FAA tends to be very resistant to share their records under the FOIA laws. Since mid-2007, aiReform has made hundreds of FOIA requests. Nearly every request has been delayed far beyond the legal time limits and then, most FOIA responses from FAA have been improperly and excessively redacted. Most of these FAA FOIA failures have led to FOIA Appeals by aiReform.
With this aiR-FOIA project, PDF copies of the FOIA correspondence are being cataloged for online sharing. It is hoped that this level of transparency will nudge FAA toward more accountability. This is essentially a clearinghouse of FAA-related FOIA responses. FOIA requests and responses are scanned (usually as a searchable PDF file), indexed and posted online. It is hoped that readers will find a small piece of information (or better, a treasure trove) that will aid in resolving their issues with FAA.
The use of the internet to efficiently distribute FOIA records has great potential for achieving the transparency and democratic process goals debated by Congress when the FOIA law was passed in 1966. Use of the internet eliminates copying costs, and likely reduces the number of duplicate FOIA requests, thus making it possible for FAA to reduce its FOIA expenses. It would be very helpful if, in the near future, FAA adopted a policy to post all FOIA records (requests, responses, appeals, appeal responses, etc.) online.