encouraging and developing new aviation technology.
  • Exploring aircraft safety risk and investigating plane crashes.
  • Regulating commercial aircraft travel and transportation.
  • Issuing, suspending, or revoking pilot certificates.
  • Developing and improving aircraft control for commercial, private, and military planes.
  • Addressing all concerns and issues related to aircrafts, airplanes and air traffic control.
  • Addressing the environmental aspects of air travel, such as air pollution and noise pollution.

Recently the FAA has been under fire for not appropriately investigating claims made by employee whistleblowers, claims that could have possibly prevented plane accidents and saved lives. At a recent Washington, D.C., summit to investigate these claims, a number of government officials agreed that the FAA needed to make substantial changes within its organization to improve aircraft safety and prevent future aircraft accidents. The FAA has also been under fire for allegedly bending to the wills of airline companies and other aircraft associations that seek more lenient regulations.