Air Traffic Control:

Status of FAA's Modernization Program

RCED-92-136BR: Published: Apr 3, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Airspace System Plan (NAS), now known as the Aviation System Capital Investment Plan (CIP).

GAO found that: (1) as of October 1991, FAA estimated that 1991 CIP projects would require $31.9 billion through 2000, which is more than one-half billion dollars over its 1990 estimate; (2) the cost increase is primarily attributable to cost changes in original NAS projects that are included in CIP; (3) for fiscal year 1982 through 1992, Congress has appropriated about $13.4 billion of the $31.9 billion that FAA estimates is needed for CIP; (4) the 36 projects FAA has completed comprises approximately 3 percent of the total estimated modernization costs through 2000; (5) the FAA $31.9 billion estimate may not have recognized all of the modernization funding needed, since FAA based the estimate on a constantly changing NAS consolidation plan; (6) although FAA based its current funding estimates on its original plan to consolidate over 200 facilities into 23 facilities, FAA is discussing a new plan that would require over 50 facilities; (7) of the 12 major projects reviewed, all of the projects had either experienced cost increases or schedule delays, and some had experienced both; and (8) the 12 projects reviewed incurred cost increases ranging from $13 million to $219.2 million due to spare part purchases, facility construction, system integration, and changing requirements.