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GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) budget and programs. GAO noted that: (1) the fiscal year (FY) 1995 FAA budget request of $8.8 billion represents a 2-percent increase over FY 1994 and will drawdown the airport trust fund; (2) FAA has requested a 7-percent increase for its air traffic control modernization program, but it continues to have cost and schedule problems which affect its other programs; (3) FAA needs to further improve its acquisition management to ensure cost-effective acquisitions; (4) FAA is planning to streamline its operations and reduce expenses by decreasing its workforce by 12 percent, particularly supervisory personnel, but it must ensure that safety and technical expertise are not reduced; (5) FAA needs to improve its training programs to compensate for its less experienced workforce; (6) FAA must ensure that its investments in the Airport Improvement Program are the most cost-effective use of limited funds by controlling letters-of-intent and improving planning; (7) FAA aviation security research has not kept up with congressional expectations; (8) FAA may need 2 or 3 more years to develop an explosive-detection device for checked luggage, but the FAA equipment certification process does not ensure reliability; and (9) proposed legislation to permit airlines to purchase explosive-detection devices could complicate funding and security arrangements.

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