Selected Budget Issues in the Federal Aviation Administration

CED-79-61: Published: Mar 15, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1979.

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In a review of the fiscal year 1979 budget for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the following issues were considered: (a) the feasibility of fully funding a flight service station automation program; (2) extension of the facilities and equipment appropriation from 3 years to 5 years; and (3) the purchase of a flight inspection simulator for training.

Concerning the first issue, FAA was premature in asking for full funding during fiscal year 1979. Since an automated system had not yet been designed, cost estimates and funding levels were subject to change. In addition, FAA had not planned to award the production contract until fiscal year 1980. GAO concluded that this program should be fully funded during fiscal year 1980. GAO concurred with the request by FAA for a 5-year instead of a 3-year appropriation to eliminate lapsing funds caused most frequently by the unavailability of equipment. Concerning the final issue, FAA pointed out that private industry does not have a combined cockpit/flight inspection simulator of the type desired. A proposed training method using two simulators would not provide the quality of training that FAA wants.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: FAA should obtain a cost comparison of the two methods, and then attempt to justify to the Appropriations Committees the intangible benefits that may be expected through the purchase of a combined simulator.

    Agency Affected:


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