Federal Aviation Administration

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation with authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S. (National Airworthiness Authority). The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the group under the name "Federal Aviation Agency", and adopted its current name in 1967 when it became a part of the United States Department of Transportation.

The Federal Aviation Administration's major roles include:

  • Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation
  • Regulating air navigation facilities' geometry and Flight inspection standards
  • Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology
  • Issuing, suspending, or revoking pilot certificates
  • Regulating civil aviation to promote safety, especially through local offices called Flight Standards District Offices
  • Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft
  • Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics
  • Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation



In December 2000, an organization within the FAA called the Air Traffic Organization,[3] or ATO, was set up by presidential executive order. This became the Air Navigation Service Provider for the airspace of the United States and for the New York (Atlantic) and Oakland (Pacific) oceanic areas. It is a full member of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization.

The FAA issues a number of awards to holders of its licenses. Among these are demonstrated proficiencies as a mechanic, an instructor, a 50-year aviator, or as a safe pilot. The latter, the FAA "Wings Program", provides a series of ten badges for pilots who have undergone several hours of training since their last award. A higher level can be claimed each year. For more information see "FAA Advisory Circular 61-91H".

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