Drug Control: State Department Provides Required Aviation Program Oversight, but Safety and Security Should Be Enhanced Page: 3 of 23
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Accountability * Integrity * Reliability
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548
September 14, 2001
The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
Co-Chairman, Caucus on International Narcotics Control
United States Senate
Dear Senator Grassley:
According to the Department of State, the Andean region continues to
cultivate, produce, and export almost all of the world's cocaine and an
increasing amount of heroin.' Colombia is the source of 90 percent of the
cocaine entering the United States and approximately two-thirds of the
heroin found on the East Coast. While coca cultivation estimates have
decreased by approximately two-thirds in Bolivia and Peru since 1996,
increases in coca cultivation in Colombia have offset much of these
Under State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
Affairs, the Office of Aviation, through a contract with DynCorp Aerospace
Technology, supports foreign governments' efforts to locate and eradicate
illicit drug crops in the Andean region. In recent years, DynCorp has
maintained and operated aircraft to locate and eradicate drug crops in
Colombia, trained pilots and mechanics for the Colombian Army Aviation
Brigade, and provided logistical and training support for the aerial
eradication programs of the Colombian National Police and manual
eradication programs in Bolivia and Peru.
Your office raised concerns about reports you had received that the Office
of Aviation might not be providing adequate oversight of its aviation
program and might not be ensuring that the program operates safely. In
response to these concerns, we determined whether the Office of Aviation
(1) oversaw and evaluated DynCorp's performance in accordance with
'Over the years, U.S. counternarcotics efforts in the Andean region have focused on
Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. Small amounts of coca are also grown in Brazil, Ecuador,
Panama, and Venezuela; however, production from these fields is believed to be minimal.
2According to State, between 1996 and 2000, the net hectares under coca cultivation in
Colombia increased by 69,000-from 67,200 hectares in 1996 to 136,200 hectares in 2000,
while the number of hectares under coca cultivation in Bolivia and Peru declined by 93,700
over the same period.
GAO-01-1021 State's Aviation Program
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United States. General Accounting Office. Drug Control: State Department Provides Required Aviation Program Oversight, but Safety and Security Should Be Enhanced, report, September 14, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293372/m1/3/: accessed August 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.