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GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) plans to modernize its air traffic control system through the implementation of the Advanced Automation System (AAS). GAO found that: (1) FAA has not adequately justified its request for appropriations for AAS and its studies have not defined AAS requirements or reduced the risks of cost increases, schedule delays, and performance deficiencies; (2) the new acquisition strategy does not provide for adequate AAS component simulation or prototype testing and evaluation prior to award of the acquisition-phase contract; and (3) a preliminary analysis of benefits and costs indicates that the cost may exceed the benefits and that FAA has not identified alternative possibilities to AAS.

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