Aviation Safety:

FAA's Assessment of Pre-flight Service Technology Options

AIMD-94-137BR: Published: Jun 20, 1994. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) funding for its Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS), focusing on: (1) whether the FAA Flight Service Technology Subcommittee's report was responsive to a congressional reporting requirement; and (2) the statistical validity of a DUATS user survey that FAA used to justify its proposal to terminate fiscal year (FY) 1994 DUATS funding.

GAO found that: (1) the FAA Subcommittee's report was responsive to the reporting requirement; (2) the Subcommittee reasonably reviewed available information on DUATS and other alternative technologies for flight plan filing and weather information services; (3) because of time constraints and incomplete data, the Subcommittee could not provide a detailed comparison of the alternatives; (4) the Subcommittee membership represented a diverse DUATS constituency and possessed considerable expertise; (5) the Subcommittee provided ample opportunity for interested parties to participate; (6) the results of the DUATS user survey were not statistically valid, since respondents were not representative of DUATS users; and (7) FAA should not have used the survey to justify its proposed termination of DUATS funding.

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