Review of the FAA Response to Letter on the National Airspace System Plan

Gao ID: AFMD-82-91 June 4, 1982

GAO was requested to analyze the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) response to a prior report on the FAA National Airspace System (NAS) Plan.

While the FAA Administrator considered the report useful, he stated that he was confused over what he perceived as inconsistencies between the report and a prior testimony. However, GAO found no such inconsistencies and believes that its concern about updating software is justified by its experience with other agencies. Because of the risk in the FAA strategy for restoring the existing software on modern computers, GAO believes that a congressional committee should obtain from the Administrator a firm commitment to redesign and rewrite the software, set milestones, and furnish periodic progress reports. GAO is concerned that efforts to improve air safety be successful, economical, and efficient. GAO also believes that the Administrator shares the concern and that the NAS Plan is a step in the right direction. Therefore, to avoid any further possibility of confusion, it may be beneficial for the Administrator to discuss with GAO any of the recommendations or any other matters on which GAO may be of assistance.

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