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Aviation Congestion: Proposed Non-Air Traffic Control Remedies

Description: The debate amongst airlines, airports, and government as to who should be blamed for the record flight delays is long-standing. A concomitant debate continues to occur as to solutions to this problem. The two apparent points of agreement are that ultimately there is no single cause of the delays and there is no single solution to the problem. Congress and the Bush Administration are examining a number of non-air traffic control strategies that might be useful in reducing delay both in the short and long term. Most of these efforts focus on expanding airport capacity or using existing capacity better. These include: new runway construction; environmental streamlining to speed up construction; allocation of airport space by use of economic incentives, i.e. peak period pricing; or administrative means, i.e. antitrust immunity to allow airline schedule coordination. All of the potential remedies engender some element of controversy, but the level of controversy varies significantly by suggested remedy. This report provides a brief overview and analysis of remedies currently under consideration by Congress and the Administration.
Date: September 5, 2001
Creator: Fischer, John W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation Delays

Description: Flight delays and cancellation in the U.S. air transportation system rose to record levels in 2000. The problem costs the airlines an estimated $3 billion annually and causes great inconvenience for shippers and passengers. Billions of federal dollars are being spent to modernize the air traffic control (ATC) system, purchase new equipment and expand airport capacity. But the airlines express little confidence that these efforts will provide near-term relief or be enough in the long-term to accommodate the forecasted growth in air traffic ­ up from about 670 million passengers this year to 1.0 billion forecast by 2010 and 1.5 billion by 2025.
Date: September 22, 2000
Creator: Moore, J. Glen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed Cuts to Air Traffic Control Towers Under Budget Sequestration: Background and Considerations for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) and air traffic control tower funding, which provided for automatic reductions to most federal discretionary spending if no agreement on deficit reduction was reached by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Date: March 26, 2013
Creator: Elias, Bart
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proceedings of the Office of Technology Assessment Seminar on the Discrete Address Beacon System (DABS)

Description: The proceedings of a seminar that discussed the "impacts on the aviation system of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) proposed implementation of the Discrete Address Beacon System (DABS) and the Automatic Traffic Advisory and Resolution Service (ATARS)" (p. iii).
Date: July 1980
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: FAA Reports Progress in System Acquisitions, but Changes in Performance Measurement Could Improve Usefulness of Information

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Acquiring new systems on budget and on schedule is critically important in transitioning to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). However, air traffic control modernization has been on GAO's high-risk list since 1995, in part due to acquisitions exceeding budget and schedule targets. The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Organization (ATO) has responsibility for managing air traffic control acquisitions. GAO was asked to examine (1) ATO's goals, performance measures, and reporting for systems acquisitions; (2) the validity of ATO's performance measures; and (3) the implications of using ATO's performance measures to assess progress in transitioning to NextGen. To address these issues, GAO compared ATO's measures with attributes of successful performance measures, interviewed agency officials, and sought perspectives of aviation experts."
Date: December 18, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: Status of the Current Modernization Program and Planning for the Next Generation System

Description: A statement of record issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over a decade ago, GAO listed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) effort to modernize the nation's air traffic control (ATC) system as a high-risk program because of systemic management and acquisition problems. Two relatively new offices housed within FAA--the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO)--are now primarily responsible for planning and implementing these modernization efforts. Congress created ATO to be a performance-based organization that would improve both the agency's culture, structure, and processes, and the ATC modernization program's performance and accountability. Congress created JPDO, made up of seven partner agencies, to coordinate the federal and nonfederal stakeholders necessary to plan a transition from the current air transportation system to the "next generation air transportation system" (NGATS). This statement is based on GAO's recently completed and ongoing studies of the ATC modernization program. GAO provides information on (1) the status of ATO's efforts to improve the ATC modernization program, (2) the status of JPDO's planning efforts for NGATS, and (3) actions to control costs and leverage resources for ATC modernization and the transformation to NGATS."
Date: May 4, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: FAA Needs to Ensure Better Coordination When Approving Air Traffic Control Systems

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) process for ensuring that air traffic control (ATC) systems will operate safely in the national airspace system is an integral part of the agency's multibillion-dollar ATC modernization and safety effort. GAO was asked to review (1) FAA's process for approving ATC systems for safe use in the national airspace system; (2) challenges FAA has faced approving ATC systems and how these challenges affected the cost, schedule, and performance estimates of the systems; and (3) actions FAA has taken to improve its process for approving ATC systems."
Date: November 17, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: Observations on FAA's Air Traffic Control Modernization Program

Description: A statement of record issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Control Modernization Program, focusing on: (1) the causes of the problems that have plagued FAA's modernization program for nearly two decades; (2) recent agency efforts to overcome these problems; and (3) the readiness of FAA and others to meet year 2000 requirements."
Date: March 25, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: Characteristics and Performance of Selected International Air Navigation Service Providers and Lessons Learned from Their Commercialization

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the past, governments worldwide owned, operated, and regulated air navigation services, viewing air traffic control as a governmental function. But as nations faced increasing financial strains, many governments decided to shift the responsibility to an independent air navigation service provider (ANSP) that operates as a business. As of March 2005, 38 nations worldwide had commercialized their air navigation services, fundamentally shifting the operational and financial responsibility for providing these services from the national government to an independent commercial authority. GAO selected five ANSPs--in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom--to develop, as requested, a descriptive analysis of commercialized ANSPs that illustrated similarities and differences in ownership, length of experience with commercialization, and size and scope of operations. This report addresses the following questions: (1) What are common characteristics of commercialized ANSPs in selected foreign countries? (2) What do available data show about how the safety, cost, and efficiency of air navigation services have changed since commercialization? (3) What are some key lessons learned about the commercialization of air navigation services?"
Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: Preliminary Observations on Commercialized Air Navigation Service Providers

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the past, governments worldwide owned, operated, and regulated air navigation services, viewing air traffic control as a governmental function. But as nations faced increasing financial strains, many governments decided to shift the responsibility to an independent air navigation service provider (ANSP) that operates along commercial lines. As of March 2005, 38 nations worldwide had commercialized their air navigation services, fundamentally shifting the operational and financial responsibility for providing these services from the national government to an independent commercial authority. GAO selected five ANSPs--in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom--to examine characteristics and experiences of commercialized air navigation services. These ANSPs used different ownership structures and varied in terms of their size, amount of air traffic handled, and complexity of their airspace. This testimony, which is based on ongoing work, addresses the following questions: (1) What are common characteristics of commercialized ANSPs? (2) What do available data show about how the safety, cost, and efficiency of air navigation services have changed since commercialization? (3) What are some initial observations that can be made about the commercialization of air navigation services?"
Date: April 20, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: FAA Enhanced the Controller-in-Charge Program, but More Comprehensive Evaluation is Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Each day, nearly two million passengers on 25,000 flights depend on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) system to safely reach their destinations. Because the ATC system requires thousands of controllers, each of whom typically manages just a section of airspace or one aspect of an aircraft's takeoff or landing, FAA depends on supervisors to monitor air traffic operations and controllers' workload and performance to ensure that the system is operating safely. In negotiating its 1998 collective bargaining agreement with its controllers' union, FAA agreed to a national plan that would reduce by attrition the number of supervisors who oversee air traffic controllers. To avoid compromising safety, FAA will increasingly have its controllers performing supervisory duties as Controllers-in-Charge (CIC) when supervisors are not present. Nationwide, FAA has selected 8,268 controllers to serve as CICs, which is about 55 percent of its air traffic controller workforce. GAO found that the materials for FAA's CIC training program were through and comprehensive, but FAA has little assurance that the training was effectively presented and achieved its objectives. Although FAA assessed training at a few facilities, the agency has not obtained evaluations from most of the students who completed the course or conducted an overall evaluation of whether the training was effective. FAA has not consistently implemented its quality assurance procedures for the CIC expansion. Five of the 12 facilities GAO visited did not have quality assurance measures in place for the CIC expansion, and the remaining seven facilities relied on their existing quality assurance programs to monitor the impact of the CIC expansion. The reduction of supervisors will save FAA $141.5 million, or about $23.1 million less than it estimated. FAA did not factor in the ...
Date: October 31, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control Modernization: Status of the Current Program and Planning for the Next Generation Air Transportation System

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) effort to modernize the nation's air traffic control (ATC) system has been listed by GAO as a high risk program for more than a decade now, due to systemic management and acquisition problems. Two relatively new organizations housed within FAA--the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO)--have been given the bulk of the responsibility for planning and implementing these modernization efforts. Congress created ATO to be a performance-based organization that would improve the culture, structure, and processes and improve accountability in the ATC modernization program. Congress created JPDO, made up of seven partner agencies, to coordinate the federal and nonfederal stakeholders necessary to plan a transition from the current air transportation system to the "next generation air transportation system" (NGATS). This testimony is based on GAO's recently completed and ongoing studies of the ATC modernization program. GAO provides information on (1) the status of ATO's efforts to implement processes and other initiatives aimed at efficiently managing and modernizing the current ATC system and (2) the status of JPDO's planning efforts and the key challenges that JPDO faces in planning for NGATS."
Date: June 21, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: Impact of Revised Personnel Relocation Policies Is Uncertain

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In fiscal year 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spent more than $15 million to move air traffic controllers and their managers to new permanent duty locations. FAA classifies the funds that it spends for these moves as permanent change of station (PCS) benefits. In 1998, as part of a broader effort to reform its personnel policies, FAA changed its policies on PCS benefits. Instead of fully reimbursing the costs of all PCS moves and prohibiting unfunded PCS moves, as it once did, FAA now determines the amount of PCS benefits to be offered on a position-by-position basis and allows employees and managers to move at their own expense. Under its new polices, FAA can fully reimburse the costs of a move if it determines that he move is in the interest of the government, or it can offer partial fixed relocation benefits if it determines that the agency will derive some benefit from the move. FAA's policies on eligibility for PCS benefits are the same for air traffic controllers and their managers, but the amounts of the benefits vary. According to these policies, eligibility depends on a determining official's decision about how critical a position is and/or whether FAA will benefit from the move. Air traffic controllers have been less likely than air traffic managers to be offered PCS benefits when they move between facilities. Between fiscal year 1999 and 2001, Air Traffic Services funded 16 percent of moves involving a promotion and 6 percent of lateral moves between field facilities for controllers, compared with 38 percent of promotional moves and 34 percent of lateral moves for managers. According to FAA officials, PCS costs have decreased and FAA's ability to quickly fill vacant controller positions ...
Date: October 31, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: System Management Capabilities Improved, but More Can Be Done to Institutionalize Improvements

Description: A chapter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1981, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been working to modernize its aging air traffic control (ATC) system. Individual projects have suffered cost increases, schedule delays, and performance shortfalls of large proportions, leading GAO to designate the program a high-risk information technology initiative in 1995. Because the program remains a high risk initiative, GAO was requested to assess FAA's progress in several information technology management areas. This report, one in a series responding to that request, has two objectives: (1) to evaluate FAA's capabilities for developing and acquiring software and systems on its ATC modernization program and (2) to assess the actions FAA has under way to improve these capabilities."
Date: August 20, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: FAA's Modernization Efforts--Past, Present, and Future

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) air traffic control modernization (ATC) efforts are designed to enhance the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the national airspace system through the acquisition of a vast network of radar, navigation, communications, and information processing systems, as well as new air traffic control facilities. Since 1981, when these efforts began, FAA's ATC modernization projects have consistently experienced cost, schedule, and performance problems that GAO and others have attributed to systemic management issues. As a result, FAA's cost estimates have grown and planned improvements have been delayed. Initially FAA estimated that its ATC modernization efforts would cost $12 billion and could be completed over 10 years. Now, two decades and $35 billion later, FAA expects to need another $16 billion through 2007 to complete key projects, for a total cost of $51 billion. This testimony (1) provides an overview of the systemic management issues that GAO and others have identified in FAA's ATC modernization efforts over time, (2) discusses key actions that FAA and others have taken to address these issues, and (3) identifies the challenges that lie ahead for FAA."
Date: October 30, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: FAA Needs to Better Prepare for Impending Wave of Controller Attrition

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Thousands of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) controllers will soon be eligible to retire because of extensive hiring in the 1980's to replace striking air traffic controllers. Although the exact number and timing of the controllers' departures has not been determined, attrition scenarios developed by both FAA and GAO indicate that the total attrition will grow substantially in both the short and long term. As a result, FAA will likely need to hire thousands of air traffic controllers in the next decade to met increasing traffic demands and to address the anticipated attrition of experienced controllers, predominately because of retirement. FAA has yet to developed a comprehensive human capital workforce strategy to address its impending controller needs. Rather, FAA's strategy for replacing controllers is generally to hire new controllers only when current, experienced controllers leave. This does not take into account the potential increases in future hiring and the time necessary to train replacements. In addition, there is uncertainty about the ability of FAA's new aptitude test to identify the best controller candidates. Further, FAA has not addressed the resources that may be needed at its training academy. Finally, exemptions to the age-56 separation rules raise safety and equity issues."
Date: June 14, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: FAA's Modernization Investment Management Approach Could Be Strengthened

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) modernization investment management approach as carried out through the Acquisition Management System (AMS), focusing on the extent to which FAA, through AMS: (1) has established a structured approach for selecting and controlling its investments; (2) incorporates all investments, including those in operation, in the agency's portfolio; and (3) selects, controls, and evaluates its investments with complete and reliable information."
Date: April 30, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: Status of FAA's Implementation of the Display System Replacement Project

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the status of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) implementation of the Display System Replacement (DSR) project, focusing on: (1) the status of FAA's overall modernization program; (2) FAA's progress in implementing DSR, with particular emphasis on events surrounding Boston's implementation; and (3) opportunities for continued success by FAA in completing its modernization projects."
Date: October 11, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: Role of FAA's Modernization Program in Reducing Delays and Congestion

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) efforts to modernize the nation's air traffic control (ATC) system and its relationship to other initiatives to address the escalating crises of insufficient capacity facing the aviation industry. Specifically, GAO reviews the (1) extent of the delay and congestion problems and the contribution of the ATC system to them, (2) progress and problems encountered in FAA's ATC modernization program, and (3) importance of a continued focus on delivering ATC equipment and on human capital issues as policymakers seek to address delays and congestion. GAO found that the national airspace system (NAS) is facing significant capacity problems. Last year, more than 25 percent of nationwide flights were canceled, delayed or diverted. These actions affected 163 million passengers who, on average, were delayed almost an hour. Inefficiencies in the ATC system contribute to the delays and congestion. Modernizing equipment, along with other changes in the ATC system, is expected to help increase the capacity of NAS between 5 and 15 percent. However, improvements from FAA's modernization program have fallen short so far. Although FAA has installed new equipment to provide the necessary platform for fielding modern technologies to improve efficiency, this effort has experienced cost, schedule, and performance problems. As part of this program, FAA has begun to deploy new technologies to achieve free flight, which will enable pilots and controllers to select optimal flight paths, thereby lowering costs and helping to accommodate more flights in the nation's airspace. To ensue that the modernization effort is successful, FAA must institute a performance-oriented culture, which is essential to establishing accountability and coordination throughout the agency. Furthermore, FAA will need to address the wave of retirements among aviation industry professionals, such as FAA controllers ...
Date: May 10, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safer Skies with TCAS: Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System: A Special Report

Description: This special report contains the results of OTA’s assessment. It also provides an admirable example of cooperative effort on the part of all segments of the aviation community in providing information to OTA and working to develop a common solution for a number of difficult issues.
Date: February 1989
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assigning Air Traffic Control Costs to Users: Elements of FAA's Methodology Are Generally Consistent with Standards but Certain Assumptions and Methods Need Additional Support

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In January 2007 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported the results of its study that assigned the fiscal year 2005 costs of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO) to users. FAA used this study to support the President's proposal to replace many current excise taxes with cost-based fees for commercial aviation users and higher fuel taxes for general aviation users. GAO assessed (1) the consistency of FAA's cost assignment methodology with established standards and guidance, (2) the support for selected cost assignment assumptions and methods, and (3) the impact of including budgeted capital costs in the cost baseline. GAO compared FAA's methodology to federal accounting standards and international guidance, reviewed available documents and analyses supporting FAA's assumptions and methods, and interviewed FAA officials and consultants."
Date: October 19, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control: FAA's Acquisition Management Has Improved, but Policies and Oversight Need Strengthening to Help Ensure Results

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) multibillion-dollar effort to modernize the nation's air traffic control (ATC) system has resulted in cost, schedule, and performance shortfalls for over two decades and has been on GAO's list of high-risk federal programs since 1995. According to FAA, performance shortfalls were due, in part, to restrictions imposed by federal acquisition and personnel regulations. In response, Congress granted FAA exemptions in 1995 and directed it to develop a new acquisition management system. In this report, GAO compared FAA's AMS with (1) the FAR and (2) commercial best practices for major acquisitions, and (3) examined FAA's implementation of AMS and its progress in resolving problems with major acquisitions."
Date: November 12, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Traffic Control Modernization: Management Challenges Associated with Program Costs and Schedules Could Hinder NextGen Implementation

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In a review of 30 major ATC acquisition programs, all of which will contribute to the transition to NextGen, GAO found that costs for 11 of the 30 programs have increased from their initial estimates by a total of $4.2 billion and 15 programs experienced delays. The 11 acquisitions that experienced cost increases account for over 60 percent of FAA’s total acquisition costs ($11 billion of $17.7 billion) for the 30 programs. The 15 acquisitions that experienced schedule delays, of which 10 also had cost increases, ranged from 2 months to more than 14 years and averaged 48 months."
Date: February 16, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department