Eight North Carolina aviation programs operated 72 aircraft and cost $10.8 million in Fiscal Year 2008-09. This evaluation examined the number, use, and effectiveness of state aircraft and revealed concerns about aircraft utilization, efficiency, and management. Of the 72 aircraft, 79% flew less than 200 hours per year. Fractured management contributed to inconsistent practices and policies as well as inefficiencies. To address these concerns, the General Assembly should establish the Aviation Management Authority to oversee management of all aircraft. Based on a three-phase analysis, the report recommends eliminating 25 aircraft and 5 hangars. Proceeds from the sale of aircraft may yield up to $8.1 million and save $1.5 million annually.
- Follow-Up Analysis of 25 Underutilized State Aircraft Confirmed Inefficiency and Potential Cost Savings
- Further Reductions to Aviation Programs Are Possible and an Aviation Management Authority is Needed
- S.L. 2010-31, Section 14.6.(a): Transferred the Executive Aircraft Division of the Department of Commerce to the Division of Aviation of the Department of Transportation.
- S.L. 2010-31, Sections 13.17. and 13.18.(a): Directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to purchase software to record flights and maintenance and to report on the management of state aircraft and implementation of consultant recommendations; and directed the Divisions of Forest Resources and Marine Fisheries to share mechanics, sell 13 aircraft, and reduce personnel and budgets.
- The Department of Transportation discussed interagency agreements that proposed providing maintenance for agencies without a maintenance program and sharing aircraft. The department also will study its aircraft fleet size and configuration to determine if it meets the State’s needs. They also plan to coordinate with other state aviation departments to look at a common flight management system.
- The Department of Commerce transferred equipment and personnel and eliminated two positions, saving $300,000 annually.
- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Division of Forest Resources (currently the North Carolina Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) signed an agreement to perform aircraft maintenance on all Division of Marine Fisheries aircraft; purchased aviation software to monitor flight logs, maintenance records, scheduling, inventory, aircraft costs, and maintenance costs and addressed safety and training issues; and eliminated six employee positions, two leases, and 11 aircraft. The Division of Forest Resources, through sales and budgetary reductions, saved $1.5 million in non-recurring and $482,877 in recurring costs.
- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’s Division of Marine Fisheries eliminated two helicopters for $105,999 and $172,099.
- The State Bureau of Investigation eliminated one single engine aircraft to reduce expenditures and has implemented an electronic flight and data management tracking system.