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            june 23, 2018

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FAA doesn't know what it's got for its money


The US Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) has issued another critical review of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) NextGen air traffic control modernisation effort, reports the American Journal of Transportation.
After recently revealing the FAA's overly optimistic business case for NextGen, the inspector general released a report on the FAA's poor management of a cornerstone component of the chronically delayed and over-budget NextGen effort, its ADS-B contract.
For almost a decade, the FAA has spent taxpayer dollars on a system without even verifying that ADS-B contract requirements were met, said the report.
"As a result, FAA cannot ensure that the millions of dollars in payments it makes to the contractor each month for ADS-B service are reasonable," said the report.
The FAA accepted partial installations of ADS-B, even though the acceptance criteria included in the contract provide that the contractor verify complete installation before acceptance, reported Bloomberg.
The FAA has not enforced a contract provision requiring the contractor to track and bill capital assets separately.
"Without knowing these costs, FAA cannot determine whether equipment and installation prices for installations are reasonable," said the report.
"It's astonishing that the FAA doesn't know if it's getting what it's paying for," said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Bill Shuster.
"How many more examples does Congress need before we recognise that the federal government is incapable of managing a complex, high-tech, multi-year modernisation programme?
"Now more than ever, we need to finally pass the broadly supported and bipartisan 21st Century AIRR Act and bring an end to the FAA's decades of wasteful spending on failed NextGen plans," he said.

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