Nobody goes up, up, and away until the folks at the FAA say it's OK. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the government agency responsible for overseeing air transportation in the US. An arm of the US Department of Transportation, the FAA focuses on air transportation safety, including the enforcement of safety standards for aircraft manufacturing, operation, and maintenance. It also manages air traffic in the US through a network of towers, overseeing an average of 50,000 flights per day. It maintains radar systems, communication equipment, and air traffic security systems. The FAA's annual budget is typically around $16 billion.