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entitled 'National Airspace System: Current Efforts and Proposed 
Changes to Improve Performance of FAA's Air Traffic Control System' 
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Report to Congressional Committees:

United States General Accounting Office:

GAO:

May 2003:

National Airspace System:

Current Efforts and Proposed Changes to Improve Performance of FAA's 
Air Traffic Control System:

GAO-03-542:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-03-542, a report to congressional committees 

Why GAO Did This Study:

To accelerate the modernization and improve the performance of the air 
traffic control system, the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and 
Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) created the Air Traffic 
Services Subcommittee (subcommittee) to oversee the air traffic 
control system and help the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 
address long-standing weaknesses in its modernization program.  The 
subcommittee is part of an aviation advisory council and consists of 
five private sector members with business expertise.  AIR-21 gave the 
subcommittee the authority to approve strategic plans, budgets, and 
procurements over $100 million.  In addition, 
AIR-21 required FAA to hire a chief operating officer to manage the 
system’s day-to-day operations.

AIR-21 mandated that GAO report on the success of the subcommittee in 
improving the performance of the air traffic control system.  
Accordingly, as agreed with the congressional committees’ offices, GAO 
reviewed the (1) actions taken by the subcommittee to carry out its 
oversight responsibilities and the obstacles that it encountered in 
doing so and (2) changes to the subcommittee’s organization and 
oversight responsibilities that have been proposed to improve the 
performance of the air traffic control system. 

What GAO Found:

To carry out its oversight responsibilities, the subcommittee has 
focused on bringing performance management, accountability, and a more 
businesslike structure to the air traffic control system.  It is 
working with FAA managers to refine and implement performance measures 
that will track safety indicators, such as operational errors and 
runway incursions, as well as the cost to provide air traffic control 
services.  The subcommittee also has taken some specific actions, as 
provided in AIR-21, including reviewing and approving a budget request 
and five large procurements that FAA had initiated for the air traffic 
control system.  However, the subcommittee has encountered obstacles 
in carrying out its responsibilities, the greatest of which has been 
FAA’s inability to hire a chief operating officer.  Without a chief 
operating officer to initiate actions that the subcommittee is 
responsible for reviewing and approving, the subcommittee’s influence 
has been limited.  According to the subcommittee, a major difficulty 
in hiring a chief operating officer has been uncertainty about the 
position's responsibilities, reporting relationships, and performance 

measures. 
The Congress, the administration, the subcommittee, and other 
stakeholders have proposed changes to the subcommittee’s organization 
and oversight responsibilities that they believe would improve the 
performance of the air traffic control system.  These changes could 
clarify uncertainties in the law or would modify the subcommittee's 
approval authority.  For example, three legislative proposals would 
designate the FAA Administrator as the chair of the subcommittee.  
While this change could eliminate any uncertainty about the chief 
operating officer’s reporting relationships and could make it easier 
to hire a chief operating officer, it also would reduce the number of 
private sector members and give the greatest authority to the FAA 
member (see figure). Two of these proposals also would alter the 
subcommittee’s approval authority. For example, one would make the 
subcommittee an advisory rather than an oversight body. The merits of 
these proposals depend on the extent to which approval authority is 
considered necessary or desirable to bring about improvements in the 
air traffic control system.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-542.

To view the full report, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Gerald L. Dillingham at (202) 512-2834 
or dillinghamg@gao.gov.

[End of section]

Contents:

Letter:

Results in Brief:

Background:

Subcommittee Has Emphasized Performance-based Management and Carried 
Out Some Responsibilities, but Obstacles Have Hampered Its Progress:

Proposed Changes to the Subcommittee's Organization and Oversight 
Responsibilities Could Clarify Uncertainties and Would Modify the 
Subcommittee's Authority:

Agency Comments:

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology:

Appendix II: Subcommittee's Progress in Implementing Specific 
Responsibilities:

Appendix III: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting the Subcommittee and 
the Chief Operating Officer Responsibilities:

Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments:

Contacts:

Staff Acknowledgments:

Figures:

Figure 1: Organizational Structure Created by AIR-21 and Executive 
Order 13180:

Figure 2: Current and Proposed Oversight and Management Structure:

Abbreviations:

AIR-21: Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st 
Century:

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration:

IRS: Internal Revenue Service:

United States General Accounting Office:

Washington, DC 20548:

May 30, 2003:

Congressional Committees:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) manages the busiest, most 
complex air traffic control system in the world. But the agency has had 
difficulty modernizing this system to improve its safety and efficiency 
and expand its capacity to accommodate projected increases in air 
traffic. Over the past two decades, FAA's air traffic control 
modernization program has had a history of cost overruns and schedule 
delays. For over a decade, bipartisan commissions, oversight 
organizations, and others have documented problems with the air traffic 
control modernization program and have made numerous recommendations, 
yet the problems continue.

In 2000, the Congress enacted legislation and the administration issued 
an executive order that, together, established a new, three-component 
structure to accelerate the modernization and improve the performance 
of the air traffic control system. The legislation--the Wendell H. Ford 
Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21)--
defines the air traffic control system as the equipment, policies, 
procedures, and personnel required to deliver air traffic 
services.[Footnote 1] AIR-21 established two of the new components: (1) 
a board of five private sector members, called the Air Traffic Services 
Subcommittee (subcommittee), to oversee the air traffic control system 
and (2) a chief operating officer to manage the air traffic control 
system. Executive Order 13180, issued December 7, 2000, created the 
third component, a new performance-based organization within FAA, to be 
known as the Air Traffic Organization, to operate the air traffic 
control system. The subcommittee is part of the Aviation Management 
Advisory Council (council), which is responsible for advising FAA on 
the perspectives of its aviation industry customers.[Footnote 2] Under 
the act, the subcommittee oversees "the administration, management, 
conduct, direction, and supervision of the air traffic control system" 
and has the authority to, among other things, "review and approve" 
strategic plans, large contracts, and budget requests for the air 
traffic control system. Under both the act and the executive order, the 
chief operating officer reports to the FAA Administrator and, under the 
executive order, heads the new performance-based organization.

The subcommittee members were sworn in on January 31, 2001, and the 
subcommittee, which is required to meet at least quarterly, has since 
held eight working meetings. The FAA Administrator, who is responsible 
for hiring the chief operating officer, has retained two recruiting 
firms, but the chief operating officer position has not been filled. 
Because FAA has decided to involve the chief operating officer in 
establishing and implementing the new performance-based organization, 
FAA is waiting for an appointment to be approved before putting the new 
organization in place.

Since the enactment of AIR-21, the Congress, the administration, FAA, 
and other stakeholders have raised questions about the implementation 
of the legislation and have proposed changes to the subcommittee's 
organization and oversight responsibilities that they believe would 
address these questions. In the spring of 2003, the administration, the 
Senate, and the House proposed legislation to amend AIR-21 that would, 
among other things, change the organization and responsibilities of the 
subcommittee.

AIR-21 requires us to report on the success of the subcommittee in 
improving the performance of the air traffic control system. However, 
because the success of the subcommittee is linked to its interactions 
with the chief operating officer and the new air traffic organization, 
neither of which is yet in place, our analysis was limited to the 
actions of the subcommittee, and we could not assess the performance of 
the new structure as a whole. Accordingly, as agreed with your offices, 
this report addresses the following questions:

* What has the subcommittee done to carry out its oversight 
responsibilities, and what obstacles has it encountered in attempting 
to do so?

* What changes to the subcommittee's organization and oversight 
responsibilities have been proposed to improve the performance of the 
air traffic control system?

To address both of these questions, we analyzed AIR-21 and its 
legislative history, the executive order, and the three legislative 
proposals that would amend provisions of AIR-21 relating to the 
subcommittee. We also analyzed the subcommittee's August 2002 
report[Footnote 3] and interviewed stakeholders, including the past and 
present FAA Administrators; other FAA officials; past and present 
members of the Air Traffic Services Subcommittee; and representatives 
of several aviation industry organizations, public policy research 
organizations, and the two firms hired to recruit the chief operating 
officer. We did not address changes to FAA's--as opposed to the 
subcommittee's--organization that some stakeholders maintain are 
essential to improve the performance of the air traffic control system. 
See appendix I for a more detailed discussion of our scope and 
methodology.

Results in Brief:

To carry out its oversight responsibilities, the subcommittee has 
focused on bringing performance-based management to the air traffic 
control system and has taken some of the actions specified in AIR-21, 
but several obstacles have hampered its progress. Defining its role as 
bringing measurements, accountability, and a more businesslike 
structure to air traffic services, the subcommittee has worked with FAA 
managers to refine and implement performance measures that will track 
safety indicators, such as operational errors and runway incursions, as 
well as track the cost to provide air traffic control services so that 
FAA can better monitor, improve, and hold its managers accountable for 
the performance of the air traffic control system. The subcommittee 
also has accomplished some of the specific responsibilities set forth 
in the act, such as reviewing and approving budget requests and five 
large procurements that FAA initiated for the air traffic control 
system. However, the subcommittee has encountered several obstacles 
that have impeded its progress, the greatest of which, according to our 
analysis and discussions with stakeholders, has been FAA's inability to 
hire a chief operating officer. Without a chief operating officer to 
initiate actions that the subcommittee is responsible for reviewing and 
approving, the subcommittee's influence has been limited. According to 
the subcommittee, a major difficulty in hiring a chief operating 
officer has been uncertainty about how the chief operating officer 
would interact with the FAA Administrator and the subcommittee and how 
the incumbent's performance would be measured. Other obstacles that the 
subcommittee has encountered include its members' limited experience 
with aviation and with FAA's acquisition and budget processes; turnover 
on the subcommittee; and, according to the subcommittee, FAA's lack of 
flexibility to move funds between and within accounts.

The Congress, the administration, the subcommittee, and other 
stakeholders have proposed changes to the subcommittee's organization 
and oversight responsibilities that they believe would improve the 
performance of the air traffic control system. These changes could 
clarify uncertainties in the law or would modify the subcommittee's 
approval authority. For example, the administration, the Senate, and 
the House have proposed legislation to separate the subcommittee from 
and make it independent of its parent organization, the Aviation 
Management Advisory Council. These three legislative proposals also 
would designate the FAA Administrator as the chair of the subcommittee. 
While this change could make it easier to hire a chief operating 
officer by eliminating any uncertainty about how the incumbent would 
interact with the Administrator and the subcommittee, it also would 
reduce the number of private sector members from five to four and give 
the greatest authority to the FAA member. Two of the three proposals 
also would alter the subcommittee's approval authority: the 
administration's proposal would eliminate the subcommittee's approval 
authority entirely and make the subcommittee an advisory body, while 
the House proposal would eliminate the subcommittee's authority to 
approve the budget request for the air traffic control system but would 
retain the subcommittee's other approval authorities. The Senate 
proposal would make no changes in the subcommittee's approval 
authority. Our analysis indicates that the merits of the proposed 
changes depend, in large part, on the extent to which approval 
authority is viewed as necessary or desirable to bring about 
improvements in the performance of the air traffic control system. The 
upcoming reauthorization of FAA creates opportunities to consider the 
merits of these and other proposed changes and to determine whether or 
how changes should be made.

Department of Transportation officials generally agreed with the facts 
presented in this report and made technical and clarifying comments, 
which we incorporated as appropriate. The Air Traffic Services 
Subcommittee did not provide comments beyond those provided by 
department officials.

Background:

More than 20 years ago, FAA began a modernization program to replace 
and upgrade the nation's air traffic control equipment and facilities 
to meet expected increases in air traffic, enhance aviation safety, and 
increase efficiency. We and others have identified shortcomings in 
FAA's management of the air traffic control modernization program, 
primarily problems in meeting cost, schedule, and performance goals. 
For example, the centerpiece of FAA's modernization program--the 
Advanced Automation System--was restructured in 1994 after (1) the 
costs of developing the system, estimated in 1983 to be $2.5 billion, 
tripled to $7.6 billion and (2) the implementation of significantly 
less-than-promised capabilities was projected to take 8 years or longer 
than originally estimated. FAA attributed many of these problems to 
federal procurement and personnel constraints. In 1995, the Congress 
exempted FAA from many federal procurement and personnel statutes and 
allowed the agency to develop its own systems, which FAA implemented in 
1996. However, problems with the management of the air traffic control 
modernization program continue.[Footnote 4] Recently, for example, we 
reported that the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, 
which was estimated in 1996 to cost $940 million, was expected in March 
2002 to cost $1.33 billion, take 4 years longer than originally 
scheduled to be implemented, and be deployed at 74 rather than 172 
facilities.[Footnote 5]

To better understand and resolve these problems, the Congress created a 
number of bipartisan commissions to review aspects of FAA's operations, 
including the provision of air traffic services. These commissions made 
recommendations to the Congress to help FAA accelerate the 
modernization and improve the performance of the air traffic control 
system. For example, in 1997, the National Civil Aviation Review 
Commission, also known as the Mineta Commission, reported that FAA must 
become a performance-based organization to make the best possible use 
of the personnel and procurement flexibilities that the Congress had 
granted to it.[Footnote 6] The Commission said that air traffic 
services should be overseen by a board of directors and managed by a 
chief operating officer.

AIR-21 incorporated key suggestions from the Mineta Commission, 
including creating both the subcommittee to oversee the air traffic 
control system and the position of chief operating officer within FAA 
to manage the system. The subcommittee is generally responsible for 
overseeing the administration and management of the air traffic control 
system and is specifically responsible for reviewing and approving (1) 
strategic and major organizational plans, (2) methods of accelerating 
the modernization of the air traffic control system and improvements in 
aviation safety related to air traffic control, (3) contracts of more 
than $100 million, (4) the FAA Administrator's appointment of a chief 
operating officer, (5) cost accounting and financial management 
systems, and (6) budget requests.[Footnote 7] The chief operating 
officer is responsible for implementing the tasks delegated by the 
Administrator.

Executive Order 13180, issued on December 7, 2000, directed FAA to 
merge two of its organizations--Research and Acquisitions, which 
develops and acquires air traffic modernization equipment, and Air 
Traffic Services, which uses the equipment to provide air traffic 
services--to form the new performance-based Air Traffic Organization 
and designated the chief operating officer as the head of that 
organization. Under the executive order as well as the act, the chief 
operating officer reports to the FAA Administrator. According to the 
executive order, the new organization would improve FAA's ability to 
make use of its procurement and personnel flexibilities and would focus 
on achieving results through consultation with its customers (the 
traveling public), direct users (e.g., airlines and airports), and 
federal and local agencies (see fig. 1).

Figure 1: Organizational Structure Created by AIR-21 and Executive 
Order 13180:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

The provisions of AIR-21 that apply to the subcommittee are modeled on 
1998 legislation that created the Internal Revenue Service Oversight 
Board to oversee the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) administration, 
management, conduct, direction, supervision, execution, and 
application of tax laws. The Congress established the board to help IRS 
overcome long-standing difficulties in modernizing its information 
systems and improving customer service--difficulties that were viewed 
as broadly analogous to those affecting the air traffic control system. 
However, the board differs from the subcommittee in that it includes 
the Secretary of the Treasury and the IRS Commissioner, whereas the 
subcommittee, as provided in AIR-21, consists entirely of private 
sector representatives.

In July 2002, the Subcommittee on Aviation, House Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure, held a hearing on FAA's progress in 
hiring a chief operating officer and the role of the subcommittee. 
During this hearing, the former FAA Administrator and the former 
subcommittee chairman testified that a lack of clarity in the act on 
the relationship of the chief operating officer to the subcommittee and 
the FAA Administrator had made it difficult to hire a chief operating 
officer. This spring, the administration, the Senate, and the House 
have proposed legislation to reauthorize FAA's programs that would 
amend AIR-21 to, among other things, clarify this 
relationship.[Footnote 8]

Subcommittee Has Emphasized Performance-based Management and Carried 
Out Some Responsibilities, but Obstacles Have Hampered Its Progress:

Under AIR-21, the Air Traffic Services Subcommittee has multiple 
responsibilities, but it thus far has focused on assisting FAA in 
moving toward performance-based management. Specifically, the 
subcommittee has defined its role as bringing measurements, 
accountability, and a more businesslike structure to air traffic 
services. It also has accomplished some of the specific 
responsibilities set out in the act, such as approving budgets and 
large procurements, but it has encountered obstacles that have limited 
its progress. The greatest obstacle has been the lack of a chief 
operating officer to provide senior leadership for implementing change. 
Other obstacles include the subcommittee members' general inexperience 
with aviation and with FAA's acquisition and budget processes; turnover 
on the subcommittee; and, according to the subcommittee, FAA's lack of 
flexibility to move funds between and within accounts.

Subcommittee Is Moving FAA toward Performance-based Management:

In its first annual report, issued in August 2002, the subcommittee 
expressed the view that "setting the proper performance measures and 
then accurately and relentlessly using them to improve the quality and 
safety of the air traffic system will form the foundation of the new 
organization." Even without a chief operating officer to develop a 
strategic plan for the air traffic control system, including measures 
of safety, efficiency, and productivity, as provided in the act, the 
subcommittee has been working with FAA to identify appropriate measures 
in each area. Specifically, in March 2002, the subcommittee tentatively 
approved draft performance measures outlined by the FAA Administrator 
in 10 areas, including operational errors, runway incursions, delays, 
and financial performance.[Footnote 9] The subcommittee's report noted 
that FAA has developed more detailed and useful performance measures in 
some areas, such as runway incursions, and therefore can collect better 
data for measuring its performance. For example, FAA now measures the 
severity as well as the number of runway incursions, and it is better 
able to target and take action to prevent the serious incursions that 
could cause accidents. The subcommittee is continuing to emphasize 
performance measures, making sure that they measure outcomes that are 
within FAA's control and can be used to hold FAA managers accountable. 
The subcommittee's goal is to help FAA refine and link its performance 
measures to FAA's and the Department of Transportation's strategic 
plans.

Subcommittee Has Carried Out Other Specific Responsibilities, but Its 
Input Has Been Limited:

In addition to focusing on performance management, the subcommittee has 
carried out several of the specific responsibilities assigned to it 
under AIR-21. For example, to date, the subcommittee reviewed and 
approved:

* five air traffic procurement projects of more than $100 
million,[Footnote 10]

* the FAA Administrator's implementation of a cost accounting system, 
and

* the Administrator's plans to reorganize major parts of the air 
traffic control system.

In each of these areas, the subcommittee's input was limited because 
the work was largely completed before the subcommittee became involved. 
For example, all of the key acquisition milestones had been completed 
for two of the five procurements, and for the other three, the 
subcommittee did not make any substantive changes. Similarly, the 
subcommittee noted with approval in its report that the cost accounting 
system implemented by the Administrator was tracking 70 percent of 
FAA's personnel, overhead, and other costs for the air traffic control 
system, but the subcommittee did not address problems with tracking the 
remaining 30 percent of these costs, most of which are for labor. As 
Transportation's Office of Inspector General has reported, problems 
with FAA's labor distribution system, which is part of the cost 
accounting system, limit FAA's ability to monitor air traffic 
controllers' productivity.[Footnote 11] Because of the problems with 
this system, FAA cannot track the hours worked by individual 
controllers or assign the hours worked to specific functions or 
facilities. According to the Inspector General, the Administrator has 
directed that appropriate internal controls be incorporated into the 
labor distribution system to track the hours worked by all employees. 
While noting that most of the important decisions on reorganizing the 
air traffic control functions will not be made until a chief operating 
officer is hired, the subcommittee approved FAA's preliminary plans for 
merging the acquisition and operating functions of the agency.

AIR-21 gives the subcommittee broad authority to influence the budget 
for the air traffic control system, but the subcommittee has not fully 
exercised that authority. Specifically, the act makes the subcommittee 
responsible for reviewing and approving the annual air traffic control 
budget request, submitting this budget request to the Secretary of 
Transportation, and ensuring that it supports the annual and long-range 
strategic plans for the air traffic control system. Additionally, the 
act requires the Secretary to transmit the budget request approved by 
the subcommittee to the President, who is then directed to transmit 
that request to the House and Senate authorizing and appropriations 
committees "without revision," together with the President's annual 
budget request for the rest of FAA. It is not clear what role this 
process allows for Transportation and the Office of Management and 
Budget in developing the budget request for the air traffic control 
system. The IRS Oversight Board has similar authority over the IRS 
budget. The fiscal year 2003 budget for the air traffic control system 
was already under development when the subcommittee was established. 
The subcommittee's first annual report makes no mention of actions 
taken on that budget; however, discussions with FAA officials indicated 
that the subcommittee reviewed and approved the budget requests 
prepared by the FAA Administrator for fiscal years 2003 and 2004. 
Nevertheless, to our knowledge, the subcommittee did not recommend any 
changes to these budget requests or determine whether the budget 
requests supported the long-range plans for the air traffic control 
system.

In a few other areas, the subcommittee did not need to carry out its 
specific responsibilities because FAA did not initiate an action. For 
example, the subcommittee could not review and approve the 
Administrator's appointment of a chief operating officer because no 
candidate was appointed, and it could not review and approve bonus 
payments for the Administrator and senior FAA executives because no 
bonus payments were made for fiscal year 2001.[Footnote 12] Appendix II 
summarizes our analysis of the subcommittee's progress in carrying out 
its specific responsibilities.

Now that the subcommittee has been in place for more than 2 years, it 
is beginning to exercise more influence. For example, according to FAA 
officials, the subcommittee raised questions about the funding, timing, 
and intellectual property rights for one recent procurement it 
approved.[Footnote 13] Applying its private sector knowledge of 
intellectual property rights, the subcommittee asked FAA staff about 
the potential for the government to earn money from equipment or 
materials it has furnished to developers of the system. According to an 
FAA official, these questions led to informal discussions about the 
feasibility of exploring this option.

Not Having a Chief Operating Officer Has Been the Greatest Obstacle to 
the Subcommittee's Progress:

Not having a chief operating officer has hindered the subcommittee in 
carrying out its responsibilities. For example, without a chief 
operating officer, FAA has not moved forward with the new air traffic 
organization that is supposed to bring together the air traffic control 
system's acquisition and operating functions. To date, the subcommittee 
has spent a portion of each of its working meetings discussing the 
effort to hire a chief operating officer. In addition, it recently 
worked with FAA and the current recruiting firm to revise and 
streamline the position description, but until the position is filled, 
the new three-component structure will not be fully functional. For the 
subcommittee, the chief operating officer is the "lynchpin" of the new 
performance-based air traffic organization--the "change agent" 
responsible for improving the performance and delivery of air traffic 
services. The subcommittee believes that not having a chief operating 
officer has seriously impeded its progress.

The subcommittee and FAA agreed that uncertainties about the position's 
responsibilities, reporting relationships, and measurement criteria 
for performance are major factors that have hampered the hiring of a 
chief operating officer. Under AIR-21, the FAA Administrator "may" 
delegate responsibility to the chief operating officer for developing a 
strategic plan and a budget request for the air traffic control system 
and for "reviewing" operational functions, including the modernization 
of the air traffic control system, measures for increasing productivity 
or controlling costs, and training and education. Candidates were 
unsure what specific duties the Administrator would delegate to the 
chief operating officer or what the chief operating officer should do 
to implement the delegated duties. Additionally, it was unclear how the 
chief operating officer would interact with the Administrator and the 
subcommittee, especially if there were differences of opinion between 
them. Although the chief operating officer reports to the Administrator 
under the act, the subcommittee also "has broad powers to oversee the 
work and budget of the air traffic organization." This, according to 
the subcommittee's first annual report, "creates organizational 
confusion that has been a factor in dissuading some candidates from 
accepting the position." Furthermore, candidates expressed concern 
about a lack of criteria for measuring and evaluating the chief 
operating officer's performance. Without specific criteria, some 
stakeholders suggested, the chief operating officer could be working at 
odds with the Administrator and the subcommittee. Candidates also 
wanted to know what criteria would be used to determine their 
eligibility for a bonus of up to 30 percent of their salary. While the 
act spells out the specific duties of the chief operating officer, and 
the criteria for evaluating his or her performance would be spelled out 
in the annual performance agreement between the Administrator and the 
chief operating officer, candidates wanted a better idea, in advance, 
of what they would be doing and how their performance would be judged.

Other factors have also made it difficult to hire a chief operating 
officer, some of which have now been resolved or are no longer 
relevant. One ongoing factor is the reservation that candidates and 
stakeholders have expressed about the likelihood of cultural change in 
FAA's air traffic services organization. According to one of the 
recruiting firms retained by FAA, candidates have questioned whether a 
regulatory agency with an entrenched bureaucracy will embrace the 
cultural change necessary to transform air traffic services into a 
performance-based organization in which individuals will be held 
accountable for specific goals, such as implementing timely 
technological improvements.

In response to the revised, streamlined position description that it 
developed with the subcommittee and the second recruiting firm, FAA 
received several applications for the chief operating officer position. 
In March 2003, the recruiting firm gave the Administrator a slate of 
candidates for the position. However, the administration's proposal 
narrows the scope of the chief operating officer's responsibilities, so 
that the position would now be responsible for "implementing" the 
Administrator's direction and for managing the day-to-day operations of 
the air traffic control system, but not for "developing" policy tools, 
such as strategic plans and budget proposals. FAA considers such 
policy-making functions appropriate for a chief executive officer--that 
is, for the Administrator--but not for a chief operating officer. Other 
stakeholders have agreed with FAA, maintaining that AIR-21 created 
confusion by bestowing policy-making functions on the chief operating 
officer position. While these changes, if implemented, may eliminate 
this confusion in the future, it is unclear how the candidates who 
applied for the position as described in the act and the executive 
order will respond to FAA's proposed changes to the position's 
responsibilities. According to FAA officials, proposed changes were 
discussed with prospective candidates.

Other Obstacles Have Slowed the Subcommittee's Progress:

Inexperience with FAA's acquisition and budget processes has further 
hampered the subcommittee's progress. AIR-21 requires the subcommittee 
members, collectively, to have experience and expertise in the 
management of large service organizations, customer service, the 
management of large procurements, information and communications 
technology, organizational development, and labor relations so that the 
subcommittee can help FAA address long-standing weaknesses in its air 
traffic modernization program. Additionally, the act prohibits the 
subcommittee members from having any financial ties to any aviation or 
aeronautics business or lobbying firm. As a result, the subcommittee 
members have faced a steep and time-consuming learning curve to 
understand FAA's acquisition and budget processes as they relate to the 
air traffic control system. To acquire the basic understanding they 
needed to carry out their review and approval functions, for example, 
they initially spent portions of their quarterly or bimonthly meetings 
on briefings from FAA staff and others on these processes.

Turnover on the subcommittee also has slowed its progress. Since the 
original five subcommittee members were sworn in, in January 2001, 
three have resigned and two of the three have been replaced, leaving 
four current members. The new members have had to go through a time-
consuming learning process, just as the original members did. The 
Secretary of Transportation has not appointed a fifth member to the 
subcommittee because he is waiting to see whether the administration's 
reauthorization proposal, which would make the FAA Administrator the 
chair of the subcommittee, is approved. The congressional proposals 
would likewise make the Administrator the chair of the subcommittee.

Still another obstacle to the subcommittee's progress, according to the 
subcommittee, is FAA's lack of flexibility to move funds within and 
between accounts. The subcommittee told us that project oversight 
requires the ability to recommend such moves, but congressional budget 
guidelines restrict FAA's ability to move funds. Therefore, according 
to the subcommittee, these guidelines hinder FAA's ability to take 
advantage of the subcommittee's expert business advice and counsel. 
Both FAA and the subcommittee agree that acquisition project management 
is an area in which FAA could use flexibility. For example, FAA 
officials indicated that they would like the flexibility to adjust to 
changing circumstances by shifting money within the facilities and 
equipment account from a project that is delayed to a project that is 
on track and could be cost-effectively accelerated. The agency is 
putting together a paper that will expand on the need for this 
flexibility.

In general, the Congress restricts an agency's ability to move funds 
within and between accounts to help ensure that funds are spent on the 
programs and activities for which they were appropriated. Guidelines 
from FAA's Senate Committee on Appropriations require FAA to seek 
congressional approval for any reprogramming that would increase or 
decrease funding for a project within the facilities and equipment 
account by more than 15 percent.[Footnote 14] Transfers between 
appropriations accounts must be specifically authorized by law. If the 
Appropriations Committee saw a need to provide FAA with more 
flexibility, it could consider raising the reprogramming threshold or 
the Congress could enact legislation to allow FAA to transfer money 
between accounts on a trial basis.

Proposed Changes to the Subcommittee's Organization and Oversight 
Responsibilities Could Clarify Uncertainties and Would Modify the 
Subcommittee's Authority:

The Congress, the administration, and other stakeholders have proposed 
changes to the subcommittee's organization and oversight 
responsibilities that they believe would improve the performance of the 
air traffic control system. These changes could clarify some 
uncertainties in AIR-21 and would modify the subcommittee's approval 
authority. According to our analysis, the merits of the proposed 
changes depend, in large part, on the extent to which the 
subcommittee's current approval authority is viewed as necessary or 
desirable to improve the performance of the air traffic control system.

Legislative Proposals Agree on Organizational Changes:

The three legislative proposals that addressed the subcommittee's 
organization and responsibilities would separate the subcommittee from 
the Aviation Management Advisory Council and rename the subcommittee. 
Under the Senate proposal, the new organization would be called the Air 
Traffic Services Committee; under the House and the administration 
proposals, it would be called the Air Traffic Services Board. This 
change would elevate the subcommittee from a subordinate organization 
to an organization independent of the council to oversee air traffic 
services, just as the Mineta Commission envisioned. The new 
organization also would be structurally similar to the IRS Oversight 
Board and to a board of directors for a private organization. According 
to the administration proposal, this change would improve the 
functioning of both the council and the subcommittee by "simplifying 
and clarifying their respective missions," enabling the council to 
focus on providing "user/customer" input and the subcommittee to 
"target the safe and efficient operation of the air traffic control 
system.":

The three legislative proposals also would make the FAA Administrator a 
member and the chair of the new organization. According to FAA and 
other proponents, this change would streamline and clarify the lines of 
authority between the chief operating officer, the Administrator, and 
the subcommittee, eliminating the "confusion" and "blurring" of the 
lines of authority that, according to the subcommittee's first annual 
report, was a factor in dissuading some candidates from accepting the 
job of chief operating officer (see fig. 2). Hence, this change could 
make it easier to hire a chief operating officer. According to the 
subcommittee, which also recommended in its first annual report that 
the FAA Administrator chair the subcommittee, the "outside oversight" 
envisioned under the statute would be preserved by this proposal 
because the four private sector members would still constitute a 
majority and the Administrator would need two of their votes for 
approval of any items. However, this change also would reduce the 
number and influence of the private sector members and could affect the 
subcommittee's potential for accomplishing change.

Figure 2: Current and Proposed Oversight and Management Structure:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Proposals Would Alter the Subcommittee's Approval Authority to Varying 
Degrees:

Two of the three legislative proposals and some stakeholders' proposals 
would, to varying degrees, curtail the subcommittee's authority to 
approve strategic plans, contracts, and budget requests for the air 
traffic control system. These proposals are designed to address 
challenges to the administration's policy-making functions that the 
administration and some other stakeholders see in the subcommittee's 
approval authority--especially in the subcommittee's authority to 
approve a budget request for the air traffic control system. 
Specifically, the administration has proposed to eliminate all of the 
subcommittee's approval authority, making the new body strictly 
advisory, and the House and other stakeholders have proposed to 
eliminate some of the subcommittee's approval authority. Neither the 
Senate nor the subcommittee has recommended any changes in the 
subcommittee's approval authority.

Under the administration proposal, the subcommittee would no longer 
approve strategic plans, contracts, and budget requests for the air 
traffic control system. Instead, it would "make recommendations" 
consistent with its expertise in management, customer service, 
information and communications technology, organizational development, 
and labor relations. Furthermore, the Secretary of Transportation would 
no longer be responsible for initiating any process that would transmit 
a document reflecting the subcommittee's views on the budget to the 
congressional authorizing and appropriating committees. These changes 
would alleviate concerns about the subcommittee's usurping the 
executive branch's policy-making responsibilities, especially the 
executive branch's prerogative to submit a budget that reflects its 
priorities. According to the administration's reauthorization 
proposal, the subcommittee's review and recommendations on the budget 
for the air traffic control system would then be "based on Department 
of Transportation and Office of Management and Budget budget levels and 
within the normal procedures for developing the President's Budget." We 
are not aware of any efforts by the subcommittee to challenge the 
executive branch's authority. However, the former chairman of the 
subcommittee noted that AIR-21, as written, could be interpreted as 
enabling the subcommittee to circumvent major policy decisions of the 
administration through its authority to approve the air traffic 
organization's budget, major contracts, and major personnel decisions. 
According to the former chairman, the possibility of such an 
interpretation, while probably not intended, pointed to a need for 
greater clarity in the law.

Under the House proposal, the subcommittee would lose its authority to 
approve the budget request for the air traffic control system, but it 
would retain its other approval authorities. The subcommittee could 
make recommendations on the budget request, which the Secretary of 
Transportation would be responsible for submitting to the President. 
The President would then be responsible for transmitting these 
recommendations to the congressional authorizers and appropriators. 
While this proposal appears to respond, in part, to the 
administration's concerns about challenges to the executive branch's 
policy-making authority, especially the executive branch's prerogative 
to submit a budget that reflects its priorities, it retains AIR-21's 
means of communicating views on an executive branch agency's budget 
directly to the Congress. Even with the Administrator as chair, if at 
least three members of the subcommittee disagreed with the 
administration, they could formally communicate their views to the 
congressional committees. Appendix III summarizes the changes that the 
three proposals would make to the subcommittee's organization and 
oversight responsibilities and to the chief operating officer's 
responsibilities.

Several stakeholders have proposed to eliminate the subcommittee's 
authority to approve a budget request and large contracts but to 
preserve its authority to approve strategic plans and performance 
measures. This proposal reflects the view that the subcommittee's 
authority should be aligned with its expertise and that the 
subcommittee cannot realistically be expected to make meaningful 
contributions to all of the areas under its purview, given that most of 
its members lack experience with aviation issues. However, eliminating 
the subcommittee's authority to approve a budget request and large 
contracts could limit its ability to (1) help ensure that FAA's 
strategic plan for the air traffic control system is aligned with the 
budget and (2) oversee procurement costs and schedules. While 
acknowledging that the scope of the subcommittee's responsibilities is 
very large, others maintain that with a staff to provide technical 
support, including analyses of budgets and procurements, the 
subcommittee could be expected to carry out its current 
responsibilities.

The proposals for eliminating or curtailing the subcommittee's approval 
authority could strengthen the accountability of the Administrator and 
of the chief operating officer by increasing their responsibility for 
improving the performance of the air traffic control system. These 
proposals also would remove any ambiguity about the reporting 
relationship of the chief operating officer and the Administrator. 
However, eliminating the subcommittee's approval authority also would 
limit the subcommittee's power and fundamentally alter its role. It is 
unclear how the subcommittee without approval authority could carry out 
its "general responsibility" for "oversight" under AIR-21--to "oversee 
the administration, management, conduct, direction, and supervision of 
the air traffic control system.":

Stakeholders Have Proposed Other Changes That Would Affect the 
Subcommittee's Organization and Ability to Carry Out Its 
Responsibilities:

The head of the Aviation Management Advisory Council proposed to 
eliminate the subcommittee's approval authority and merge the 
subcommittee with the council. The rationale for this proposal is that 
the resulting expanded advisory council could provide the FAA 
Administrator with both aviation industry and management expertise, as 
the Mineta Commission recommended, and that this cross pollination 
could lead to a fertile exchange of ideas and prevent aviation 
representatives from being too insular and nonindustry representatives 
from being too naïve. However, like the administration proposal, it 
would eliminate the subcommittee's approval authority.

To help the subcommittee better understand aviation issues, some 
stakeholders have suggested that at least one member should have 
expertise in aviation. Other stakeholders have disagreed, noting that 
FAA is expected to serve as a resource for the subcommittee, and that 
the members of the council have experience in aviation. These 
stakeholders believe that having a member with expertise in aviation 
would, therefore, be redundant and could dilute the subcommittee's 
potential to bring expertise in performance management to air traffic 
services.

Other stakeholders have suggested that the subcommittee hire a staff to 
provide them with expertise in aviation technology, federal budgeting, 
finance, and contracting. The purpose of such a staff would be to give 
the subcommittee an independent perspective and to ensure continuity 
when turnover in the subcommittee's membership occurs. AIR-21 
authorizes the chair of the subcommittee to appoint "any personnel that 
may be necessary to enable the subcommittee to perform its duties," but 
the act does not authorize an appropriation for a staff. To date, the 
subcommittee has relied on FAA staff for information and analysis. The 
original subcommittee members voted to hire staff, and the fiscal year 
2002 budget provided about $850,000 for that purpose. However, with the 
resignation of two of the original members and the first chairman's 
imminent departure, the hiring did not occur. According to FAA's 
records, the money was divided between the council and the 
subcommittee, and a portion of the funding that remained with the 
subcommittee was used to pay part of the salary and benefits of the FAA 
staff who assisted both the council and the subcommittee.

According to FAA officials, neither the fiscal year 2003 budget nor the 
fiscal year 2004 budget request provides any funds for a staff or other 
outside resources for the subcommittee. FAA officials stated that when, 
and if, it became necessary for the subcommittee to have staff, FAA 
would seek the necessary funds. Until then, FAA will staff the 
subcommittee. According to FAA officials and the current subcommittee 
chairman, hiring a staff would be an unnecessary expense at this time. 
In addition, the current chairman views the work that FAA staff do for 
the subcommittee as educational for the staff, improving their ability 
to understand the subcommittee's approach to performance management.

We agree that FAA is the logical source of much of the information that 
the subcommittee may need. However, relying exclusively on FAA for 
information and analysis may not provide the subcommittee with an 
independent perspective. Moreover, as our work has shown, FAA's 
information may not always be reliable or complete. For example, our 
recent work on the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, one 
of FAA's major modernization projects, showed that the reliability of 
FAA's life-cycle cost estimates is uncertain, in part because FAA was 
relying on data from the contractor that did not reflect the current 
status of the project and had not been independently analyzed as FAA's 
guidance requires.[Footnote 15] Because the subcommittee members are 
generally not experts in aviation technology, federal budgeting, 
finance, and contracting, they may not be ideally qualified to evaluate 
the independence, reliability, and completeness of the information they 
are provided for overseeing the air traffic control system.

Agency Comments:

We provided a draft of this report to the Department of Transportation 
and the Air Traffic Services Subcommittee for review and comment. On 
May 16, 2003, we received E-mail comments from the department. 
Department officials generally agreed with the facts presented in the 
draft report and made technical and clarifying comments, which we 
incorporated in this report as appropriate. The Air Traffic Services 
Subcommittee did not provide comments beyond those provided by 
department officials.

We are sending copies of this report to interested Members of Congress, 
the Secretary of Transportation, and the FAA Administrator. We will 
also make copies available to others upon request. In addition, this 
report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://
www.gao.gov.

Should you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-2834. I can also be reached by E-mail at 
dillinghamg@gao.gov. Key contacts and contributors to this report are 
listed in appendix IV.

Gerald L. Dillingham
Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues:

Signed by Gerald L. Dillingham:

List of Committees:

The Honorable John McCain
Chairman
The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
United States Senate:

The Honorable Trent Lott
Chairman
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Aviation
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
United States Senate:

The Honorable Don Young
Chairman
The Honorable James Oberstar
Ranking Democratic Member
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
House of Representatives:

The Honorable John Mica
Chairman
The Honorable Peter A. DeFazio
Ranking Democratic Member
Subcommittee on Aviation
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
House of Representatives:

[End of section]

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology:

The Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st 
Century (AIR-21) requires us to report on the success of the Air 
Traffic Services Subcommittee in improving the performance of the air 
traffic control system. Accordingly, this report addresses the (1) 
actions the subcommittee has taken to carry out its oversight 
responsibilities and the obstacles it has encountered in attempting to 
do so and (2) changes to the subcommittee's organization and oversight 
responsibilities that have been proposed to improve the performance of 
the air traffic control system.

To accomplish both of our objectives, we analyzed AIR-21 and its 
legislative history; Executive Order 13180; and proposals of the 
administration, the Senate, and the House that would amend provisions 
of AIR-21 relating to the subcommittee and the chief operating officer. 
We also reviewed the initial and the revised profiles for the chief 
operating officer's position and legislation and other documents that 
created a similar oversight structure at the Internal Revenue Service. 
We analyzed the Air Traffic Services Subcommittee's annual report and 
the minutes from the subcommittee's meetings, as well as congressional 
testimony on the status of the subcommittee and our reports on 
transforming federal agencies. In addition, we interviewed Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) officials, including the past and present 
Administrators; past and present members of the subcommittee; the head 
of the Aviation Management Advisory Council; and representatives of 
aviation industry organizations, including the American Association of 
Airport Executives, Airport Council International-North America, 
National Association of State Aviation Officials, Air Transportation 
Association, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Airline 
Pilots Association, and Cargo Airline Association. We also analyzed 
documentation from FAA officials, research organizations, and the two 
firms hired to recruit the chief operating officer. We did not address 
changes to FAA's--as opposed to the subcommittee's--organization that 
some stakeholders maintain are essential to improve the performance of 
the air traffic control system.

We performed our work from October 2002 through May 2003 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards.

[End of section]

Appendix II: Subcommittee's Progress in Implementing Specific 
Responsibilities:

[See PDF for image]

[A] Because of the events of September 11, 2001, the FAA Administrator 
did not give bonuses to executives; therefore, the Air Traffic Services 
Subcommittee did not review this issue.

[B] The subcommittee was formed after the fiscal year 2003 budget 
process was under way.

[End of figure]

[End of section]

Appendix III: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting the Subcommittee 
and the Chief Operating Officer Responsibilities:

Legislative proposal: Modify subcommittee's structure:

Legislative proposal: * Separate subcommittee from the Aviation 
Management Advisory Council; Yes; Initiator of proposed change: 
Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes; Initiator of proposed 
change: House[C]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Designate the FAA Administrator as chairperson; 
Yes; Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's 
structure: Yes; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Reduce the number of private sector members 
from five to four; Yes; Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: Yes; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: 
Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: Modify subcommittee's approval authority:

Legislative proposal: * Eliminate all approval authority, but allow 
recommendations; Yes; Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: [Empty]; Initiator of proposed change: 
House[C]: Modify subcommittee's structure: [Empty].

Legislative proposal: * Eliminate budget approval authority, but allow 
recommendations on the budget; [Empty]; Initiator of proposed change: 
Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's structure: [Empty]; Initiator of 
proposed change: House[C]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Eliminate budget transmittal requirement; Yes; 
Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's 
structure: [D]; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: [E].

Legislative proposal: * Eliminate additional reporting requirement; 
[Empty]; Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's 
structure: Yes; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: [Empty].

Legislative proposal: Make other changes to subcommittee:

Legislative proposal: * Rename subcommittee; Yes; Initiator of proposed 
change: Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes; Initiator of 
proposed change: House[C]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Eliminate compensation for members; Yes; 
Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's 
structure: [F]; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Authorize an appropriation for activities; Yes; 
Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's 
structure: [Empty]; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: Modify chief operating officer's 
responsibilities:

Legislative proposal: * Oversee day-to-day operations rather than 
review operations; Yes; Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: Yes; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: 
Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Implement rather than develop strategic plan; 
Yes; Initiator of proposed change: Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's 
structure: Yes; Initiator of proposed change: House[C]: Modify 
subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Report performance to authorizing committees 
rather than entire Congress; Yes; Initiator of proposed change: 
Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes; Initiator of proposed 
change: House[C]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Review management of 
cost-reimbursable contracts; [Empty]; Initiator of proposed change: 
Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's structure: [Empty]; Initiator of 
proposed change: House[C]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Legislative proposal: * Submit budget to subcommittee/board rather than 
Secretary of Transportation; [Empty]; Initiator of proposed change: 
Senate[B]: Modify subcommittee's structure: [Empty]; Initiator of 
proposed change: House[C]: Modify subcommittee's structure: Yes.

Source: GAO.

[A] As of March 25, 2003.

[B] S. 824.

[C] H.R. 2115.

[D] Specifies that the budget request for the air traffic control 
system that is to be transmitted without revision by the President to 
the congressional authorizing and appropriating committees is the pre-
Office of Management and Budget budget request for the air traffic 
control system.

[E] Requires the transmission without revision of budget 
recommendations related to the air traffic control system, rather than 
transmission of a budget request for the system, to the congressional 
authorizing and appropriating committees along with the annual budget 
request of FAA.

[F] Eliminates compensation for the chair and vice chair but retains 
compensation of $25,000 per year for members.


[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments:

Contacts:

Gerald Dillingham (202) 512-2834
Belva Martin (202) 512-2834:

Staff Acknowledgments:

In addition to those individuals named above, Geraldine Beard,
Elizabeth Eisenstadt, Dave Hooper, Elizabeth Marchak, Kieran McCarthy, 
and Richard Scott made key contributions to this report.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Public Law 106-181, April 5, 2000. 

[2] The Congress authorized the council in 1996 and amended its 
appointment process and composition through AIR-21.

[3] Air Traffic Services Subcommittee, Report of the Air Traffic 
Services Subcommittee (Aug. 28, 2000). 

[4] U.S. General Accounting Office, Air Traffic Control: FAA's 
Modernization Investment Management Approach Could Be Strengthened, 
GAO-99-88 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 30, 1999).

[5] U.S. General Accounting Office, National Airspace System: Better 
Cost Data Could Improve FAA's Management of the Standard Terminal 
Automation Replacement System, GAO-03-343 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 31, 
2003).

[6] National Civil Aviation Review Commission, A Consensus for Change: 
Avoiding Aviation Gridlock and Reducing the Accident Rate (Washington, 
D.C.: December 1997).

[7] The subcommittee also has meeting and reporting requirements and is 
compensated at the rate of $40,000 a year for the chairperson and 
$25,000 a year for the other members.

[8] The administration submitted its reauthorization proposal to the 
Congress on March 25, 2003; S. 824 was introduced in April 2003; and 
H.R. 2115 was introduced in May 2003.

[9] Operational errors can occur when a controller does not maintain 
the required separation between two aircraft or between an aircraft and 
terrain and/or obstacles. A runway incursion is an incident on the 
runway, involving an aircraft, vehicle, or object, which creates a 
collision hazard.

[10] Next-Generation Air/Ground Communication, Oceanic Air Traffic 
Control Services, En Route Communications Gateway, En Route Automation 
Modernization, and User Request Evaluation Tool.

[11] Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, 
Reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, CC-2003-058 
(Washington, D.C.: Feb. 12, 2003). 

[12] According to the FAA officials, the subcommittee has reviewed 
bonuses for fiscal year 2002. 

[13] FAA is implementing the En Route Automation Modernization program, 
which replaces the HOST computer system software and hardware and the 
backup system hardware and software. 

[14] Current guidelines for reprogramming are included in Senate Report 
101-398, July 27, 1990.

[15] GAO-03-343.

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