Reports surfaced on Friday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “lost track” of nearly 120,000 private airplanes, but a spokesperson with the agency told The Epoch Times that the reports are not entirely factual.
There are more than 357,000 registered aircraft in the FAA’s database and “approximately one third of the … registered aircraft records are inaccurate,” the agency said in a press statement.
The FAA is initiating a new compulsory registration system, similar to the one used to register vehicles, to gain a better grasp of information in its database. Meanwhile, the agency is attempting to update its registry database following “concerns of law enforcement and other government agencies” about information accuracy.
“This data is necessary for important safety reasons, including product recalls, safety directives and locating an overdue flight,” the FAA said in a statement.
Other reports said losing track of private jets could potentially lead to terrorists and drug traffickers taking advantage of the aircraft.
However, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said “these improvements will give us more up-to-date registration data and better information about the state of the aviation industry." There was no mention of potential security breaches.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) stated that the registration problems, including inactive owners and invalid addresses, are “no threat.”
“We can understand how not knowing who owns a given aircraft might concern law enforcement officials, but the registry is not a gaping hole in security,” AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy said in a statement.
The re-registration of the airplanes will be carried out by Dec. 31, 2013.