The Airline Transportation Statistics Program provides comprehensive data and analysis to support U.S. DOT policies, programs, and regulations regarding the airline industry. Air transportation plays a critical role in enhancing the economic competitiveness of the nation and it is the data provided by the Airline Transportation Statistics Program that enables the U.S. DOT to make decisions that are well informed.
FY 2012 Airline Transportation Statistics Program
|Program Activity||FY 2010 Actual||FY 2012 Request||ChangeFY 2010-2012|
|Airline Transportation Statistics Program||[4,000]||[5,000]||[1,000]|
1 The total funding includes salaries and administrative expenses and contract program.
Strategic Goal: Safety, economic competitiveness, livable communities, environmental sustainability, state of good repair, and organizational excellence.
Purpose/Beneficiaries: The comprehensive program data necessary for consumer protection and enforcement activities, a major Secretarial priority, and for aviation policy decision making.
Partners: Stakeholders include:
Description: The program collects and disseminates airline data related to on-time flights and other consumer-related issues, domestic and international passenger and freight traffic, passenger ticket information, and airline financial, fuel cost and consumption, and employment information. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) collects data from 130 U.S. airlines and foreign carrier operations to and from the U.S. Annually, BTS collects more than 8,000 data reports from U.S. and foreign carriers. These data are reported by the air carriers as required by regulation.
Base Budget: The base budget is $4M; funding is provided by the FAA through an interagency agreement.
Prior Year Accomplishments:
The program is the sole source of the airline operations data required by federal statute and regulation and essential for USDOT policy making, Congress, the airline industry and the traveling public. Without this funding:
USDOT agencies and Congress would not have the data necessary to provide oversight and make informed policy decisions regarding the airline industry, including operational safety, and its impact on the economy and traveling public;
The airline industry would lose the ability to schedule and set ticket prices based on objective, industry-wide airline data, with potential industry cost impacts since no private sector entity has the authority to collect industry-wide airline data; and
The public would lose access to consumer information possibly used to make informed travel decisions such as airline on-time performance.
Effectiveness Measures: The collection and reporting of airline on-time performance data, including its tarmac delay data, are key components of Secretary LaHood's successful efforts to ensure consumers have available the information necessary to make informed decisions about their travel, and to provide airlines an incentive to reduce the inconvenience and added expense to passengers that results from flight delays. The data also provide USDOT and stakeholders important information on the prevalence of the issue to better inform decision-making.
USDOT enforcement relies on data to enforce rules on tarmac times, chronically delayed and overbooked flights, and the Air Travel Consumer Report. Airline data are the most requested category on the BTS website with more than 10,000 requests per month. Industry representatives use the data for their own analyses and maintain links to the BTS webpage.BTS also receives information on customer satisfaction from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. BTS tracks air travel customers registered on social media networks such as Twitter. GAOrelied heavily on BTS airline statistics for their study of airplane delays and study of ancillary revenues. (See GAO-10-542 National Airspace System: Setting On-Time Performance Targets at Congested Airports Could Help Focus FAA Actions.)
Research: Customer outreach; American Customer Satisfaction Index; data requests; and downloads from RITA web pages and stakeholder feedback.
Efficient: Federal statute and regulation require this data collection program. A key measure of efficiency for the air transportation statistics program is the timeliness with which BTS releases the air carrier data (passenger, flights, freight) to the public, typically within 30 days. On-time data are released within 15 days of carrier submission.
Funding Options: To achieve a` higher level of performance and usability from the airline data program; $5M is required for FY 2012. The increase of $1M over the FY 2010 funding level will support data modernization and related efforts, starting with an information systems requirements analysis that will define what will be needed in the future for development and implementation of the modernized system.
History/outyear needs: FY 2010 $4M; FY 2012 $5M.