FAA Budget:

Key Issues Need to Be Addressed

T-RCED-92-51: Published: Apr 6, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) fiscal year 1993 budget request for $9.4 billion, focusing on: (1) FAA management of air traffic controllers, maintenance technicians, and aviation safety inspectors; (2) modernization of the air traffic control (ATC) system; and (3) the need for FAA to establish measurable goals for its program. GAO noted that: (1) FAA has improved its total air traffic controller staffing dramatically during the last decade and now has nearly 18,000 controllers; (2) FAA lacks a sufficient number of field maintenance workers to service ATC equipment; (3) FAA has about 2,600 safety inspectors, and doubled the size of its 1983 aviation safety inspection workforce; (4) FAA now requires mission needs statements at the start of projects and is aligning its budget with the acquisition process so that development and production are funded separately; (5) for 1992, 7 of 12 major acquisitions had cost increases ranging from 4 to 21 percent and 8 of the 12 acquisitions fell behind schedule; and (6) FAA has not determined how many consolidated ATC facilities it needs, plans to integrate satellite technology into its land-based ATC system, and plans to expand the number of support contractors assisting with modernization.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAA intends to include measurable goals in the next CIP. FAA officials expect that the new CIP will be published in late 1993.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to include measurable goals in its Capital Investment Plan (CIP).

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In July 1995, FAA initiated a program to measure performance against goals in four key areas of the Airport Improvement Program. These areas include: airport system capacity, airport system safety, aircraft noise abatement, and runway/taxiway pavement condition.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to establish goals for each development project category in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS).

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAA intends to include such goals in the next published version of the research and development plan.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to develop goals for the research and development plan that are appropriate for that plan.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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