Air Safety:

FAA's Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System

RCED-88-66BR: Published: Feb 11, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1988.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) proposed Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), focusing on its: (1) safety benefits; (2) commercial prospects; and (3) development plans.

GAO found that FAA: (1) designed TCAS to reduce the risk of mid-air collisions by providing pilots with an independent airborne backup to the FAA ground-based air traffic control system; (2) has three models which vary in cost, technical sophistication, and capacity, with TCAS III having the most risk-reduction capability; and (3) designed TCAS II to permit an easy, low-cost upgrade to TCAS III capability. GAO also found that FAA: (1) proposed legislation requiring installation of TCAS I in all jets with 10 to 19 passenger seats and installation of TCAS II and III in larger commercial aircraft; (2) did not conduct a safety study for TCAS I; (3) is currently performing safety studies of TCAS III after determining that TCAS II reduces the risk of near mid-air collisions by 58 percent; (4) believes that the avionics equipment manufacturing industry is capable of manufacturing TCAS equipment, but may not be able to meet the legislatively mandated deadline; and (5) is currently testing the operational capacity of TCAS II and III.

Nov 20, 2018

Nov 8, 2018

Oct 3, 2018

Sep 13, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Jul 30, 2018

Jul 26, 2018

Jul 19, 2018

Jul 12, 2018

May 31, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here