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As requested, this statement discusses issues for the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The aviation industry is in a period of economic turmoil and faces an uncertain future. At the same time, FAA is undertaking one of its most ambitious efforts ever to transform the nation's air traffic control system. The reauthorization of FAA provides an opportunity for Congress and FAA to focus on several key issues to improve the national airspace system. This statement is based on recent and ongoing work and on discussions with selected senior FAA officials and representatives of the aviation industry. This work was conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that GAO plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for findings and conclusions based on the audit objectives. GAO believes that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for the findings and conclusions based on the audit objectives.

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