Air Traffic Control:

FAA Needs to Justify Further Investment in Its Oceanic Display System

IMTEC-92-80: Published: Sep 30, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 1992.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Joel C. Willemssen
(202) 512-6253
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Oceanic Display and Planning System (ODAPS).

GAO found that: (1) verification and validation findings show deficiencies, including failure to meet the specified requirement for ensuring minimum separation of aircraft, lack of design documentation, inconsistencies between the conflict probe software and air traffic control operational standards, and poor coding practices; (2) FAA is not performing basic capacity monitoring and planning activities for ODAPS; (3) FAA does not know when ODAPS will be completed; (4) the cost estimate is not based on formal estimating models; (5) FAA assessment of ODAPS fell short of a credible analysis of alternatives; and (6) the FAA assessment did not include data on the relative life-cycle cost and schedule implications of the alternatives it did consider.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: FAA has analyzed alternatives to ODAPS and has decided to no longer use ODAPS as the foundation upon which to build more advanced oceanic air traffic control automation.

    Recommendation: Should ODAPS emerge from this analysis as the more cost-effective alternative, the Administrator, FAA, should certify to the Secretary that the ODAPS cost and schedule are systematically estimated using contemporary estimating tools and techniques, and that these estimates are kept current to reflect changes to the program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: FAA has analyzed alternatives to ODAPS and has decided to no longer use ODAPS as the foundation upon which to build more advanced oceanic air traffic control automation.

    Recommendation: Should ODAPS emerge from this analysis as the more cost-effective alternative, the Administrator, FAA, should certify to the Secretary that a capacity management program for ODAPS has been established.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: FAA has analyzed alternatives to ODAPS and has decided to no longer use ODAPS as the foundation upon which to build more advanced oceanic air traffic control automation.

    Recommendation: Should ODAPS emerge from this analysis as the more cost-effective alternative, the Administrator, FAA, should certify to the Secretary that all ODAPS independent verification and validation (IV&V) findings have been thoroughly and expeditiously assessed and fully resolved.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAA is reviewing system architecture alternatives. FAA has analyzed alternatives to ODAPS and has decided to no longer use ODAPS as the foundation upon which to build more advanced oceanic air traffic control automation.

    Recommendation: Because of the uncertainties surrounding FAA cost and schedule estimates for ODAPS and the significant software problems still surfacing about the system, the Administrator, FAA, should certify to the Secretary of Transportation that a thorough and complete analysis of feasible alternatives to ODPAS has been performed. At a minimum, this analysis should include life-cycle cost data for each alternative that is credible and verifiable. Additionally, it should consider not only the FAA short-term oceanic processing, display, and communications requirements, but also its long-term requirements for satellite-based oceanic air traffic control and integration with the Advanced Automation System.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: FAA has analyzed alternatives to ODAPS and has decided to no longer use ODAPS as the foundation upon which to build more advanced oceanic air traffic control automation.

    Recommendation: Should ODAPS emerge from this analysis as the more cost-effective alternative, the Administrator, FAA, should certify to the Secretary that ODAPS is continually monitored relative to other feasible alternatives in light of any changes to the estimates.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 2, 2016

Aug 8, 2016

Jul 28, 2016

Jul 13, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 24, 2016

Jun 21, 2016

May 26, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here