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Highlights

To accelerate the modernization and improve the performance of the air traffic control system, the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) created the Air Traffic Services Subcommittee (subcommittee) to over see the air traffic control system and help the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) address long-standing weaknesses in its modernization program. The subcommittee is part of an aviation advisory council and consists of five private sector members with business expertise. AIR-21 gave the subcommittee the authority to approve strategic plans, budgets, and procurements over $100 million. In addition, AIR-21 required the FAA to hire a chief operating officer to manage the day-to-day operations. AIR-21 mandated that GAO report on the success of the subcommittee in improving the performance of the air traffic control system. Accordingly, as we agreed with the congressional committees' offices, GAO reviewed the (1) actions taken by the subcommittee to carry out its oversight responsibilities and the obstacles that it encountered in doing so and (2) changes to the subcommittees' organization and oversight responsibilities that have been proposed to improve the performance of the air traffic control system.

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