In an annual survey of U.S. commercial pilots, the FAA gained 9 percent in its overall approval rating, ratcheting up to a score of 64 out of a possible 100, the FAA announced Monday. (While we appreciate the improvement, we can't help noting that airmen with that score would fail to pass their FAA knowledge tests ...) Air traffic services received an overall rating of 84, up from last year's 83. The overall rating for the agency's certification of commercial pilots rose from 76 to 79. The score for setting clear and effective safety standards was up 5 points, from last year's 58 to 63. "It is gratifying to see that the surveyed pilots feel we are doing a better job, even with the challenges and changes facing the aviation industry," said FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey. "Our task over the next 12 months is to build on this performance and to achieve even greater levels of responsiveness to the pilot community." The agency said it has tried to improve its services this year. Those efforts included establishing a customer-focused five-year air traffic services plan, enhancing the FAA Web site, and expanding efforts to communicate in plain language. The fourth annual survey was conducted by the University of Michigan, CFI Group and the Federal Consulting Group.