FAA's Use and Management of Communications Resources

IMTEC-90-8: Published: Jan 24, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO identified the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) data and voice communications resources, focusing on FAA: (1) communications systems, including their functions and costs; and (2) organizations that manage communications operations and acquisitions.

GAO found that: (1) FAA communications services provided data and voice communications among facilities and between facilities and aircraft in support of the National Airspace System; (2) FAA spent over $218 million of its operations appropriation to lease resources for its 63 communications services and estimated that it would need about $2.7 billion to develop and purchase communications between 1982 and 1999; (3) although FAA leased most of its communications resources, it had 20 projects in varying stages of development and implementation for which it planned to replace and upgrade existing equipment; (4) although FAA established a centralized communications management organization, it had separate organizations responsible for procurements, operations and maintenance, and system engineering; (5) FAA did not determine how the other organizations would work with the central organization, resulting in potential problems with equipment compatability, effective system integration, and network monitoring and control; and (6) FAA drafted a strategic telecommunications plan that would define and strengthen the communications organizations' relationships.

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