Lax Plane Oversight Leaves U.S. Vulnerable to Drug Dealers

The owners of more than 50,000 planes have used tactics that can help hide their identities in U.S. registration papers, making it easier to fly anonymously. Critics warn that the U.S. is becoming a haven for people who want to hide ownership of planes, including corrupt politicians and South American drug cartels, the Boston Globe reports.

The Federal Aviation Administration is facing the prospect of two outside reviews and a push from Congress for greater transparency after a report found that decades of lax oversight had left the U.S. vulnerable to drug dealers and even terrorists who seek to anonymously register planes here, the Boston Globe reports. The Globe reported that the owners of more than 50,000 planes have used tactics that can help hide their identities in FAA registration papers, making it easier to fly anonymously. Critics warn that the U.S. is becoming a haven for people who want to hide their ownership of planes, including corrupt politicians and South American drug cartels.

The Government Accountability Office, is reviewing how the FAA registers planes that fly under the U.S. flag, and two congressional committees have asked a second agency to investigate. Three members of Congress have introduced a bill requiring the FAA to keep on file the true owners of all foreign-owned aircraft. FAA officials have said they are developing a plan to increase the vigilance of its Oklahoma City-based Civil Aviation Registry, which certifies and monitors more than 300,000 U.S.-registered planes. They admit that they don’t have the resources to determine whether all the information aircraft owners provide is accurate. For decades, foreign nationals have exploited loopholes in the registry to obtain coveted plane registrations without revealing their identities. (Defective and possibly counterfeit airplane parts have been making their way into U.S. aircraft unreported and unchecked, The Crime Report says.)

from https://thecrimereport.org