oversight

FAA Budget: 1991 Funding Request for Computers and Communications Can Be Reduced

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-09-17.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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                   United   States   General   Accounting   Office        ,; ‘L
                   Report to Congressional Requesters
GAO

September   1990
                   FAA BUDGET
                   1991 Funding Request
                   for Computers and
                   Communications Cm
              l
                   Be Reduced
                   United States
GAO                General Accounting Office
                   Washington, D.C. 20548

                   Information   Management    and
                   Technology    Division

                   B-240616

                   September 17, 1990

                   The Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg
                   Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation
                     and Related Agencies
                   Committee on Appropriations
                   United States Senate

                   The Honorable William Lehman
                   Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation
                     and Related Agencies
                   Committee on Appropriations
                   House of Representatives

                   In response to your request, we reviewed the Federal Aviation Adminis-
                   tration’s (PM) fiscal year 199 1 budget request to identify areas for
                   potential reductions. For fiscal year 1991 FAA is requesting $2.5 billion
                   in facilities and equipment (F&E) funding. This funding is to finance
                   improvements to the national airspace system by allowing FAA to pro-
                   cure and install new equipment, and construct and modernize air traffic
                   control and airway facilities. Our review did not cover all aspects of
                   FAA’S budget request. Rather, we focused on funding reductions in
                   selected computer and communications programs.

                   In May and June 1990, we presented preliminary results of our analysis
                   of FAA’SF&E budget request to your offices. The results of our final
                   review are summarized below and discussed in more detail in appendix
                   I. While this report identifies areas for possible budget reductions, there
                   are other aspects of FA.4’S operations that we have previously reviewed,
                   such as FAA’Ssafety work forces and air traffic control modernization,
                   where we have supported the agency’s request for increased resources.


                    We identified potential reductions of over $196 million in FAA’S fiscal
Results in Brief    year 1991 F&E budget request for computer and communications sys-
                    tems supporting both air traffic control and administrative functions. In
                    the air traffic control area, we identified over $147 million in potential
                    reductions in seven programs. These reductions cover air traffic control
                    computer systems; radar, voice, and data communications systems; and
                    an air traffic control facilities program. The potential reductions are
                    based primarily on program schedule delays that have removed the
                    need for funding for equipment and contracts in fiscal year 1991. The
                    majority of the amount we identified, over $97 million, is for the Voice


                    Page 1                                GAO/IMTEG90-89   FAA 1991 Gmputer   Budget
Page 3   GAO/lMTJSG90-39   FM   1931 Chnputer   Budget
Page 6   GAO/tMTEG9989   FM   1991 Computer   Budget
                      Appendix I
                      PotenthI Reductions   to FAA’s F&E
                      Budget Request




                      positions at each center and are presently being developed under the
                      Advanced Automation System (AAS). The success of FAA’S plans to
                      modernize the air traffic control system depends on vscs because the
                      new workstations cannot be fully tested or used until WCS is
                      operational.

                      Currently, two contractors (American Telephone and Telegraph Tech-
                      nologies and Harris Corporation) are designing and developing proto-
                      type systems. Completion of the prototype phase of the program was
                      originally scheduled for November 1989 when the production contract
                      was to be awarded. In our June 1989 report,’ we noted that both proto-
                      type contractors had experienced difficulties designing and imple-
                      menting a system capable of meeting performance requirements, and
                      that the program had experienced cost, schedule, and technical difficul-
                      ties dating back several years.


                      In fiscal year 1990 FAA was appropriated $172.3 million to fund the first
                      year of the production contract, technical support, and implementation
                      costs. Although FAA had expected to award the production contract in
                      November 1989, more time was needed in order to complete factory
                      acceptance testing and resolve technical problems identified during this
                      testing. As a result, FA.~now plans to award the contract in November
                      1990.


Results of Analysis   FAA requested $185.1 million in its fiscal year 1991 budget request to
                      continue funding the acquisition phase of the vscs program. This
                      funding is for costs associated with the production contract, technical
                      support, and implementation activities.

                      FAA   officials have stated that the $172.3 million appropriated in fiscal
                      year 1990 will not be needed during the year for the production contract
                      since the contract will not be awarded until fiscal year 1991. However,
                      since the prototype phase of the program must be extended to complete
                      critical factory acceptance testing, officials state that some additional
                      funding will be required. The FAAprogram manager estimates that
                      between $55 and $75 million of the $172.3 million will be needed to com-
                      plete funding of the prototype phase. Therefore, a minimum of $97.3




                      Page 7                                GAO/IMTEC90-99   FAA 1991 C!mputcr   Budget
                      Appmdlx   I
                      Potential Bedwtlo~      to FAA’s F&E
                      Budget Bequest




                      AASis the centerpiece of the National Airspace System modernization
Advanced Automation   plan and is intended to replace aging air traffic control computer sys-
System (AAS)          tems with new hardware, software, and controller workstations. FAA
                      believes that AASwill increase controller productivity, reduce operating
                      costs, save fuel and passenger time, and allow controllers to handle
                      anticipated traffic increases more safely and efficiently.

                      On July 25, 1988, FAA awarded a $3.6-billion contract to International
                      Business Machines Corporation to complete the design of and produce
                      AAS.The AAScontract calls for implementing the system in three steps.
                      In the first step, the primary component and the largest portion of the
                      contract is the initial sector suite system. This initial system is to supply
                      new controller workstations at en route centers and automate related
                      processes that are currently done manually. The second step of the con-
                      tract is to provide additional hardware and software to support
                      enhanced automation capabilities at smaller terminal radar approach
                      control (TRACON) facilities. The third step is to provide additional auto-
                      mation support in airport towers and upgrade larger TRACON facilities.

                      Our July 1990 report” noted that the initial system schedule had already
                      encountered a 13-month delay. Two major reasons for the delay were (1)
                      requirements issues scheduled to be resolved during the design competi-
                      tion phase were deferred to the acquisition phase without allocating any
                      time to resolve the issues, and (2) FAA underestimated the time it would
                      take to develop and test software. FAA and the contractor are currently
                      negotiating modifications to the contract to address these issues. FAA
                      anticipates that these modifications will be completed by December
                       1990.


Results of Analysis   For fiscal year 1991, FAA requested $556.3 million for funding the AAS
                      acquisition contract, technical support, expansion of the test laboratory
                      at the FU Technical Center at Pomona, New Jersey, regional implemen-
                      tation costs, and other costs at en route centers necessary to implement
                      AA.Yand other modernization plan programs. Of the $556.3 million
                      requested, FAA estimates that $238.5 million will be needed to fund
                      regional implementation costs.

                       FAA officials state that the $238.5 million for regional costs will provide
                       funding for (1) preparing five sites for the installation of the initial

                       “Air Traffic Control: Continuing   Delays Anticipated   for the Advanced Automation   System (GAO/
                       IicITEc 90 _63 , July 18, 1990).




                       Page 9                                                  GAO/IMTEC9089      FM   1991 Computer   Budget
                      Appendix I
                      Potential Reductions   to FAA’s F&E
                      Budget Bequest




                      utilization and efficiency, provide the basis for future direct pilot to con-
                      troller communication, and automate air traffic control functions cur-
                      rently performed manually.

                      FAA  plans to implement the program in two steps to automatically
                      transmit data generated from onboard systems via a satellite link to an
                      air traffic control facility. The first step will be to develop software to
                      receive aircraft identification, position information, and time. The
                      second step will utilize a satellite link to provide controllers with direct
                      two-way communication with aircraft. Included in this step is the devel-
                      opment and implementation of data link communications software and
                      workstation replacements. Currently, FAA plans to procure new worksta-
                      tions that will be different from those being developed under the AAS
                      program. According to the program manager, FAA is proceeding with this
                      new procurement because of time constraints associated with delays in
                      the AASprogram.


Results of Analysis   FAA  requested $6.8 million for step 2 of the program. This funding is to
                      procure 22 workstations for the New York and Oakland en route centers
                      and for implementation of the aircraft-controller data communications
                      link. FAAis currently developing the specifications for this step, and
                      anticipates awarding a contract in mid-1992. According to the Auto-
                      matic Dependent Surveillance program manager, this anticipated
                      schedule would result in FAA not needing any of the $6.8 million
                      requested in fiscal year 199 1.


                       The Aeronautical Data Link project, formerly called the Weather Com-
Aeronautical Data      munications Processor/Data Link, is to develop, evaluate, and imple-
Link                   ment a variety of weather and air traffic control data link services.
                       These services include providing weather information such as surface
                       observations, terminal forecasts, winds aloft forecasts, pilot reports, and
                       hazardous weather advisories to pilots when requested. In addition, air
                       traffic control services such as altitude confirmation, communications
                       transfer, and en route minimum safe altitude warning are to be pro-
                       vided. According to FAA, the availability of data link communications
                       will improve two-way air to ground communications and contribute to
                       system safety and capacity by enhancing pilot accessibility to informa-
                       tion, relieving congested voice frequencies, and reducing the work load
                       of pilots, specialists, and controllers.




                       Page 11                                GAO/IMTFC99-99   FM   1Wl Computer   Budget
-
                             Appendix      I
                             Potential     Reductions   to FAA’s F&E
                             Budget      Request




                             before the contract expires in January 1994. He added that a competi-
                             tive procurement will add at least 18 months to the second segment’s
                             schedule.


Results of Analysis          FAA’S   fiscal year 1991 budget request of $10 million is for funding the
                             fourth year of the program. According to the program manager, the $10
                             million consists of $4.5 million for continued support and testing of the
                             first segment, and approximately $6.5 million to fund hardware and
                             software development in the second segment. Specifications for the
                             second segment are being developed and are expected to be completed in
                             August 1990. According to the program manager, a fully competitive
                             procurement for the second segment will add at least 18 months to the
                             schedule and delay the contract award to approximately February 1992.
                             Because a sole source procurement for the second segment has not been
                             justified, $5.5 million is not needed in the fiscal year 1991 request.


                             According to FAA officials, the En Route Radar Facilities program con-
    Air Traffic Control En   slsts of several on-going initiatives to improve and modify en route
    Route Radar Facilities   radar surveillance and beacon system facilities at various locations. This
                             radar system provides the means for determining positions of aircraft in
                             the national airspace system. According to FAA, this continuing effort
                             will improve long-range radar operational performance and reliability,
                             and resolve problems unique to certain radar sites and the entire radar
                             system.


    Results of Analysis       FAA requested $14.9 million in fiscal year 1991 to improve radar cov-
                              erage and maintenance of facilities. The improvements focus primarily
                              on a multi-year program to replace radome@ at en route radar facilities
                              in order to accommodate larger Mode S en route antennas. FAA officials
                              stated that about $.9 million is not needed in fiscal year 1991 primarily
                              because delays in the Mode S program will not permit the relocation of
                              radar beacon sites during fiscal year 1991.




                              ‘A radome is a strong, thin shell wed to house and protect a radar antenna from severe weather
                              conditions.




                              Page 13                                            GAO/I?dTECXW-89     FM   1991 Cmn~uter    Budget
Appendix II

Objective, Scope,and Methodology


               The Chairmen, Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Sub-
               committees on Transportation and Related Agencies, requested that we
               review FAA’S fiscal year 1991 budget request. Our objective was to iden-
               tify areas for potential reductions. Our review did not cover all aspects
               of FAA’S budget request. Rather, we focused on funding reductions in
               select computer and communications programs.

               To accomplish our objective, we reviewed FAA’S 1991 F&E budget request
               for computer and communications systems. To obtain historical data on
               program funding and obligations, we reviewed prior years’ FAA budget
               requests for computer and communications systems. We obtained and
               reviewed appropriated and obligated amounts for individual programs
               from FAA’S budget office and program officials. We also met with pro-
               gram officials to discuss program status, current schedules, funding
               status, and to clarify budget and program information. To determine
               potential reduction amounts, we (1) analyzed prior years’ appropriated
               and obligated amounts, and compared these amounts to fiscal year 1991
               requested amounts, (2) updated and analyzed program status and deter-
               mined if schedule slippage had or was likely to occur and what impact
               the slippage would have on the program’s need for funding, and (3)
               determined if the justification for requested funding amounts was
                adequate.

               We conducted our work between March and July 1990 at FAA headquar-
               ters in Washington, DC.; FAA’S New York air route traffic control center
               in Ronkonkoma, New York; and FAA’s technical center in Pomona, New
               Jersey. We conducted our work in accordance with generally accepted
               government auditing standards.




               Page 15                               GAO/IMTEGfMM9   FM   1991 Computer   Budget
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Appendix III

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Joel Willemssen, Assistant Director
Information             M. Rose Hernandez, Evaluator-in-Charge
Management and          Ted Alves, Senior Evaluator
Technology Division,    John Finedore, Senior Evaluator
                        Andrea Leopold, Senior Evaluator
Washington, D.C.        Matthew D. Ryan, Evaluator


                        Karlton Davis, Senior Evaluator
New York Regional
Office

                        Peter G. Maristch, Senior Evaluator
Philadelphia Regional
Office




                        Page 16                               GAO/IMTEG90-89   FM   1991 Computer   Budget
                      Appendix I
                      Potential Reductions    to FAA’s F&E
                      Budget Request




Administrative
System

                      The CORN project is E’AA’Slargest and most complex general-purpose
Computer Resources    data-processing acquisition to date. The CORK contractor would be
Nucleus (CORN)        responsible for providing, maintaining, and operating the computer
                      facilities, equipment, system software, and technical support services to
                      meet FAA’S general-purpose, data-processing needs over the next 10
                      years. The contract is also scheduled to include options for providing
                      data-processing services to other elements of the Department of Trans-
                      portation. The total estimated contract value of the CORN project is $1.5
                      billion.

                      FAA  was appropriated $15 million in fiscal year 1989 and $8.9 million in
                      fiscal year 1990 to cover the project’s initial funding. To date, according
                      to the CORN program manager, none of these appropriated funds have
                      been obligated and will not be until the contract has been awarded. In
                      our May 1990 report4 we determined that the CORN project had not been
                      adequately justified or planned and had major unresolved problems. We
                      therefore recommended that the Secretary of Transportation direct that
                      the CORN contract not be awarded. In response to our recommendation,
                      the FAA Administrator recently appointed an independent consultant to
                      review the CORN project.


Results of Analysis   FAA requested $25 million in fiscal year 1991 to fund the CORK software
                      conversion, initial start-up, and operation costs. Based on our recom-
                      mendation that the CORN contract not be awarded, the $25 million is not
                      needed. Further, prior years’ appropriations of $23.8 million are also not
                      needed, providing for a total potential budget reduction of $48.9 million.




                      “FAA Procurement:      Major Data-Processing   Contract Should Not Be Awarded (GAO/IMTEGSO38,
                      May 25, 1990).




                       Page 14                                              GAO/IMlEG90-89     FAA 1991 Computer   Budget
Appendix I
Potential Beductions   to FAA’s F&E
Budget Bequest




According to the FAA Aeronautical Data Link program manager, the
agency now views the program in two segments. The first segment is for
data link software and processors capable of handling air traffic control
and weather functions using the Mode S data link capability. The second
segment will procure additional hardware and develop software to use
the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network,’ ground data link, wind-
shear alert, and automatic terminal information system.

The first segment was awarded to ARCON in February 1988 for
software development and to CONTEL in July 1988 for hardware. A
total of 24 data link processors are scheduled to be delivered. Currently,
four processors have been delivered-two       to the FAA Technical Center
at Pomona, New Jersey, one to the FAA training academy at Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma, and one to the software contractor. According to the
FAA program manager, all 24 processors have been fully funded with
prior years’ appropriations. Beginning in early 1991 one processor will
be delivered to en route centers per month. Because of continuing devel-
opment problems with the Mode S program, these processors will be
installed, tested, and turned off to be stored until the Mode S program is
ready to use them. Current estimates for delivery of an interim Mode S
system to the first operational site is March 1992. According to the pro-
gram manager, FAA has studied whether delivery of the processors is the
best alternative. The study addressed three alternatives: (1) delivering
and storing the processors at the FAA Depot, (2) delaying delivery, and
(3) continuing with delivery and installation of the processors at the en
route centers. The study’s results indicated that there was insufficient
space to store the processors at the FAA Depot and because of contrac-
tual obligations the costs of delaying delivery of the processors would be
more costly than delivering and installing them. As a result, FAA has
chosen to continue with delivery and installation of the processors.

FAA  plans to use an existing contract with Computer Sciences Corpora-
tion to develop the software for the second segment. However, FAA has
performed no studies to show that a sole source procurement is justified.
According to the Aeronautical Data Link program manager, there is a
big push to complete specifications for this segment and direct the con-
tractor to begin work within the next 3 months (July - September 1990)
so that the estimated 36month development schedule can be completed


 ‘The Aeronautical Telecommunications Network is a data network being developed to provide a link
between many United States and international airlines and FAA. The network is to allow the
exchange of data such as flight plans, weather data, distress messages, and some administrative
,“lSSagl2S.




Page 12                                           GAO/IMTBC9039       FAA 1991 Computer    Budget
                      Appendix 1
                      Potential l&ductions   to FAA’s F&E
                      Budget Bequest




                      system of AAS,(2) procuring and installing new power systems, and (3)
                      expanding and modifying buildings to house the new power systems.
                      FAA estimates that each site will need $3.6 million for the initial system
                      site preparation of AAS,$6 million for new power systems, and $7.7 mil-
                      lion for building expansion and modification for the new power systems.

                      Because of the 13-month delay AAShas experienced, FAA officials have
                      stated that initial system site preparation work for m at three sites
                      could be slipped to fiscal year 1992, resulting in $10.8 million which will
                      not be needed in fiscal year 199 1.


                      The Los Angeles Basin TRACOK Facilities Consolidation project, now
Los Angeles Basin     called the Southern California TRACOK project, is designed to consolidate
TRACON Facilities     four TRACOK facilities in the Los Angeles area by 1995. In our July 1990
Consolidation         report,t1 we noted that the project involves designing and constructing a
                      new building and moving the existing computer systems into the consoli-
                      dated facility. WA believes this consolidation will help it provide better
                      service in the basin’s congested and complicated airspace. FAA plans to
                      locate the consolidated facility on the Miramar Naval Air Base in San
                      Diego, California. For fiscal year 1990, FAA was appropriated $18.9 mil-
                      lion to procure equipment. According to FAA officials, this funding
                      included $1 million to obtain a lease for the new facility.


Results of Analysis    FAA’S   fiscal year 1991 budget request of $76.1 million is to fund building
                       construction and procure equipment. FAA estimated that $9 million of
                       the $76.1 million was needed to procure real estate for the consolidated
                       facility. However, because the consolidated facility is planned to be
                       located on existing government-owned land, the $9 million requested to
                       procure real estate will not be needed. FAA officials agree that this $9
                       million is not necessary for the project. In addition, since the $1 million
                       appropriated in fiscal year 1990 for obtaining a lease will not be needed.
                       the fiscal year 1991 request can be reduced by $10 million.



                       This program is a satellite surveillance and communications system that
Automatic Dependent    will be used to control aircraft in oceanic airspace. According to FAA.the
Surveillance           project will increase safety in oceanic areas. promote greater airspace




                                                              GAO/IMTEGSO-89   FAA 1991 Computer   Budget
                       Appendix I
                       Potential Reductions    to FAA’s F&E
                       Budget Rquest




                       million ($172.3 million less $75 million) of fiscal year 1990 appropriated
                       funds would be carried over to future years.

                       FAA’S  fiscal year 1991 budget request of $185.1 million plus the $97.3
                       million carry-over would bring total available funding to $282.4 million
                       for the first year of the production contract. FAA officials stated that
                       they estimate that $184.9 million is needed to fund the first year of the
                       production contract, technical support, and implementation costs.
                       Therefore, $97.5 million could be reduced from the fiscal year 1991
                       budget request amount.


                       The Mode S project is to provide more accurate aircraft location infor-
Mode Select (Mode S)   mation and to allow controllers and pilots to exchange data. In 1984, FAA
                       contracted to buy 137 Mode S systems to replace many existing beacon
                       radars3 and provide data communications to the air traffic control
                       system. In our May 1990 report,4 we noted that the Mode S program had
                       encountered continued technical problems which have led to repeated
                       schedule slippages. Further, we determined that 20 years after pro-
                       posing the concept and over 5 years after awarding a $221 million pro-
                       duction contract to buy 137 Mode S systems, FAA had spent about $145
                       million without receiving the first system. We also reported that, aa a
                       result of these problems, FAA and the joint venture contractor-Westing-
                       house and UNISYS-had modified the contract to extend the delivery
                       schedule and allow the contractor to deliver interim systems which will
                       not meet all FAA requirements. The first interim system is to be delivered
                       to an operational site in March 1992. FAA expects that the first fully
                       capable systems will be delivered in April 1993.


Results of Analysis    FAA’S fiscal year 1991 budget request of $37 million is to fund Mode S
                       spares, contractor cost growth, and program support. Of this amount,
                       $15.8 million is to fund Mode S spares and repairs. However, because
                       the Mode S project is not scheduled to have the first interim systems
                       delivered until March 1992, the $15.8 million requested to fund Mode S
                       spares and repairs is not needed in fiscal year 199 1.



                       “Beacon radars calculate aircraft    location using an electronic signal sent to the arcraft   and a return
                       signal sent by the aircraft.

                       ‘Air Traffic Control: Ineffective   Management Plagues $1.7-Billion     Radar Program (GAO/
                       1~90 _ _37 , May 31,199O).




                       Page 8                                                  GAO/IMTEG8089          FM   1991 Computer     Budget
Appendix I

Potential Reductions to FAA’s F&E
Budget Request

                                           For fiscal year 1991 FXA is requesting $2.5 billion in its facilities and
                                           equipment budget request. This funding will finance procuring and
                                           installing new equipment, and constructing and modernizing air traffic
                                           control and airway facilities as part of FAA’s National Airspace System
                                           plan. We identified a potential budget reduction of $196.1 million from
                                           this request for computer and communications systems in the following
                                           areas: $147.2 million for air traffic control systems and $48.9 million for
                                           an administrative system. Table 1.1 shows these potential reductions by
                                           program.

Table 1.1: Potential Reductions to FAA’s
Fiscal Year 1991 F&E Budget Request        Dollars m millions                             _______
                                           Air Traffic Control Systems                                                                  FY 1991
                                           Voice Switchmg and Control System (VSCS)                                                       $97 5
                                           Mode Select (Mode S)                                                                            15.8
                                           Advanced AutomatIon System (AAS)                                                                108
                                           Los Angeles Basin TRACON Facilities Consolidation, now called Southern
                                             California TRACON                                                _____                         10.0
                                           Automatic Dependent Surveillance                                                                  6.7
                                           Aeronautical Data Link                                                                            5.5
                                           Improve Air Traffic Control En Route Radar Facilities                                              .G
                                           Subtotal                                                                                      $147.2

                                           Administrative System
                                           Automated Data Processmg Faclllties Management, also known as
                                             Computer Resources Nucleus
                                                                   ~-~.~ (CORN)                                                           $48.9”
                                           Total                                                                                         $196.1
                                           aThls amount Includes 523 9 mllbn of prfor years’ approprlaled funds which are not needed




Air Traffic Control
Systems

                                           vscs is intended to provide a computer-controlled voice system for both
Voice Switching and                        ground-to-ground and air-to-ground communications that is flexible,
Control System (VSCS)                      expandable, and highly reliable. It is to be deployed at 23 en
                                           route centers’ and is expected to provide communications for the
                                           new controller workstations. These workstations will serve up to 430

                                           ‘FAA currently maintains 20 Air Route Traffic Control centers in the continental United States and 3
                                           offshore centers in Anchorage, Alaska; Honolulu, Hawaii; and a combined San Juan, Puerto Rico, and
                                           Guam center that control air traffic between airports.



                                           Page 6                                             GAO/lMTBG90-99       FM   1991 Computer    Budget
Contents


Letter                                                                                                 1
Appendix I                                                                                            6
Potential Reductions    Air Traffic Control Systems                                                   6
                        Voice Switching and Control System (VSCS)                                     6
to FAA’s F&E Budget     Mode Select (Mode S)                                                          8
Request                 Advanced Automation System (AAS)                                              9
                        Los Angeles Basin TRACON Facilities Consolidation                            10
                        Automatic Dependent Surveillance                                             10
                        Aeronautical Data Link                                                       11
                        Air Traffic Control En Route Radar Facilities                                13
                        Administrative System                                                        14
                        Computer Resources Nucleus (CORN)                                            14

Appendix II                                                                                          15
Objective, Scope, and
Methodology
Appendix III                                                                                         16
Major Contributors to   Information Management and Technology Division,                              16
                             Washington, DC.
This Report             New York Regional Office                                                     16
                        Philadelphia Regional Office                                                 16

Table                   Table 1.1: Potential Reductions to FAA’s Fiscal Year 1991                      6
                            F&E Budget Request




                        Abbreviations

                        AAS       Advanced Automation System
                        CORN      Computer Resources Nucleus
                        FAA       Federal Aviation Administration
                        F&E       facilities and equipment
                        GAO       General Accounting Office
                        IMTEIC    Information Management and Technology Division
                        TRACON    Terminal Radar Approach Control
                        WCS       Voice Switching and Control System


                        Page4                                GAO/lMTEC9O.99   FM   1991 Computm   Budget
5240616




Switching and Control System. FAA does not plan to award a production
contract for this system-intended to provide a computer-controlled
voice communications system for new air traffic controller worksta-
tions-until   November 1990, about 1 year later than planned when the
budget request was submitted.

In the administrative area, we identified potential reductions totaling
almost $49 million for the Computer Resources Nucleus (CORN) project.
CORN is a planned general-purpose data-processing procurement
intended to meet FAA's data-processing needs over the next 10 years.
These reductions are based on our May 199Ol report, in which we deter-
mined that the CORK project had not been adequately justified or planned
and had major unresolved problems. We therefore recommended that
the Secretary of Transportation direct that the CORN contract not be
awarded.

We obtained the views of FAA officials on the key facts and analyses
contained in this report, and have incorporated their comments where
appropriate. Details regarding the objective, scope, and methodology of
our work are described in appendix II.


 As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce the
 report’s contents earlier, we plan no further distribution until 30 days
 after the date of this letter. We will then send copies to interested con-
 gressional committees; the Secretary of Transportation; the Adminis-
 trator, FAA; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; and other
 interested parties.

 This report was prepared under the direction of JayEtta Z. Hecker,
 Director, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Informa-
 tion Systems, who can be reached at (202) 275-9675. Other major con-
 tributors are listed in appendix III.




 Ralph V. Carlone
 Assistant Comptroller            General

 [FAA Procurement:   Major Data-Processing   Contract Should Not Be Awarded (GAO/IMTEC-9038,
 May 25,199O).




 Page 2                                             GAO/lMl’BG96-89    FAA 1961 Computer       Budget