Hearing Thursday to examine FAA consolidation plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Congressional hearing on Thursday will examine the FAA’S efforts to consolidate air traffic control facilities to provide long-term cost savings and help U.S. aviation transition to the NextGen air traffic control system.

The House Aviation Subcommittee will hear testimony from the FAA, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association regarding the need for action given the age and deteriorating condition of FAA facilities, the state of the federal budget, the need for cost savings, expected facility and infrastructure needs with the implementation of NextGen, and consolidation and realignment planning requirements included in the recently enacted FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Reform Act).

The FAA is responsible for maintaining or replacing 402 air traffic control facilities in the United States. According to the OIG, the average facility has an expected useful life of approximately 25 to 30 years. As of 2012, the average age of an en-route center, which generally handles high altitude “en route” air traffic moving across the United States, is 49 years. The average age of a TRACON, which typically handles traffic within 40 miles of an airport, is 28 years. According to the FAA, the estimated cost to replace 402 terminal facilities is $10.6 billion, while the estimated annual cost to sustain 402 terminal facilities is $99.3 million.

More information about Thursday’s hearing can be found here. The 10 a.m. hearing will be be broadcast live over the web





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