Further Reductions to Aviation Programs Are Possible and an Aviation Management Authority is Needed (March 2012)

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) helicopter and the State Bureau of Investigation’s (SBI) airplanes are underutilized. Alternatives should be explored to eliminate the helicopter and reduce the SBI fleet. In addition, the SBI facility could be eliminated and their airplanes could be moved to the DOT facility. This evaluation also found that consolidation of passenger air service would not result in an improved level of service. Despite improvements in fleet management practices since 2010, central oversight is still needed to ensure efficient and effective use of state aircraft. As recommended in the April 2010 report, the General Assembly should direct the establishment of an Aviation Management Authority in DOT to oversee management of all aircraft owned or operated by the State.

Final Report

Executive Summary


Relevant Legislation:

  • 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.

Agency Actions:

  • DOT has undertaken a fleet study review to ensure the State has safe, cost-effective aircraft that meet the needs of the department’s flight missions. In addition, the department is working to have a shared asset with the State Highway Patrol. The University of North Carolina Area Health Education Centers program is sharing its flight schedule with DOT to encourage flight sharing when possible.

Press Coverage:

Related Reports: