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Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591


Deputy AdministratorA. Bradley Mims
Chief of StaffAngela H. Stubblefield


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), formerly the Federal Aviation Agency, was established by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (72 Stat. 731).

The Administration became a component of the Department of Transportation in 1967, pursuant to the Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 106).

The FAA posts an organizational chart on its "Offices" web page in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading.


The FAA regulates civil aviation and U.S. commercial space transportation, maintains and operates air traffic control and navigation systems for civil and military aircraft, and develops and administers programs involving aviation safety and the National Airspace System.

Air Navigation Facilities

The FAA locates and positions, constructs or installs, maintains, operates, and assures the quality of Federal air navigation electronic and visual aids. At flight service stations, airport traffic control towers, and air route traffic control centers, the Administration operates and maintains computer systems, radar facilities, and voice-data communications and visual display equipment.

Airport Programs

The Administration maintains a national plan of airport requirements, administers a grant program for development of public-use airports to assure and improve safety and to meet current and future airport capacity needs, evaluates the environmental effects of airport development, and administers an airport noise compatibility program. It also develops standards for and technical guidance on airport planning, design, operations, and safety and provides grants to assist public agencies in airport system and master planning and airport development and improvement.

Airspace and Air Traffic Management

FAA activities center on the safe and efficient utilization of the navigable airspace. To achieve this goal, the Administration operates a network of airport traffic control towers, air route traffic control centers, and flight service stations. It develops air traffic rules and regulations and allocates airspace use. It also provides air traffic security control that meets national defense requirements.

Civil Aviation Abroad

Under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and the International Aviation Facilities Act (49 U.S.C. app. 1151), the FAA promotes aviation safety and supports civil aviation abroad. FAA experts exchange aeronautical information with foreign counterparts; certify foreign airmen, mechanics, and repair shops; provide technical aid and training; negotiate bilateral airworthiness agreements with other countries; and participate in international conferences.

Commercial Space Transportation

The Administration regulates and supports the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. It licenses commercial space launch facilities and private sector launches of space payloads on expendable vehicles. It also sets insurance requirements for the protection of persons and property and ensures that space transportation activities comply with U.S. domestic and foreign policy.


The Aircraft Registry establishes and maintains the record of every U.S. civil aircraft. Buyers seeking information on aircraft they want to acquire, banks that finance aircraft purchases, aviation historians, and law enforcement and security agencies rely on the registry. An aircraft record contains information on the aircraft's registered owner, its airworthiness, and on recorded aircraft security interests.

Research, Engineering, and Development

The research, engineering, and development activities of the FAA provide the systems, procedures, facilities, and devices needed for a safe and efficient air navigation and air traffic control system for civil aviation and air defense. The Administration also performs an aeromedical research function: It applies knowledge gained from its research program and the work of others to improve civil aviation safety and the safety, health, and efficiency of FAA employees. The Administration also supports the development and testing of aircraft and their parts.

Safety Regulation

The FAA issues and enforces regulations and minimum standards affecting the manufacture, operation, and maintenance of aircraft. It also certifies airmen and airports that serve air carriers.

Test and Evaluation

The FAA tests and evaluates specified items such as aviation systems, subsystems, equipment, devices, materials, concepts, or procedures at any phase in the cycle of their development from conception to acceptance, to implementation. At key decision points, it also carries out assigned independent testing.

Other Programs

The FAA administers the Aviation Insurance Program, which provides insurance products to cover U.S. domestic air transportation industry needs that are not adequately met by the commercial insurance market. The Administration develops specifications for the preparation of aeronautical charts. It also publishes current information on airways and airport service; issues technical publications for the improvement of in-flight safety, airport planning and design, and other aeronautical activities; and serves as the executive administration for the operation and maintenance of the DOT automated payroll and personnel systems.

Sources of Information

A–Z Index

The FAA website features an alphabetical index to help visitors browse its content or search for information.

Aircraft Registry

The FAA maintains a registry that allows users to search aircraft registration information online.


The Air Traffic Control System Command Center website features a list of links for the Web sites of airlines.

Airmen Certification

The FAA posts answers to frequently asked questions dealing with airmen certification on its website.

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that FAA records have been assigned to record group 237.

Business Opportunities

Registration with the System for Award Management is required for doing business with the FAA.

The Small Business Office administers programs that assist small businesses, small businesses that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women-owned small businesses, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, with FAA procurement opportunities.

Career Opportunities

The FAA offers civil aviation career opportunities in air traffic control, acquisition, contracts, engineering, information technology, safety and security, and other fields.

In 2020, the FAA ranked 119th among 411 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Contact the FAA

Information for finding the appropriate point of contact or reporting an issue to the FAA is available on the "Contact" web page.

Contact information for field and regional offices is available on the "National Engagement and Regional Administration" web page.

Data / Research

The FAA conducts research on commercial and general aviation. It posts information on how the research is carried out, the resulting data and statistics, and grant data and funding information.

Federal Register

Significant documents and documents that the FAA recently published in the Federal Register are accessible online.

Flight Delays

The FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center provides status information, which is not flight specific, for general airport conditions nationwide.

Flying With Pets

The "Flying With Pets" web page has information and relevant links for flying with a pet or service animal.

Email, personal digital assistants (PDAs), pagers, phones, and wireless devices can be used to monitor the real-time operating status of the Nation's largest airports and receive delay information from the FAA.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

To any person, the FOIA gives a statutory right for obtaining access to Government information in the records of executive branch agencies. This right to access is limited, however, when the requested information is shielded from disclosure by one or more of nine exemptions that are contained within the statute.

FAA posts a lot of information on its website. Before making a formal FOIA request, search the records that are immediately available, particularly the contents of the FAA's electronic FOIA library. The desired information already may be accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The FAA posts answers to FAQs on its website.


The Air Traffic Control System Command Center maintains a glossary of air traffic control management acronyms and terms.

International Travel

The "International Travel" web page has information and resources for those preparing to fly abroad.


A timeline of aerospace history is available on the FAA website. The timeline starts on December 17, 1903, with Orville and Wilbur Wright's first self-propelled airplane flight.


The FAA posts factsheets, news items and updates, press releases, speeches, and testimonies on its website.


NextGen is a series of interlinked programs, portfolios, systems, policies, and procedures. It uses advanced technologies and capabilities for improving the operation of the National Airspace System.

Report a Drone

Please report a drone that is being operated dangerously or used to commit a crime to local law enforcement first responders. Please report a drone that is being operated in a manner that flouts FAA rules to a local FAA flight standards district office. An unauthorized drone operator may be penalized or criminally charged.

Social Media

The FAA has a Facebook account.

The FAA tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The FAA posts videos on its YouTube channel.

Wildlife Strikes

Aircraft and wildlife in the United States collide on occasion. Wildlife strikes almost always involve birds; however, the FAA also has received reports of alligator, bat, coyote, deer, skunk, and turtle strikes. The most frequently struck birds are gulls, but ducks and geese cause more damage per strike. The FAA's National Wildlife Strike Database contains the information needed for telling the full story of collisions involving aircraft and animals.

The wildlife strike reporting system helps the FAA collect the information used to build the National Wildlife Strike Database. An online form is available for submitting a strike report.