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November 9, 2006: 

The Honorable Christopher Bond: 
The Honorable Patty Murray: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, Housing and 
Urban Development, and Related Agencies: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Joe Knollenberg: 
The Honorable John W. Olver: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban 
Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia and Independent 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

Subject: FAA's Proposed Plan for Implementing a Reliability Centered 
Maintenance Process for Air Traffic Control Equipment: 

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Organization 
(ATO) is responsible for maintaining approximately 40,000 pieces of air 
traffic control equipment, such as radars, navigation beacons, 
communication systems, and instrument landing systems that are 
essential to the safe operation of the national airspace system (NAS). 
Currently, ATO engineers and technicians conduct routine maintenance, 
periodic inspections, and performance checks on air traffic control 
equipment to ensure that it functions properly. Recently, ATO 
identified another process called reliability centered maintenance 
(RCM) that it plans to add to the other methods it uses to maintain the 
equipment. RCM is a data-driven, analytical process used to determine 
the most value-added maintenance requirements that are needed to keep 
equipment functioning properly. RCM processes are used by federal and 
private organizations because they reduce unnecessary maintenance. ATO 
believes that RCM's data-driven analyses for identifying maintenance 
needs, combined with the equipment manufacturers' maintenance 
recommendations and engineers' knowledge of the air traffic control 
equipment, will enhance the ways that ATO maintains the equipment. 
Senate Report 109- 109, which accompanied the Fiscal Year 2006 
Appropriations Act for the Department of Transportation,[Footnote 1] 
asked us to analyze FAA's plans to develop an RCM process and the 
impact of these plans. Since FAA is just beginning to define its 
approach to RCM, we could not address the specific request. However, as 
agreed with your offices, we are reporting on (1) what RCM is and where 
it is being used and (2) the status of ATO's plan for developing and 
implementing an RCM process for maintaining air traffic control 

To address these questions, we interviewed ATO officials assigned to 
FAA offices in Washington, D.C., and in Oklahoma City, 
Oklahoma,[Footnote 2] and reviewed their operating procedures and 
maintenance documents. We also interviewed, and obtained documents 
from, officials of the FAA employee unions that represent ATO 
technicians and engineers, the Professional Airways Systems Specialists 
(PASS), and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), 
respectively. In addition, we interviewed officials of the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of 
Defense (DOD) about their agencies' RCM initiatives. Finally, we 
reviewed pertinent documents, books, and our prior reports on FAA 
maintenance procedures for air traffic control equipment, RCM, and 
planning strategies of leading organizations. (See encl. I for 
additional information on our methodology.) We conducted our work from 
May 2006 through October 2006 in accordance with generally accepted 
government auditing standards. 


RCM is a data-driven, analytical process used to determine the most 
value-added maintenance requirements that are needed to keep equipment 
functioning properly. It requires that data be collected and analyzed 
on the causes and consequences of failures, in order to determine the 
maintenance needed to prevent future failures. For example, performance 
data can be analyzed to determine whether a particular component wears 
out with age or fails randomly--key information for deciding the 
maintenance approach most appropriate for that item. Generally, RCM 
analyses are used to identify which of three approaches is most 
appropriate for preventing equipment failures: (1) periodic 
maintenance, meaning procedures are performed at regular intervals (for 
example, monthly); (2) condition-based maintenance, meaning equipment 
is monitored but only serviced when potential problems warrant it; and 
(3) run-to-fault maintenance, meaning equipment is allowed to fail 
because maintenance would have no effect on whether (and when) 
equipment fails. Both federal agencies and private industry utilize RCM 
for their equipment maintenance. Leading organizations that introduce 
new processes, like RCM, develop strategic implementation plans that 
articulate program objectives and timetables, and commit resources for 
training, data collection and analysis, and other costs. 

ATO has announced that it intends to add an RCM process to its current 
methods of maintaining air traffic control equipment, which rely on 
recommendations made by equipment manufacturers and ATO's own 
expertise. Currently, ATO is in the early planning phase. At the time 
of our review, ATO had not yet developed a plan or identified resources 
for implementing an RCM process for maintaining air traffic control 
equipment. ATO officials told us that they hope to complete a number of 
steps within the next year, such as designating the ATO offices to be 
responsible for implementing RCM maintenance policy and procedures, 
providing appropriate RCM training to ATO engineers and technicians, 
and having ATO engineers begin using RCM to update equipment 
maintenance handbooks. ATO officials estimate that it will take at 
least 10 years before RCM can be fully implemented as part of ATO's 
maintenance process because more than 300 system maintenance handbooks 
will have to be updated. ATO officials are aware that the unions 
representing the agency's engineers and technicians are concerned that 
an RCM process will lead to unsafe air traffic control equipment. This 
concern has arisen, in part, because FAA experimented several years ago 
with a different maintenance process that union officials have 
criticized as unsafe, and because ATO has not explained its vision of 
an RCM process. ATO officials told us that they intend to work with the 
unions as they implement an RCM process. 

The Department of Transportation provided technical comments on a draft 
of this report, which we incorporated as appropriate. 


A complex array of primarily ground-based navigation and communication 
equipment facilitates the safe and efficient movement of aircraft 
throughout the NAS. The NAS infrastructure includes information 
technology systems and equipment, including radar installations, signal 
beacons, and communication towers. Maintaining this equipment is the 
responsibility of the FAA's Technical Operation Services unit, within 
the agency's ATO. With an annual budget of over $1.86 billion, 
Technical Operations Services has about 6,300 systems specialists and 
engineers to maintain approximately 40,000 pieces of NAS equipment. ATO 
engineering offices responsible for developing ATO equipment 
maintenance approaches and procedures are located in Oklahoma City, 
Oklahoma, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

FAA's interest in improving maintenance of air traffic control 
equipment is part of a broader agency initiative to improve the way it 
provides air traffic services. As early as 1997, the National Civil 
Aviation Review Commission recommended that FAA's air traffic control 
operations be consolidated under a performance-based 
organization.[Footnote 3] By 2004, FAA reorganized all areas of its air 
traffic control program under the Air Traffic Organization, and 
established an office goal of providing customer service at lower cost 
by incorporating leading industry practices and procedures, where 
applicable, in a way that would ensure safety equal to or better than 

The RCM approach to maintenance began to develop in the late 1960s, 
when a joint FAA and commercial airline industry task force 
investigated the periodic-maintenance approach then widely used to 
ensure aircraft safety. In 1968, the task force created a handbook that 
was applied to the Boeing 747. The handbook called for a reduction in 
the requirements established for maintenance and overhauls of 
equipment, while increasing reliability and safety.[Footnote 4] 
Subsequently, in the 1970s, DOD hired United Airlines to study the 
relationship between maintenance, reliability, and safety. In 1978, 
United Airlines staff produced a document entitled "Reliability- 
Centered Maintenance." This document differed from the 1968 handbook in 
that it expanded certain points and called for a more rigorous analysis 
of scheduled maintenance programs. Different versions of RCM have 
evolved from the original 1978 process. RCM processes are highly 
regarded by several different industries and are used worldwide. 

Currently, engineers in ATO's Technical Operation Services unit rely on 
instructions provided by equipment manufacturers and their own 
expertise to write handbooks detailing the procedures that technicians 
should use to maintain about 40,000 pieces of air traffic control 
equipment. In October 2004, ATO officials formed a committee to examine 
new practices that could improve their maintenance of air traffic 
control equipment. Committee members included representatives of FAA's 
PASS and NATCA unions, as well as additional engineers and maintenance 
office managers. The committee generally favored incorporating an RCM 
process into ATO's maintenance process, although the union 
representatives opposed it. PASS and NATCA believed that RCM resembled 
another maintenance approach that FAA had previously pilot-tested--a 
process that deferred maintenance and led the unions to question the 
safety of air traffic control equipment. PASS withdrew from the 
committee in March 2005. ATO planned to proceed with development of an 
RCM process, as announced by a formal vision document issued in 
September 2005. 

RCM Is a Data-Driven, Analytical Process That Is Used to Determine 
Appropriate Maintenance Approaches: 

The RCM process requires an analysis of equipment function and 
performance data to determine the most appropriate method and timing 
for conducting maintenance activities. It requires data on the function 
and performance of specific equipment to be collected and analyzed, 
including data on the causes and consequences of failure, in order to 
determine the maintenance needed to prevent future failures. For 
example, analysis of performance data can determine whether a 
particular component wears out with age or fails randomly--key 
information for deciding the maintenance approach most appropriate for 
that item. The goals of an RCM process are to reduce equipment-caused 
delays, eliminate ineffective maintenance, keep maintenance costs to a 
minimum, and preserve the functioning of an entire system rather than 
its individual components. RCM does not guarantee that a system will 
not fail; instead, it seeks to mitigate the impact of a failure on 
safety through the selection of an appropriate maintenance approach 
indicated by an analysis of the relevant data. 

Steps in the RCM Process: 

No single RCM process is recognized throughout government and private 
industry. However, a widely recognized set of RCM standards or steps 
was developed in 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers[Footnote 
5] (SAE), and updated in 2002,[Footnote 6] for use by organizations 
that have, or make use of, physical assets or systems. The SAE steps 
shown in figure 1 below contain the minimum questions that a 
maintenance process must answer in order to be an RCM process. 

Figure 1: Basic Steps for Developing an RCM Equipment Maintenance 

[See PDF for Image] 

Source: GAO. 

[End of Figure] 

The first steps in a typical RCM process involve collecting and 
analyzing data on the function and performance of each piece of 
equipment. Performance information is found in databases that record 
how long equipment operates and under what conditions it fails. In 
addition, staff use their knowledge of the equipment's operation to 
supplement performance data. The data are then analyzed according to 
the steps shown in figure 1 for each piece of equipment. 

Using the results of the analysis, staff then decide what maintenance 
approaches will best ensure that equipment will perform properly 
without undergoing unnecessary maintenance. Generally, RCM approaches 
to preventing equipment failures include performing (1) periodic 
maintenance, such as inspections, repairs, and performance checks 
(which are performed at specific intervals); (2) condition-based 
maintenance, which is performed to prevent or predict equipment 
failures; and (3) run-to-fault maintenance, under which equipment is 
allowed to fail because it is not possible or prudent to avoid failures 
or extend the life of the equipment through maintenance. Changing the 
battery in a smoke detector every 6 months illustrates a typical 
household example of periodic maintenance. Checking tire treads for 
excessive wear illustrates a condition-based maintenance procedure. Run-
to-fault maintenance could be illustrated, for example, by light 
fixtures in halls, cafeterias, and lounges, where bulbs are only 
replaced as they burn out because an outage would not generally disrupt 
use of the facility or pose a safety hazard. A hypothetical RCM-based 
analysis of the performance data for a radar system might show that a 
particular component causes outages most often after 2 years of use. 
Engineering analysis could show that monthly maintenance procedures for 
that component are excessive to protect equipment against a biennial 
outage and that quarterly procedures would be more effective. (See 
encl. II for a flowchart showing the types of questions that can 
identify the most appropriate approaches.) 

RCM Is Used in the Federal Government and Private Industry: 

Both federal agencies and private industry utilize RCM for their 
equipment maintenance. For example, the Naval Air Systems Command 
(NAVAIR) under the DOD has been using RCM approaches on its systems 
since 1972, and NASA started using RCM in 1995 at its laboratory 
facilities. Organizations such as commercial airlines, electric power 
companies,[Footnote 7] and chemical processors also use RCM-based 
approaches to maintain equipment that is essential for their 
industries. RCM is considered such an effective way for organizations 
to maintain their physical assets that many professional maintenance 
training and certification programs have incorporated it in their 
curriculums. For example, the Society for Maintenance and Reliability 
Professionals requires candidates for professional certification to 
become familiar with RCM, and several universities operate maintenance 
management certificate programs that introduce RCM to participants. 

RCM Requires Organizations to Plan and Commit Resources: 

Implementing an RCM process demands a certain level of commitment for 
most organizations. We reported in an earlier study that leading 
organizations rarely make major changes to their processes without 
first developing strategic plans to guide their 
implementation.[Footnote 8] Strategic planning can be defined as a 
structured process through which an organization translates a vision 
and makes fundamental decisions that shape and guide what the 
organization is and what it does. Since RCM is a data- driven process, 
an organization planning to adopt it must usually dedicate resources to 
pay for items necessary to support it. Costs could include items such 
as acquiring a computerized maintenance management system to collect 
performance data on equipment, training staff in RCM, and covering 
higher labor costs during the initial analyses to identify maintenance 
approaches and specific maintenance procedures. However, these costs 
may be mitigated by savings after organizations implement an RCM 
process, according to literature on the subject. 

ATO Has Not Developed Plans for Implementing RCM: 

ATO is in the early planning phase of developing an RCM process for 
maintaining air traffic control equipment. At the time of our review, 
ATO had developed a draft order that calls for using RCM as part of its 
maintenance process because ATO engineers believe that the newer 
technology of air traffic control equipment requires less maintenance 
than what is currently being performed, and because RCM will make 
maintenance decisions more transparent. However, ATO has not yet 
developed a plan for implementing an RCM process. ATO officials told us 
that they envision using RCM in conjunction with the maintenance 
recommendations supplied by equipment manufacturers, and the expertise 
of its engineers and technicians to form a complete maintenance program 
for air traffic control equipment. ATO officials estimated that, for 
RCM to be implemented, over 300 system maintenance handbooks would have 
to be updated over a period of at least 10 years. However, basic issues 
about the RCM process that ATO wants to develop remain undecided. For 
instance, ATO has not decided whether the data now collected will be 
sufficient for RCM analysis, or what RCM training will be provided for 
its staff. 

ATO officials have identified certain decisions they need to make 
before an RCM plan can be established. These officials told us that 
they plan to complete several steps within the next year that will 
signal their commitment to eventually using an RCM approach for 
maintenance, including (1) designating the ATO offices that will be 
responsible for implementing RCM policy and procedures, (2) providing 
appropriate RCM training to ATO engineers and technicians, and (3) 
having ATO engineers use RCM to update equipment maintenance handbooks. 
However, as discussed, implementing an RCM process usually requires an 
organization to plan its development and commit resources for training, 
equipment, and labor costs--steps that ATO has not yet taken. 

Currently, ATO oversees the functioning of NAS equipment by using a 
maintenance process, primarily based on periodic maintenance 
activities, including preventative maintenance inspections, performance 
checks, and routine maintenance. For example, ATO currently maintains 
its instrument landing system (ILS) equipment against failure through 
periodic maintenance that includes monthly, quarterly, semiannual, and 
annual service for the system's components. However, an RCM process 
would generally indicate the appropriateness of using one or more of 
three approaches for preventing equipment failures: (1) periodic 
maintenance, (2) condition-based maintenance, and (3) run-to-fault 
maintenance. Therefore, under RCM, some periodic tasks for maintaining 
the ILS might remain unchanged while other tasks might be rescheduled 
for new intervals, replaced by monitoring tasks, or dropped altogether, 
depending on the results of engineering analyses. For example, an ILS 
component that currently receives quarterly maintenance could be found, 
through an engineering analysis, to need only annual maintenance. 
Furthermore, a study of a different ILS component could show that it 
needs no planned maintenance, so the run-to-fault maintenance approach 
should apply. Display monitors in air traffic control towers illustrate 
a different type of equipment that could qualify for run-to-fault 
maintenance, according to ATO officials. In one failure mode, these 
monitors gradually develop alignment problems over time, but are still 
useable. When a monitor finally becomes unusable, towers use backup 
monitors while the unusable monitor is repaired. ATO officials told us 
that, for this type of failure, they could allow a monitor to run-to-
fault because a failed monitor would pose no operational issues and 
repairing the monitor after a failure would not be costly. An ATO 
official told us that once an RCM process is implemented, staff will be 
able to expand the selection of maintenance approaches by incorporating 
those shown in table 1. 

Table 1: FAA's Potential RCM Maintenance Approaches: 

Maintenance approach: Periodic maintenance; 
Description: Scheduled maintenance performed at set time intervals, 
regardless of equipment condition. Maintenance can include inspection, 
adjustments, cleaning, lubrication, parts replacement, calibration, and 
repair. If failures are unrelated to equipment age, periodic 
maintenance can be unnecessary. Possible application: radar antenna 
drive motors. 

Maintenance approach: Condition-based maintenance; 
Description: Condition-based monitoring forecasts time when maintenance 
should be performed. Predictive testing and inspections eliminate 
unnecessary maintenance and extend equipment life. Also includes cycle-
based and performance-hour procedures. Possible applications: 
replacement of digital audio tapes after a certain number of recording 
cycles; maintenance of emergency power generators after a certain 
number of hours of operation. 

Maintenance approach: Run-to-fault maintenance; 
Description: No maintenance is planned for equipment because it would 
not reduce the probability of failure or extend equipment life. Backup 
equipment may be needed to reduce the risk and cost of failure. 
Possible application: flat panel displays. 

Source: FAA. 

[End of table] 

ATO pilot-tested the development of RCM procedures in 2006 when it 
assigned a team of engineers to update maintenance procedures for ILSs. 
The team drafted new procedures that combined the use of periodic, 
condition-based, and run-to-fault maintenance for various components of 
the systems. However, ATO did not consider these to be true RCM 
procedures because the team arrived at its results without 
systematically examining the function and performance information 
essential to the RCM process. As a result, the team provided no RCM 
analytical documentation when the pilot ended, and ATO officials 
concluded that staff needed more training in the RCM process than the 
RCM familiarization course that ATO had supplied. During our review, we 
were told that ATO was contacting NAVAIR about the possibility of using 
its RCM training as a model for future ATO training. Despite the 
challenge shown by ATO's initial attempt to develop a procedure, an ATO 
official told us that the first RCM system maintenance handbook for 
certain aircraft navigation beacons, known as very high frequency 
omnidirectional range systems, would be developed by 2007. 

Concerns about RCM Are Based on Failed Alaskan Pilot Maintenance 

Union officials told us that RCM appears to be no different from an 
Alaskan pilot program that limited the use of periodic maintenance. 
Even before ATO's 2005 planning document announced its intention to 
implement RCM, officials from the two FAA unions that represent ATO's 
technicians (PASS) and engineers (NATCA) testified before Congress that 
RCM is unsafe, inefficient, and a threat to the reliability of NAS 
equipment. For example, the President of PASS stated that RCM would 
significantly reduce periodic maintenance and substitute a "fix-on- 
fail" method that would increase disruptive unplanned downtime, thereby 
threatening flight safety and wasting agency resources. NATCA's Alaskan 
Regional Vice President stated that RCM would lead to equipment outages 
disrupting air traffic routes important to Alaskan communities. Both 
officials testified that RCM resembles a maintenance pilot program that 
FAA had tested in its Alaska region with less-than-favorable results. 

FAA conducted a maintenance pilot program, called the Corporate 
Maintenance Philosophy (CMP), in its Alaska region from 1997 to 2000. 
The goal of this pilot was to test a more "business-like" approach to 
air traffic control maintenance. Under CMP, the intervals between 
servicing much of the region's equipment, including some of its 
critical safety equipment, increased. In addition, the CMP pilot relied 
extensively on run-to-fault maintenance and led to operational problems 
that staff were unable to correct. A NATCA official told us that under 
CMP, servicing intervals were longer, equipment outages increased, and 
repairs at each facility were more substantial. Because of the unions' 
complaints and a resulting Federal Labor Relations Authority ruling, 
the CMP pilot was discontinued, and the Alaska region reverted to using 
the national periodic maintenance and certification standards. 

Furthermore, our report[Footnote 9] on the CMP pilot and its aftermath 
described safety concerns arising from the lack of quality control 
checks being performed by FAA staff responsible for ensuring that 
maintenance information was properly entered in FAA's computerized 
maintenance management system. In addition, we found that, at all 12 
Alaska region offices, the staff were behind schedule in performing 
their periodic maintenance activities. 

ATO officials acknowledge that safety issues resulting from the CMP 
pilot have given staff and unions reason for concern about the proposed 
RCM maintenance process. According to an internal ATO briefing paper, 
RCM is often mistakenly viewed as an approach that abandons periodic 
maintenance. However, ATO officials told us that, unlike the CMP pilot 
program in Alaska, RCM will not abandon periodic maintenance. According 
to ATO officials, RCM will be a data-driven process that differs 
distinctly from the CMP pilot. ATO officials explained that equipment 
under CMP was allowed to run-to-fault because of a lack of money for 
repairs and the remote nature of the equipment in Alaska. RCM, however, 
will preserve periodic maintenance and incorporate condition-based 
maintenance, except where run-to-fault maintenance is appropriate. 
Furthermore, an ATO official told us that his office plans to do more 
to point out the differences between RCM and the CMP pilot program to 
secure buy-in from ATO staff and unions. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided copies of a draft of this report to the Department of 
Transportation for its review and comment. The agency provided 
technical comments, which we incorporated into the report as 

We are sending copies of this report to the Chairmen and Ranking 
Minority Members of the Senate and House Subcommittees with 
jurisdiction over FAA matters. We will also send copies to the 
Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Federal 
Aviation Administration, and other interested parties. In addition, the 
report will be available on the GAO Web site at [Hyperlink,]. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at or at (202) 512-2834. Contact points for 
our offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found 
on the last page of this report. Individuals making key contributions 
to this report are listed in enclosure III. 

Signed by: 

Susan A. Fleming: 
Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

Enclosure I: Scope and Methodology: 

For information about Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), we 
reviewed professional and academic literature on its background, 
purpose, development, and standards, and obtained information on the 
RCM programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and 
the Department of Defense, Naval Air Systems Command. 

To provide information on the Air Traffic Organization's (ATO) plan for 
developing and implementing RCM, we interviewed officials at the 
Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) headquarters in Washington, 
D.C., and FAA's National Airway Systems Engineering office in Oklahoma 
City, Oklahoma. During these visits, we interviewed ATO's Director of 
Safety and Operations Support, the Manager of Safety and Operations 
Support, the Manager of National Airway Systems Engineering Group, 
program analysts, and engineers responsible for maintenance procedures 
for two types of air traffic control equipment--instrument landing 
systems (ILS) and navigation beacons called very high frequency 
omnidirectional range (VOR). We also reviewed a September 2005 ATO 
Technical Operations vision paper, minutes of internal ATO planning 
meetings, and a draft maintenance order outlining proposed RCM 
requirements for air traffic control equipment maintenance. 
Additionally, we reviewed early draft RCM maintenance procedures for 
ILSs and compared them with ATO's current procedures. 

To provide information on concerns about ATO's RCM initiative, we 
interviewed union representatives from the Professional Airways Systems 
Specialists (PASS) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association 
(NATCA), representing technicians and engineers, respectively. We also 
reviewed GAO and FAA reports on the FAA's maintenance pilot program in 
its Alaska Region and planning strategies of leading organizations. We 
performed our work from May 2006 through October 2006 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

Enclosure II: Example of a NASA Decision Process for Selecting an RCM 
Maintenance Approach: 

Generally, RCM programs use flow charts called logic trees, like the 
one below, to guide staff in identifying the appropriate maintenance 

Figure 2: Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Decision Logic Tree: 

[See PDF for Image] 

Source: NASA Facilities RCM Guide. 

[End of Figure] 

Enclosure III: Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Susan Fleming, (202) 512-2834 or 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Nabajyoti Barkakati, Richard 
Calhoon, Virginia Chanley, Bess Eisenstadt, David Hooper, Amanda 
Krause, Joshua Ormond, Nitin Rao, Taylor Reeves, and Phillis Riley made 
key contributions to this report. 



[1] Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, The 
Judiciary, The District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies 
Appropriations Act, 2006, P.L. 109-115, 119 Stat. 2396. 

[2] ATO's National Airway Systems Engineering Group in Oklahoma City, 
Oklahoma, is responsible for exploring RCM and pilot-testing the 
development of RCM-based maintenance procedures. 

[3] A performance-based organization is a discrete management unit with 
incentives to manage for results. In the 1990s, federal law established 
performance-based organizations as a way of restructuring federal 
agencies and holding them accountable for program results. The pay and 
tenure of the head of a performance-based organization is tied to 
achievement of the unit's clearly defined performance goals. 

[4] Although the 1968 maintenance approach had many features of a 
reliability-centered maintenance process, it was not referred to by 
that name. 

[5] The Society of Automotive Engineers has more than 90,000 members-- 
engineers, business executives, educators, and students from more than 
97 countries--who share information and exchange ideas for advancing 
the engineering of mobility systems. 

[6] SAE JA1011, "Evaluation Criteria for RCM Processes," August 1999, 
and SAE JA1012, "A Guide to the RCM Standard," January 2002. 

[7] According to the Electric Power Research Institute, electric 
utilities need maintenance practices to ensure reliability while 
controlling and possibly lowering costs. The institute offers RCM 
program support tailored to individual utility company needs. 

[8] GAO, Executive Guide: Leading Practices in Capital Decision-Making, 
GAO/AIMD-99-32 (Washington, D.C.: December 1998). 

[9] GAO, National Airspace System: Incomplete Transition Back to 
National Maintenance and Certification Standards in the Federal 
Aviation Administration's Alaskan Region, GAO-02-127R (Washington, 
D.C.: Nov. 30, 2001). 

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