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Highlights

Over a decade ago, GAO listed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) effort to modernize the nation's air traffic control (ATC) system as a high-risk program because of systemic management and acquisition problems. Two relatively new offices housed within FAA--the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO)--are now primarily responsible for planning and implementing these modernization efforts. Congress created ATO to be a performance-based organization that would improve both the agency's culture, structure, and processes, and the ATC modernization program's performance and accountability. Congress created JPDO, made up of seven partner agencies, to coordinate the federal and nonfederal stakeholders necessary to plan a transition from the current air transportation system to the "next generation air transportation system" (NGATS). This statement is based on GAO's recently completed and ongoing studies of the ATC modernization program. GAO provides information on (1) the status of ATO's efforts to improve the ATC modernization program, (2) the status of JPDO's planning efforts for NGATS, and (3) actions to control costs and leverage resources for ATC modernization and the transformation to NGATS.

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