Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed aircraft landing systems, focusing on: (1) capabilities and costs; and (2) potential consequences of the FAA approach to developing these systems.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation 1. To determine which alternative precision landing systems will best meet the requirements for precision landings, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to provide full budgetary support for the development of all alternative systems so that by the mid-1990s decisionmakers will have a meaningful basis for comparing the systems' capabilities, benefits, and costs.
Closed - Implemented
In June 1994, FAA determined that satellite technology, with augmentations, and the current instrument landing system (ILS) could best meet the users precision landing needs. As a result, FAA has cancelled the MLS program. In regard to funding, FAA has requested a significant increase in funding for satellite technology in FY 1995 and continued funding for ILS, albeit to a lesser degree. Because the MLS program was terminated, no funding was requested.
Department of Transportation 2. To determine which alternative precision landing systems will best meet the requirements for precision landings, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to prepare a mission need statement for precision landing systems in general that is based on a runway-by-runway determination of which system, or mix of systems, provides the most benefits at the lowest cost to both FAA and the system's users. This general mission need statement should be ready when FAA selects the precision landing system that will replace the ILS.
Closed - Implemented
In June 1994, FAA terminated its development contracts for MLS because satellite technology, with augmentations, and the current instrument landing system, could satisfy all precision landing needs.

Full Report