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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) plans to acquire the Advanced Automation System (AAS), focusing on FAA compliance with congressional direction to: (1) obtain more technical information and modify test plans before awarding the AAS acquisition contract; and (2) conduct a cost-benefit study.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation To ensure that FAA completes a credible cost-benefit analysis and retains the flexibility to acquire the optimal alternative, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to conduct an analysis to determine the optimal terminal control alternative: (1) using the data supporting the recently completed cost-benefit study; and (2) comparing a full range of alternative system configurations, capabilities, and locations.
Closed - Implemented

Recommendation status is Closed - Implemented.

FAA, through a contractor, has now completed the recommended cost/benefit analysis. The analysis recommends consolidation of a selected number of facilities.
Department of Transportation To ensure that FAA completes a credible cost-benefit analysis and retains the flexibility to acquire the optimal alternative, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to exclude from new contracts or extensions of existing contracts materials and services required to prepare to consolidate terminal control facilities into AAS area control facilities until FAA determines the optimal alternative. This recommendation should not preclude FAA from modernizing facilities to perform en route functions.
Closed - Implemented

Recommendation status is Closed - Implemented.

DOT agreed with this recommendation and stated that the AAS contract has flexibility to deliver systems to consolidated or nonconsolidated sites. However, DOT did not state whether it would prevent FAA from extending or awarding other contracts to prepare facilities for consolidation until FAA determines whether to consolidate.
Department of Transportation To ensure effective cost control on the multi-billion dollar AAS acquisition, the Secretary of Transportation should review FAA cost control processes to determine whether improvements, including establishing design-to-cost goals, should be implemented.
Closed - Implemented

Recommendation status is Closed - Implemented.

DOT agreed to work with FAA to review potential cost control strategies, including design-to-cost goals.

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