The Federal Aviation Administration says registration records for as many as one-third of all private aircraft are out-of-date and inaccurate, and has begun the process of re-registering aircraft in the United States — a task made more urgent by the threat posed by criminals and terrorists.
Of the 357,000 registered aircraft in the United States, records for about 119,000 are believed to be out of date, with many of them believed to be junked or inactive aircraft, the FAA said.
But the inaccurate records also could conceal criminal or even terrorist activity, say some security and aviation experts, who say it is critical that the FAA restore order to its records.
To deal with the disarray, the FAA is in the process of canceling registration for all civil aircraft — a category that includes virtually everything except military aircraft — and requiring the owners to re-register. The re-registrations will be phased-in over three years, and aircraft owners will be required to renew the registrations every three years thereafter.