GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Advanced Automation System (AAS), focusing on the: (1) problems confronting AAS; (1) causes of AAS schedule delays and cost increases; and (3) changes affecting AAS. GAO noted that: (1) serious cost and schedule difficulties have affected AAS despite several FAA management initiatives; (2) an overly ambitious development plan, inadequate oversight of software development, and changing system requirements have led to AAS cost and schedule problems; (3) FAA has not provided adequate oversight of contractor performance during initial development of a key system component; (4) FAA has been indecisive in resolving some issues about AAS basic requirements; (5) although FAA and the contractor have made some progress in developing a system that meets FAA requirements, the system is still experiencing technical difficulties; (6) FAA will need an additional $100 million for a redesigned system component because of changing requirements; (7) FAA plans to procure about 170 automated systems, at a cost of $350 million, to support the terminal facilities that will not be consolidated under AAS; and (8) AAS will impose major demands on upcoming FAA budgets.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to defer governmental acceptance of the Initial Sector Suite System until all critical operational requirements are met.|
|Department of Transportation||2. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to submit a report to Congress, before the administration proposes its fiscal year 1996 budget for FAA, that describes a comprehensive automation plan--including timeframes, funding levels, and all interim and long-term actions necessary to satisfy user needs and FAA air traffic control and management requirements.|