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FAA operates one of the safest air transportation systems in the world. It is, however, a system under strain. The skies over America are becoming more crowded every day. FAA faces the daunting task of safely integrating a growing influx of passengers and aircraft into the system and simultaneously leading the transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)--a complicated effort to modernize the system. FAA's broad responsibilities to maintain and modernize the nation's air transportation system must be met in an uncertain budgetary and long-term fiscal environment. GAO's concerns about financing the nation's transportation system, including aviation, led GAO to designate this issue as high-risk.

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