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GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Research, Engineering, and Development (RE&D) Program. GAO noted that: (1) FAA has developed a RE&D plan, but it has not included resource estimates in the plan as required; (2) factors crucial to the RE&D program's success include incorporating RE&D goals into other programs, utilizing research conducted by other federal agencies, integrating various technologies to address existing and future capacity, security, and safety concerns, and incorporating human factors into all research; (3) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration can complement the FAA RE&D program by providing the technological building blocks for future aviation systems; and (4) security research issues that need to be resolved include technical problems, the cost of new devices, the cost, weight, and durability of blast-resistant containers carried in aircraft cargo bays, and efforts to improve aircraft survivability and detection of explosive devices.

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