WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Transportation Inspector General has released a scathing report outlining numerous shortcomings of the FAA’s efforts to implement reforms intended to help the agency operate more effectively and efficiently, improve the delivery of air traffic services, and modernize the U.S. air traffic control system.
According to the Inspector General’s report, although the FAA has implemented performance-based compensation systems, established the Air Traffic Organization (ATO), contracted out flight service stations operations, and reorganized multiple times over the years, costs continue to rise while operational productivity has declined.
The FAA has also missed opportunities to complete large-scale facility consolidations that would maximize operations, improve the flow of air traffic, avoid the cost of maintaining aging facilities and facilitate the transition to NextGen capabilities.
Furthermore, major FAA air traffic control modernization projects continue to experience problems that delay the introduction of new technologies, postpone benefits to users, and defer the retirement of costly legacy systems, the report noted.
The Inspector General found that several underlying and systemic issues, including overambitious plans, shifting requirements, software development problems, ineffective contract and program management, and unreliable cost and schedule estimates, impact FAA’s ability to introduce new technologies and capabilities that are critical to transitioning to NextGen.
The Inspector General’s complete report, “FAA Reforms Have Not Achieved Expected Cost, Efficiency, and Modernization Outcomes,” is available here.