The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an effort to sort out aircraft recordkeeping, saying that ownership information for nearly a third of the 357 000 planes on its registry is inaccurate.
The agency is notifying owners and pilots about changes to federal rules finalized in July on re-registering their planes every three years.
Previous, mainly voluntary measures were open-ended, and asked owners to report the sale or destruction of a plane or any change in ownership contact information, Reuters reports.
“The agency is moving to a mandatory re-registration system like the ones most states use to register automobiles, so we have more current and complete registration information in our database,” the FAA said on Friday.
“The data is necessary for important safety reasons, including product recalls, safety directives and locating an overdue flight,” it said in a statement.
Law enforcement and other agencies asked the FAA to correct inaccuracies in its vast database, which mainly covers small private planes.
The FAA said the registry covering thousands of jetliners and other planes maintained by US airlines is up to date and accurately maintained.