"Civil aviation" includes all non-military, private and commercial aviation activities, including aerospace activities. The FAA also works closely with the U.S. military to ensure the safe operation of military aircraft in public airspace across the nation.
Primary responsibilities of the FAA include:
- Regulating civil aviation to promote safety within the U.S. and abroad. The FAA exchanges information with foreign aviation authorities; certifies foreign aviation repair shops, air crews, and mechanics; provides technical aid and training; negotiates bilateral airworthiness agreements with other countries; and takes part in international conferences.
- Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology
- 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
- Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation. The FAA licenses commercial space launch facilities and private launches of space payloads on expendable launch vehicles.
Investigation of aviation incidents, accidents and disasters is conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent government agency.
Organization of the FAA
An Administrator manages FAA, assisted by a Deputy Administrator. Five Associate Administrators report to the Administrator and direct the line-of-business organizations that carry out the agency's principle functions. The Chief Counsel and nine Assistant Administrators also report to the Administrator. The Assistant Administrators oversee other key programs such as Human Resources, Budget, and System Safety. We also have nine geographical regions and two major centers, the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center and the William J. Hughes Technical Center.