GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) fiscal year 1993 budget request for $9.4 billion, focusing on: (1) FAA management of air traffic controllers, maintenance technicians, and aviation safety inspectors; (2) modernization of the air traffic control (ATC) system; and (3) the need for FAA to establish measurable goals for its program. GAO noted that: (1) FAA has improved its total air traffic controller staffing dramatically during the last decade and now has nearly 18,000 controllers; (2) FAA lacks a sufficient number of field maintenance workers to service ATC equipment; (3) FAA has about 2,600 safety inspectors, and doubled the size of its 1983 aviation safety inspection workforce; (4) FAA now requires mission needs statements at the start of projects and is aligning its budget with the acquisition process so that development and production are funded separately; (5) for 1992, 7 of 12 major acquisitions had cost increases ranging from 4 to 21 percent and 8 of the 12 acquisitions fell behind schedule; and (6) FAA has not determined how many consolidated ATC facilities it needs, plans to integrate satellite technology into its land-based ATC system, and plans to expand the number of support contractors assisting with modernization.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to include measurable goals in its Capital Investment Plan (CIP).|
|Department of Transportation||2. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to establish goals for each development project category in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS).|
|Department of Transportation||3. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to develop goals for the research and development plan that are appropriate for that plan.|