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entitled 'Responses to Questions for the Record: September 2008 Hearing 
on the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Status and Issues' 
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October 20, 2008: 

The Honorable Bart Gordon: 
Chairman: 
Committee on Science and Technology: 
House of Representatives: 

Subject: Responses to Questions for the Record; September 2008 Hearing 
on the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Status and Issues: 

This letter responds to your September 26, 2008, request that we 
address questions submitted for the record by Members of the Committee 
related to the September 11, 2008, hearing entitled The Next Generation 
Air Transportation System: Status and Issues. Our attached responses to 
these questions are based on our previous work[Footnote 1] and our 
knowledge of the areas addressed by the questions. 

We are sending copies of this letter to the Administrator, Federal 
Aviation Administration, and the Director, Joint Planning and 
Development Office. We will make copies available to others on request. 
The letter is also available on GAO's Web site at [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the responses, 
please contact me at (202) 512-2834 or dillinghamg@gao.gov. 

Sincerely yours, 

Signed by: 

Gerald L. Dillingham, Ph.D.: 

Director: 

Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

Enclosure: 

[End of section] 

Enclosure I: 

Responses to Post-Hearing Questions for the Record: 

"The Next Generation Air Transportation System: Status and Issues" 

Committee on Science and Technology: 

U.S. House of Representatives: 

Hearing held on September 11, 2008: 

Questions for Dr. Gerald L. Dillingham, Director: 

Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office: 

Questions for the Record Submitted by Chairman Gordon: 

1. Some observers have commented that the degree of participation by 
the partner agencies seems to run on a continuum from a significant 
amount of participation to seemingly not very much at all. The Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA) are consistently indicated as the most involved 
participants. 

a. In your opinion, to what extent are the partner agencies 
participating in the vision and work of the Next Generation Air 
Transportation System (NextGen)? 

GAO Response: 

The partner agencies' participation in the vision and work of NextGen 
has varied to date and will continue to evolve over time. Interagency 
partnerships mature slowly because it takes time to forge working 
relationships and establish accountability. While FAA and NASA have 
been the most involved in the planning and coordination of NextGen, the 
other agencies are also participating. The Department of Defense, for 
example, is transferring to NextGen the technology it has developed for 
sharing information across networks, establishing a program office to 
coordinate all of its NextGen activities, and collaborating with FAA 
and the Department of Commerce to develop and implement NextGen's 
weather forecasting capability. 

Furthermore, the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), which 
was created to plan for and coordinate the NextGen activities of 
federal and nonfederal stakeholders, has established some practices 
that are important to institutionalizing a collaborative process. For 
example, a memorandum of understanding, signed by the Secretary or 
another high-ranking official from each partner agency, defines the 
partner agencies' roles and responsibilities. In addition, some NextGen 
goals and activities have been incorporated in partner agencies' key 
planning documents such as FAA's NextGen Implementation Plan, and JPDO 
and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have developed a process 
for identifying NextGen-related research programs in the partner 
agencies' budgets. 

b. How could the role of the partner agencies be changed to enhance 
their participation or positively affect the development of NextGen? 

GAO Response: 

We believe that the partner agencies' participation in NextGen could be 
enhanced by further incorporating NextGen goals and activities in the 
agencies' key planning documents and research agendas. For example, FAA 
has refocused one of its key planning documents--the Operational 
Evolution Partnership--making it into the NextGen Implementation Plan. 
Formerly a plan for enhancing airport capacity, the NextGen 
Implementation Plan has been expanded and revamped to become a 
comprehensive description of how FAA will implement NextGen. We believe 
that similar efforts by the other partner agencies could increase their 
participation in NextGen. 

2. In your opinion, how successful has JPDO been in developing 
conceptual and technical descriptions of what NextGen will consist of? 
How about in developing a plan for the coordinated implementation of a 
transformed future system? 

GAO Response: 

JPDO has made progress in developing planning documents that provide 
conceptual and technical descriptions of NextGen. However, further 
iterations of these documents will be needed as NextGen technologies 
are developed. JPDO's authorizing legislation requires the office to 
create a research and development (R&D) plan for the transition to 
NextGen. This requirement led JPDO to develop initial versions of the 
Concept of Operations, Enterprise Architecture, and Integrated Work 
Plan (IWP). The Concept of Operations is the fundamental planning 
document from which the other two documents flow. Version 2 of the 
Concept of Operations, issued in June 2007, describes how the NextGen 
system is envisioned to operate in 2025. Version 2 of the Enterprise 
Architecture, issued in July 2007, is a technical description of the 
NextGen system, akin to blueprints for a building. The Enterprise 
Architecture provides a means for coordinating among the partner 
agencies and private-sector manufacturers, aligning relevant R&D 
activities, and integrating equipment. IWP, the most recent version of 
which was issued in September 2008, is JPDO's plan for achieving 
NextGen. It describes the integrated framework needed to transition to 
NextGen and will continually need to be refined and enhanced to reflect 
current priorities, budgets, and programs. 

Our work indicated that the previous version of IWP lacked critical 
information and was not sufficiently "user friendly" to be used 
effectively as a plan for coordinating the partner agencies' 
implementation of NextGen. Our review of the most recent version of the 
plan indicates that it is more detailed, contains further research 
plans, and shows interrelationships among activities that should be 
useful for coordinating those activities. This version of IWP is an 
automated, searchable, user-friendly database--that we found will have 
the capability to track dates and identify programs that are behind 
schedule, making it useful, but not sufficient, for oversight. 
According to senior JPDO officials, this version identifies the 
specific operational improvements and capabilities that NextGen will 
incorporate and shows what policies, research, and other activities are 
needed to enable those improvements and capabilities; when they are 
needed; and what entities are responsible for them. Moreover, this 
version includes schedule information that has been updated to reflect 
newly available information, coordination with FAA schedules and plans, 
and public comments received on the previous version, according to JPDO 
and FAA officials. This version also identifies the sequence of 
research activities that the partner agencies must complete before 
specific NextGen capabilities can be implemented. The plan should serve 
as a useful tool in prioritizing and tracking NextGen research. 

Furthermore, subsequent versions of IWP are expected to include cost 
information that decision makers can use to help understand the 
rationale for budget requests, monitor costs, and improve future cost 
estimates for acquisitions. This information will be helpful to 
decision makers when budget constraints do not allow all system 
acquisitions to be fully funded at planned and approved levels and they 
must decide which programs to fund and which to cut or delay according 
to their priorities. 

In addition, coordination is enhanced by JPDO's efforts to work with 
OMB to develop a process that allows OMB to identify NextGen-related 
research and acquisition projects across the partner agencies and 
consider NextGen as a unified, cross-agency program. Under this 
process, JPDO and its partner agencies jointly present OMB with 
business cases for the partner agencies' NextGen-related efforts, and 
these business cases are used as inputs to funding decisions for 
NextGen research and acquisitions across the agencies. 

3. In the transformed NextGen, I understand that roles and 
responsibilities of key players will change dramatically. Pilots will 
take on more separation responsibilities and automation will enable air 
traffic controllers to manage larger numbers of aircraft while 
improving safety. 

a. What are the key aspects from human factors research that FAA and 
NASA need to get right before we can have confidence that this 
delegation of decision-making duties is both feasible and safe? 

GAO Response: 

Our work indicates that the key aspect from human factors research that 
FAA and NASA must address is how changes in the roles and 
responsibilities of both air traffic controllers and pilots will affect 
the safety and efficiency of the national airspace system. According to 
an FAA official, verbal communication is an example of a human factors 
area that requires further R&D. Currently, air traffic controllers 
primarily rely on verbal communication to direct aircraft. Because 
NextGen will rely more on automated communications, controllers will 
require training in both understanding and operating in an automated 
communications environment. The research to support such training has 
not been conducted, according to FAA. 

b. Are the needed R&D programs in place and adequately funded to get 
that research done? 

GAO Response: 

While not all of the needed human factors R&D programs are currently in 
place, FAA plans to increase its investment in human factors research 
from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal year 2013. Over that period, FAA's 
human factors research would total $180.4 million. In contrast, NASA 
started to reduce the size of its human factors research staff in 
fiscal year 2005, reassigning some staff to other programs and reducing 
the contractor and academic technical support for human factors 
research. However, according to NASA, human factors research continues 
to be a critical component of its aeronautics research program, with 
activity focused at the foundational level. It remains to be seen if 
FAA's planned R&D in this area will offset NASA's reductions, since 
FAA's research is typically at a more applied level. 

4. In describing FAA's Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise 
(CLEEN) environmental R&D program, your statement indicates that FAA 
and the JPDO recognize the need to "fill any gaps that may exist 
between basic research and the transfer to industry for further 
development." But you also conclude that "the research might prove more 
difficult and take longer than planned." 

a. Can you elaborate on why this might be more difficult and time- 
consuming than envisioned and how FAA can minimize this problem? 

GAO Response: 

Filling gaps that may exist between conducting basic research and 
transferring technologies and tools to industry may be more difficult 
and time consuming than envisioned for several reasons. CLEEN 
illustrates this challenge. The House reauthorization bill for FAA is 
seeking funding for CLEEN.[Footnote 2] CLEEN would establish a research 
consortium of government, industry, and academic participants that 
would allow for the maturation of aviation noise technologies via 
demonstration projects for further refinement by the aviation industry 
and eventual incorporation into new aircraft designs. The CLEEN program 
would support the development, maturation, and certification of engine 
and airframe technologies for aircraft over the next 10 years to reduce 
aviation noise and emissions. While acknowledging that CLEEN would help 
bridge the gap between NASA's R&D and manufacturers' eventual 
incorporation of technologies into aircraft designs, aeronautics 
industry representatives and experts we consulted said that the 
program's funding levels may not be sufficient to attain the goals 
specified in the proposal. According to these experts, the proposed 
funding levels would allow for the further development of one or 
possibly two projects. Moreover, in one expert's view, the funding for 
these projects may be sufficient only to develop the technology to the 
level that achieves an emissions-reduction goal in testing, not to the 
level required for the technology to be incorporated into a new engine 
design. According to FAA and some experts we consulted, however, the 
CLEEN program amounts to a pilot project, and if it results in the 
development of emissions-reduction technologies that can be introduced 
into aircraft in the near future, it could lead to additional funding 
from the government or industry for such efforts. 

Filling R&D gaps may also be more difficult and time-consuming than 
envisioned because of uncertainties about the ability of aircraft 
engine and aircraft manufacturers to incorporate new noise reduction 
technologies into new engine and aircraft designs. NASA officials 
stressed that when NASA's research ends, it will be up to engine and 
aircraft manufacturers to take the next steps to integrate the noise 
reduction technologies into engine and aircraft designs, and the 
manufacturers' willingness to do so is not guaranteed. An expert we 
consulted noted that if manufacturers do take the steps to integrate 
noise reduction technologies into new designs, the pace of noise 
reduction will also depend on the pace of development for new aircraft 
and aircraft engine designs. 

Moreover, technical challenges may further complicate efforts to close 
the gap between agencies' research and manufacturers' development of 
technologies for incorporation into products. In particular, it may be 
technically challenging to design aircraft with reduced noise while, at 
the same time, achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gases and 
other emissions that will be required to address global warming and 
improve air quality. Although it is possible to design engines that 
produce less noise and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, the reductions 
in greenhouse gases could be limited in engines that produce 
substantially less noise. Furthermore, engines that produce less noise 
typically burn more fuel and are therefore more costly to operate. As a 
result, air carriers may not be inclined to buy jets with engines that 
reduce noise but may be more expensive to operate. 

b. Should NASA be playing a bigger role in this area, as it did in its 
previous innovative aircraft engine technology development programs? 

GAO Response: 

It would be useful for NASA to conduct the type of intermediate R&D and 
demonstration projects that NASA previously conducted and that will be 
needed for the NextGen program. NASA, however, is now focusing on 
longer-term fundamental research on noise and emissions and its current 
aeronautics research budget is about half of what it was in the mid- 
1990s. Moreover, the budget request for aeronautics R&D for fiscal year 
2009 is $447 million, or about 25 percent less than the $594 million 
provided in fiscal year 2007. Nonetheless, according to NASA, about 
$280 million of the proposed $447 million would contribute to NextGen. 
In addition, according to NASA officials, a significant portion of the 
funding for subsonic fixed-wing aircraft is directed toward emissions- 
related research, and many other research efforts contribute directly 
or indirectly to potential emissions-reduction technologies. 

5. In your February report to the Subcommittee, you indicated that 
noise reduction technologies may be limited by concerns about global 
warming as advances in these technologies could make it more difficult 
to also achieve reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases. Is GAO 
saying that reductions in noise and emissions are mutually exclusive or 
could high fuel prices spur technological innovations we have yet to 
envision? 

GAO Response: 

I do not think that efforts to achieve reductions in noise and 
emissions are mutually exclusive, but finding the right balance between 
them does pose a significant challenge for the partner agencies and 
private stakeholders. It is technologically challenging to design 
aircraft that can reduce one environmental concern without increasing 
another. Since the aviation industry must consider economic as well as 
environmental concerns, research must consider the trade-offs between 
noise reduction, emissions reduction, and fuel economy. Engine 
technology has been relatively successful in increasing fuel 
efficiency, reducing most types of emissions, and lowering noise, but 
has not been able to achieve comparable reductions in nitrogen oxide 
(NOx), which is a primary source of local air pollution. NOx has 
increased because new engines operate at higher temperatures, producing 
more power with less fuel and lower carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide 
emissions, but also producing higher NOx levels, especially at takeoff 
and landing when engine power settings are at their highest. 

6. The JPDO was established to plan and coordinate the R&D for NextGen. 
You testified that the three key planning documents have been developed 
and that JPDO has been pretty much absorbed into the Air Traffic 
Organization (ATO). How long do you think the JPDO ought to continue to 
exist and what would it do? 

GAO Response: 

JPDO was established to plan and coordinate the development of NextGen 
and should exist for the duration of those tasks. JPDO has developed 
the key planning documents for NextGen, but further iterations of these 
documents will be needed as NextGen technologies are developed and 
implemented. For example, JPDO officials expect to issue annual 
revisions to the IWP. JPDO also has a central role in coordinating and 
facilitating the NextGen activities of the partner agencies. For 
example, JPDO serves as the principal point of contact with OMB in 
coordinating the multi-agency budgets for NextGen, and its working 
groups facilitate coordination with industry stakeholders. If JPDO 
ceased to exist, another entity would have to assume responsibility for 
these planning and coordinating activities. 

JPDO's role could evolve to include additional coordination and 
oversight activities. For example, JPDO could establish a program 
oversight capacity that would enable it to perform such functions as 
(1) coordinating the R&D, systems-engineering, and integration 
activities of the partner agencies and industry; (2) overseeing multi- 
agency projects; (3) overseeing, with FAA, the selection of products or 
outcomes of R&D that would be moved to the next stage of a 
demonstration project through the Joint Resources Council 
(JRC);[Footnote 3] (4) overseeing the fundamental research activities 
that support the long-term strategic investments of NextGen by managing 
a portfolio of research conducted by NASA, academia, federally funded 
R&D centers, and industry; and (5) maintaining a modeling and 
simulation capability for testing and evaluating alternative NextGen 
concepts that provide input to such oversight. 

Questions for the Record Submitted by Rep. Hall: 

1. With the upcoming change in Administrations, do you foresee 
difficulties maintaining program continuity during the transition? Does 
NextGen have enough traction among its partner agencies to maintain 
momentum in the months ahead? 

GAO Response: 

There is a risk that the upcoming change in administration will 
contribute to difficulties in maintaining continuity for NextGen. As 
FAA begins to implement new systems and transition to NextGen, it is 
possible that other demands of a new administration will compete for 
the attention of FAA's senior leadership. Moreover, FAA, which 
currently has an acting administrator, and its partner agencies face 
the loss of today's leaders as the new administration makes its own 
appointments. Although FAA has implemented many of the financial, 
management, and acquisition improvements in recent years that will be 
needed for the transition to NextGen, FAA's new leaders will need to 
sustain this commitment to provide a firm foundation for continuing to 
implement NextGen. 

It remains to be seen whether NextGen has enough traction with JPDO, 
FAA, and the other partner agencies to maintain momentum in the coming 
months. JPDO, however, has established some practices that are 
important to institutionalizing collaboration among the partner 
agencies. For example, a memorandum of understanding, signed by the 
Secretary or another high-ranking official from each partner agency, 
defines the partner agencies' roles and responsibilities. In addition, 
some NextGen goals and activities have been incorporated in the 
agencies' key planning documents such as FAA's NextGen Implementation 
Plan, and JPDO and OMB have developed a process for identifying NextGen-
related research projects in the partner agencies' budgets. 
Nonetheless, this is a complex multifaceted, multi-decade project and 
the partner agencies' participation in NextGen can be expected to 
evolve and vary over time as its requirements change and agencies' 
mission priorities change. 

2. JPDO is a planning and coordinating body that relies on the 
cooperation of its federal partners to provide the expertise and 
resources needed to accomplish NextGen. With slightly more than four 
years of experience, how would you rate the effectiveness of the JPDO, 
especially with regard to engaging and sustaining the cooperation of 
the participating federal agencies? What concerns, if any, do you have 
about JPDO's effectiveness following the reorganization? 

GAO Response: 

JPDO has made progress in obtaining the cooperation of participating 
federal agencies, but the extent of participation has varied. 
Interagency partnerships mature slowly because it takes time to forge 
working relationships and establish accountability. While FAA and NASA 
have been the most involved in the planning and coordination of 
NextGen, the other agencies are also participating. The Department of 
Defense, for example, is transferring to NextGen the technology it has 
developed for sharing information across networks, establishing an 
office to coordinate its NextGen activities, and collaborating with FAA 
and the Department of Commerce to develop and implement NextGen's 
weather forecasting capability. The Department of Homeland Security is 
participating by contributing "in-kind" services in the form of 
personnel and research. Furthermore, JPDO has been successful in 
helping to establish mechanisms to sustain cooperation among the 
participating federal agencies. In June 2008, a memorandum of 
understanding was signed by the Secretary or another high-ranking 
official from each partner agency, defining each agency's role and 
responsibilities. In addition, as part of the annual budget request, 
JPDO prepares an Exhibit 300 form for NextGen, which allows JPDO to 
present OMB with a joint business case for the partner agencies' 
NextGen-related efforts.[Footnote 4] This business case is used as 
input to funding decisions for NextGen research and acquisitions across 
the agencies. 

Since ATO was reorganized in May 2008, JPDO has been housed within the 
new NextGen and Operations Planning Office and the JPDO Director 
reports through the Senior Vice President for NextGen and Operations 
Planning to ATO's Chief Operating Officer. Previously, the JPDO 
Director reported directly to both the Chief Operating Officer and the 
FAA Administrator. Now that JPDO is no longer a separate, independent 
office within FAA and its head no longer reports directly to the FAA 
Administrator, its organizational position within FAA has declined. 
This reorganization does not address the concerns of some industry 
stakeholders that JPDO's reporting status might keep it from 
interacting on an equal footing with ATO and the other partner federal 
agencies. In 2007, we reported that it was important for JPDO to have 
some independence from ATO to counter the perception that it was a 
proxy for ATO and, as such, not able to act as an "honest broker" 
between ATO and the partner federal agencies. We pointed out that, to 
address this issue, the JPDO Director could report directly to the FAA 
Administrator.[Footnote 5] Nonetheless, we believe it is too early to 
tell whether the reorganization has diminished the effectiveness of 
JPDO, especially in terms of its ability to sustain the cooperation of 
the partner federal agencies, or if the new governance structure will 
be acceptable in practice and address the concerns that have been 
raised. Ultimately, the effectiveness of JPDO will have to be measured 
by the efforts of the partner agencies to implement policies and 
procedures, conduct research, and acquire systems that support NextGen. 

3. The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) program is 
fundamental to NextGen. What are the major risks with ADS-B in terms of 
capabilities, schedule, cost, and industry acceptance? 

GAO Response: 

ADS-B is a satellite-based aircraft navigation system that allows 
aircraft to broadcast their position to air traffic controllers, other 
aircraft, and ground systems. FAA plans to implement ADS-B over the 
next 15 to 20 years as a key NextGen system. FAA awarded a contract 
worth up to $1.8 billion for acquiring the ground infrastructure for 
ADS-B in August 2007 and is developing an ADS-B rulemaking, scheduled 
for issuance in 2010. FAA's initial deployment plans focus on areas of 
the nation that do not have radar surveillance, such as Alaska and the 
Gulf of Mexico, and individual airlines, such as United Parcel Service, 
which is installing ADS-B on all of its Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. 

Several risks are associated with implementing ADS-B including the cost 
to industry to equip, incomplete specifications for ADS-B capabilities, 
and broadcast frequency congestion concerns. Full use of ADS-B depends 
not only on government efforts, but also on involves decisions by the 
aviation industry about what equipment to purchase and when to purchase 
it. With ADS-B, for example, an official of RTCA's[Footnote 6] ADS-B 
working group noted that the cost and expected benefits of equipping 
aircraft to take full advantage of ADS-B is a key issue for the 
aviation industry. The official said that equipping existing aircraft 
to communicate with the ground stations may not be cost prohibitive for 
regional and large commercial airlines, but further equipping these 
aircraft so they can use ADS-B's full capabilities could require cost- 
prohibitive modifications. Consequently, the official noted that 
carriers plan to install equipment to use ADS-B's full capabilities 
only as they order new aircraft. He also said that carriers could have 
full-capability ADS-B installed on new aircraft that they are ordering 
now, except that specifications do not yet exist. In addition, the 
official believed that some air carriers were hesitant to equip with 
ADS-B because of concerns that FAA might not follow through with the 
deployment of full ADS-B capabilities. We have reported[Footnote 7] 
that a demonstration of NextGen capabilities, such as ADS-B, and of 
efficiencies resulting from their use would give airlines an incentive 
to equip their aircraft with NextGen technologies. They could then 
lower their costs by reducing their fuel consumption and decrease the 
impact of their operations on the environment. Our research indicates 
that by establishing benefits early in a program's development, 
demonstrations can increase stakeholders' confidence in an initiative. 
A demonstration of ADS-B could provide incentives for the aviation 
community to equip aircraft with compatible technology. 

In addition, concerns have been raised about broadcast frequency 
congestion related to ADS-B. FAA plans to establish two data links for 
the system. Commercial aircraft and other aircraft operating at high 
altitudes would send their position to ground stations by transmitting 
on 1090 MHz while general aviation would use Universal Access 
Transceivers operating on 978 MHz. On September 26, 2008, FAA's ADS-B 
Aviation Rulemaking Committee called for an urgent study of congestion 
on 1090 MHz, indicating the frequency is becoming crowded in some 
airspace with high-density air traffic. 

Question for the Record Submitted by Rep. Richardson: 

1. In your testimony you referenced closing and consolidating systems, 
what do you mean? 

GAO Response: 

To fully realize NextGen's capabilities, FAA will have to reconfigure 
its air traffic control (ATC) facilities to make them compatible with 
new technologies and procedures. According to a senior ATO official, 
the agency plans to report on the cost implications of reconfiguring 
its facilities in 2009. However, FAA has no comprehensive plan for 
reconfiguring its facilities. Until the cost analysis is completed and 
a reconfiguration plan has been developed, the configurations needed 
for NextGen cannot be implemented and potential savings that could help 
offset the cost of NextGen will not be realized. Some FAA officials 
have said that implementing plans for facility maintenance and 
construction that are based on the current ATC system and do not 
incorporate the configurations needed for NextGen could, without 
reconfiguration, significantly increase the cost of NextGen. 
Additionally, some of the capacity and efficiency enhancements expected 
from the implementation of NextGen maybe curtailed if the system's 
infrastructure needs are not fully addressed. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] GAO, Next Generation Air Transportation System: Status of Systems 
Acquisition and the Transition to the Next Generation Air 
Transportation System, GAO-08-1078 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 11, 2008); 
Next Generation Air Transportation System: Status of Key Issues 
Associated with the Transition to NextGen, GAO-08-1154T (Washington, 
D.C.: Sept. 11, 2008); Responses to Questions for the Record; Hearing 
on JPDO and the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Status and 
Issues, GAO-07-918R (Washington, D.C.: May 29, 2007); Responses to 
Questions for the Record; Hearing on the Future of Air Traffic Control 
Modernization, GAO-07-928R (Washington, D.C.: May 30, 2007); Next 
Generation Air Transportation System: Progress and Challenges 
Associated with the Transformation of the National Airspace System, GAO-
07-25 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 13, 2006). 

[2] H.R. 2881, 110TH Cong. 505 (2007). 

[3] FAA's Joint Resources Council establishes and manages acquisition 
program baselines which define cost, schedule, performance, and benefit 
parameters for programs over their full life cycle. 

[4] Section 300 of OMB Circular No. A-11, Preparation, Submission, and 
Execution of the Budget (Nov. 2, 2005), sets forth requirements for 
federal agencies for planning, budgeting, acquiring, and managing 
information technology capital assets. 

[5] GAO, Responses to Questions for the Record; Hearing on the Future 
of Air Traffic Control Modernization, GAO-07-928R (Washington, D.C.: 
May 30, 2007). 

[6] RTCA is a private, not-for-profit corporation that develops 
consensus-based performance standards for air traffic control (ATC) 
systems. RTCA serves as a federal advisory committee, and its 
recommendations are the basis for a number of FAA's policy, program, 
and regulatory decisions. RTCA includes an ADS-B working group within 
its air traffic management advisory committee. The ADS-B Working Group 
includes representatives of air transport, avionics manufacturers, 
business aviation, Department of Defense, and general aviation. 

[7] GAO-08-1078.

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