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The skies over America are becoming more crowded every day. The consensus of opinion is that the current system cannot be expanded to meet projected growth. In 2003, recognizing the need for system transformation, Congress authorized the creation of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), housed within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to lead a collaborative effort of federal and nonfederal aviation stakeholders to conceptualize and plan the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)--a fundamental redesign and modernization of the national airspace system. JPDO operates in conjunction with its partner agencies, which include FAA; the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, Defense, and Homeland Security; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. GAO's testimony focuses on the progress that JPDO has made in planning the NextGen initiative and some key issues and challenges that JPDO continues to face. This statement is based on GAO's November 2006 report to this subcommittee as well as ongoing work. In our November 2006 report, we recommended that JPDO take actions to institutionalize its collaboration and determine if it had the involvement of all key stakeholders. JPDO said it would consider our recommendations.

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