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Highlights

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) air traffic control modernization (ATC) efforts are designed to enhance the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the national airspace system through the acquisition of a vast network of radar, navigation, communications, and information processing systems, as well as new air traffic control facilities. Since 1981, when these efforts began, FAA's ATC modernization projects have consistently experienced cost, schedule, and performance problems that GAO and others have attributed to systemic management issues. As a result, FAA's cost estimates have grown and planned improvements have been delayed. Initially FAA estimated that its ATC modernization efforts would cost $12 billion and could be completed over 10 years. Now, two decades and $35 billion later, FAA expects to need another $16 billion through 2007 to complete key projects, for a total cost of $51 billion. This testimony (1) provides an overview of the systemic management issues that GAO and others have identified in FAA's ATC modernization efforts over time, (2) discusses key actions that FAA and others have taken to address these issues, and (3) identifies the challenges that lie ahead for FAA.

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