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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) budget and programs. GAO noted that: (1) FAA must make sound investment decisions for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), since AIP funding demands are more than current funding levels allow; (2) FAA needs to establish program goals to help guide FAA investment decisions; (3) FAA needs to ensure that the AIP letter-of-intent funding mechanism is used only to fund projects that will significantly enhance systemwide capacity; (4) FAA needs to analyze the extent to which projects are achieving their intended objectives and determine if AIP funds need to be redirected; (5) FAA needs to restructure the Advanced Automation System (AAS) to further improve its acquisition management; (6) inadequate management oversight has been a problem during the FAA modernization effort; (7) although FAA has taken steps to respond to the Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990, additional efforts are needed to meet domestic and international challenges; (8) FAA is several years away from certifying explosive detection equipment for airline use and important questions about testing and implementation of the new equipment remain; and (9) FAA needs to take steps to improve its security program to meet current and future threats to aviation.

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