United States General Accounting Office Fact Sheet for Congressional GAO Requesters April 1990 AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL Status of FAA’s Effort to Modernize the System ----- .-. ~~ United States GAO General Accounting Offke Washington, D.C. PO548 -- Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division B-239008.1 April17,1990 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 Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives This fact sheet responds to your December 15, 1989 request that we provide information on the status of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) modernization program. This program, characterized at its inception in 1981 as the National Airspace System (NAS) Plan, is aimed at achieving a significantly safer and more efficient air traffic control system while constraining costs incurred by the government and airspace users. It is meant to integrate various improvements such as replacing computers, increasing automation, consolidating facilities and upgrading navigational aids. As agreed with both of your offices, this fact sheet provides information on (1) the overall status of the program in terms of projects completed and funds allocated, and (2) the projected cost and schedule of the program's 12 major systems as of January 1990. In summary, we found that FAA has completed 28 projects, or about 32 percent of all NAS Plan projects. However, because most of these completed projects have comparatively lower costs than those being developed, they represent only 4 percent of total NAS Plan costs. Furthermore, project delays in the 12 major systems have continued. One of the longest is that projected for the Mode S surveillance and communication system-- a 20-month additional delay in first- site implementation. B-239008.1 2-l/2 years between the 1983 and 1987 NAS Plans.1 Delays in first-site implementation --when the first system becomes operational in the field-- ranged from 1 to 4 years. These delays have continued-- eight of the 12 major systems we reviewed experienced a delay of at least 200 days during the past year. For example, the scheduled milestones for the first-site implementation of the Mode S surveillance and communication system has been delayed about 20 months, from March 1990 to November 1991. Additionally, FAA anticipates a 13-month delay in delivery of Initial Sector Suite System air traffic controller consoles, the second phase of the $4.4 billion Advanced Automation System. According to the latest monthly progress report, future phases of the Advanced Automation System, such as the replacement of the air traffic control software, may also be delayed pending completion of discussions between FAA and the vendor. Other major projects experiencing significant delays include the Voice Switching and Control System and the Microwave Landing System. Section II of this fact sheet provides cost and schedule data on FAA's major systems. We obtained the information in this fact sheet by analyzing data from various sources. Cost and schedule information on individual systems were obtained from Project Management Status Reports prepared for the FAA by its Systems Engineering and Integration Contractor. Information on the number of NAS Plan projects in various stages of progress was obtained through interviews with contractor officials and analyses performed by the contractor for FAA. We obtained information on the overall cost of ATC modernization, as well as its appropriations and obligations, by analyzing various financial reports provided by FAA and the contractor. Our work was conducted between October 1989 and March 1990. As you know, the information in this fact sheet was developed during our ongoing review of FAA's modernization program, which is being performed at the request of both of your Subcommittees and is in a series of reports and testimonies addressing this subject. This fact sheet will supplement our statement on FAA's fiscal year 1991 appropriations request to be separately delivered in testimony before both Subcommittees this spring. lAir Traffic Control: Continued Imnrovements Needed in FAA's Manaqement of the NAS Plan (GAO/RCED-89-7, Nov. 10, 1988). 3 CONTENTS Paqe_ LETTER 1 SECTION 1 INFORMATION ON THE OVERALL STATUS 8 OF MODERNIZATION 2 MAJOR SYSTEM SCHEDULES AND COSTS 13 APPENDIX I MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS FACT SHEET 30 TABLE 1.1 NAS Plan Project Status 10 1.2 Trends in First year Obligation Rates 12 2.1 Project Costs and NAS Plan Implementation 14 Milestones for Major System Acquisitions 2.2 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 16 Dates for Advanced Automation System 2.3 Program Funding History for Advanced 17 Automation System 2.4 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 17 Dates for Air Route Surveillance Radar 2.5 Program Funding History for Air Route 18 Surveillance Radar 2.6 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 19 Dates for Air Route Traffic Control Center Plant Modernization 2.7 Program Funding History for Air Route 19 Traffic Control Center Plant Modernization 2.8 Schedule of Critical Milestone Dates for 19 Airport Surveillance Radar 2.9 Program Funding History for Airport 20 Surveillance Radar 5 FIGURE 1.1 NAS Plan and Other Projects as Percentages 8 of Total Modernization Effort 1.2 F&E Funding for NAS Plan and Non-NAS Plan 9 Projects 1.3 Changes in F&E Appropriations and 11 Unobligated Balances ABBREVIATIONS AAS Advanced Automation System ARSR-4 Air Route Surveillance Radar ARTCC Air Route Traffic Control Center ASOS Automated Surface Observing System ASR-9 Airport Surveillance Radar ATC Air Traffic Control AWOS Automated Weather Observing System CWP Central Weather Processor F&E Facilities and Equipment FAA Federal Aviation Administration FSAS Flight Service Automation System MLS Microwave Landing System MWP Meteorological Weather Processor NAS National Airspace System RCL Radio Communications Links RWP Real Time Weather Processor SEIC Systems Engineering and Integration Contractor TDWR Terminal Doppler Weather Radar vscs Voice Switching and Control System 7 Figure 1.2: F&E Funding for NAS Plan and Non-NAS Plan Projects FAA's progress in modernizing the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system can be measured both in terms of (1) the number of projects complete, and (2) the amount of F&E funds appropriated and obligated. Most NAS Plan Projects Are in Production But Few Are Comolete FAA states that over 95 percent of the original NAS Plan projects are under contract. However, we recently testified that establishment of contracts is not an accurate description of when modernization will occur in the fie1d.l Although funding for these projects will begin to decrease in fiscal year 1993, many NAS Plan projects will not be complete until much later. For example, F&E funding for the most expensive NAS Plan project, the Advanced Automation System, will peak in fiscal year 1993. However, the entire project, which will enhance both en route and terminal ATC systems, will not be operational in the field until at least the year 2000. Martin Marietta, FAA's Systems Engineering and Integration Contractor (SEIC), classifies NAS Plan projects in four stages of progress: 1FAA Annronriation Issues (GAO/T-RCED-89-20, Apr. 4, 1989). 9 year 1982. For fiscal years 1982 through 1989, the Congress appropriated $7.2 billion for FAA's F&E account. Because F&E funds are available to FAA for 5 years under the full funding concept,2 obligations lag behind appropriations. As a result, an unobligated balance exists in the F&E account. Through the end of fiscal year 1989, FAA had obligated approximately $5.8 billion of the $7.2 billion appropriated, creating an unobligated balance of $1.4 billion in the F&E account. The unobligated balance included funds appropriated for fiscal years 1986 through 1989. Figure 1.3 shows the direct relationship between F&E appropriations and the unobligated balance. During the early 198Os, the unobligated balance increased as appropriated amounts grew. When appropriations decreased in fiscal years 1986 and 1987 so did the unobligated balance, although not until the second year. Fiqure 1.3: Chanqes in F&E Appropriations and Unoblisated Balances 2600 Odlars in Millions 2460 2200 2m 16W 1600 1400 1200 1000 600 800 4w 2w 0 1962 1983 1964 1966 1966 1967 1966 1969 1990 1991 Fiscal Years - F&E Appropriations ---I F&E unobligated balance, end of year F&E Appropriations figure for fiscal year 1991 represents FAA’s Congressional budget request F&E unobligated balances for fiscal years 1990 and 1991 are estimates. 2Under the full funding concept, all the monies needed to procure and install a given number of systems are requested in the first year although they may not all be used until the 5 years have elapsed. 11 SECTION 2 MAJOR SYSTEM SCHEDULES AND COSTS The Department of Transportation has designated 12 of FAA's original NAS Plan projects as major system acquisitions because of either their high cost or critical need. Table 2.1 provides implementation milestones for NAS Plan sites on the 11 active major acquisitions,l as well as the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) modernization project. We included the latter project because it represents a significant portion of the total cost of the NAS Plan and much of its work is needed to begin the implementation of the Advanced Automation System (AAS). As noted in the table, all of the major systems in the 1983 Plan have experienced a major schedule slippage since the Plan was published.2 These delays have continued during the past year. In addition, 8 of the 12 systems have experienced a delay of at least 200 days between January 1989 and January 1990. lThe Host Computer project was completed in 1988. 2According to the Manager of the NAS Program Management Staff, the milestones in the 1981 NAS Plan were determined without an adequate understanding of the difficulties that the NAS effort entailed. FAA believes the milestones in the 1983 Plan were better defined and represent a more reasonable baseline from which to measure progress. 13 MAJOR PROJECT MILESTONES HAVE BEEN DELAYED Tables 2.2 through 2.25 provide more detailed information on changes in milestones during the last year for these 12 projects. We selected milestones that were representative of the various phases of FAA's procurement process. As noted in the tables, 11 of the 12 projects have experienced slippage in at least one of their milestones between January 1989 and January 1990. FAA project officials attributed delays to various reasons, as noted in the tables. Also, in terms of funding for these major systems, much of their estimated cost is based on future changes. As shown in tables 2.2 through 2.25, through fiscal year 1990, more than half of the total F&E cost needs to be appropriated for 7 of the 12 projects we reviewed. FAA has obligated more than half of the total estimated F&E costs for 4 of the 12 projects through fiscal year 1989. Advanced Automation Svstem (Vendor: IBM) The Advanced Automation System (AAS) is a total system concept that includes computer hardware and software as well as improved controller workstations at air traffic control (ATC) facilities. FAA believes that implementation of the AAS will increase controller productivity, improve ATC system reliability, and provide increased capacity to meet growing demand. The AAS will be implemented in five separate phases. The first phase is the replacement of the Peripheral Adapter Module Replacement Item, which will provide enhanced ability to interface with radars. The second phase of AAS, the Initial Sector Suite System (ISSS), will replace controller work stations at en route air traffic control facilities with color displays. The third phase, the Terminal Advanced Automation System, will consist of computer hardware and software deployed to en route facilities to replace a number of terminal facilities. The Area Control Computer Complex, the fourth phase, will allow the consolidation of the remaining terminal functions at the en route facilities. Parallel to its deployment, the Tower Control Computer Complex will revamp hardware and software at airport towers. This is the final phase of the project. FAA anticipates a 13-month slip in the delivery of the ISSS. This delay is not yet reflected in the schedules listed below. Furthermore, delays to other phases may also occur pending the outcome of ongoing discussions between FAA and IBM. 15 Tower Control Computer Complex Critical design review 03/28/90 09/28/90 184 Delivery to first operational site 06/13/94 09/30/94 109 First commissioning 01/05/95 08/31/95 238 Last commissioning 11/30/99 12/29/00 394 aactual completion dates Table 2.3: Prosram Fundins History for Advanced Automation System (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $4,430.9 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 939.2 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 574.2 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 559.4 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 556.3 Air Route Surveillance Radar (Vendor: Westinghouse Electric Co.) The Air Route Surveillance Radar (ARSR-4) is a long range search radar. These radars provide air traffic controllers with their primary source of data for monitoring en route aircraft. The ARSR-4s will also be able to detect hazardous weather conditions at long distances. The FAA project manager attributed schedule delays to a change in quantity requirements and a subsequent delay in the contract award. Subsequent milestones were not updated until this year to reflect these changes. Table 2.4: Schedule Chancres of Critical Milestone Dates for Air Route Surveillance Radar Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in davs Contract awarded 07/22/88a 07/22/88a 0 Critical design review 08/28/89 06/29/90 305 17 Table 2.6: Schedule Chanaes of Critical Milestone Dates for Air Route Traffic Control Center Plant Modernization Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan. 89 Jan. 90 in davs Design engineering completed 01/29/93 01/31/94 367 Construction and modernization completed 01/31/94 08/14/97 1291 Table 2.7: Proaram Fundins History for Air Route Traffic Control Center Plant Modernization (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $332.0 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 99.2 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 63.0 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 43.0 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 46.2 Airport Surveillance Radar (Vendor: Westinghouse Electric Co.) The Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-9) is a short range, highly accurate system for monitoring aircraft movement and position within a radius of 60 miles from the airport terminal. Air traffic controllers use the ASR-9 position data to keep aircraft safely separated and control their movements into and out of the airport. According to a project official, the radar delivered to the first site did not meet hardware or software specifications, resulting in delayed implementation dates. As of January 1990, three ASR-9s were operational. Table 2.8: Schedule of Critical Milestone Dates for Airnort Surveillance Radar Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in davs Contract awarded 10/01/83a 10/01/g3a 0 Critical design review 09/28/84a 09/28/84a 0 19 Table 2.10: Schedule Chancres of Critical Milestone Dates for Automated Weather Observins Svstem Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in days AWOS Contract awarded 08/30/8ga 08/30/88a 0 Delivery to first operational site 06/07/89 05/03/8ga -35 Shakedown test 06/26/89 03/03/8ga -115 First implementation 06/30/89 05/24/a9a -37 Last implementation 02/28/91 03/29/91 29 aactual completion dates ASOS Contract awarded 06/29/90 08/06/90 38 Critical design review 05/14/89 06/13/8ga 30 First implementation 01/31/91 11/29/90 -63 Last implementation 08/31/94 02/28/94 -184 Table 2.11: Proqram Fundino History for Automated Weather Observins System (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $189.5 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 72.6 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 62.6 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 43.5 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 36.6 21 Table 2.13: Procrram Fundina History for Central Weather Processor (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $134.9 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 61.5 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 52.8 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 46.6 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 10.0 Flisht Service Automation Svstem (Vendor: E-Systems Inc.) The Flight Service Automation System (FSAS) allows pilots to receive automated weather data prior to take off. This system eliminates much of the time previously spent in conversation with a flight specialist. It will also provide improved access to the FAA system that notifies pilots of very recent information concerning changes to any aspect of the National Airspace System. As noted below, the schedule for the Model 1 Full Capacity system is generally on target. Table 2.14: Schedule Chancres of Critical Milestone Dates for Flisht Service Automation System Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in days Contractor turn on 07/31/87a 07/31/87a 0 Critical design review 09/30/88a 09/30/88a 0 Delivery to first operational site 04/18/90 04/18/90 0 Shakedown test 04/16/90 06/02/90 47 First implementation 05/31/90 07/15/90 45 Last implementation 04/18/94 04/18/94 0 aactual completion dates 23 Table 2.17: Prosram Fundins History for Microwave Landins System (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $1112.8 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 166.3 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 154.9 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 121.5 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 35.2 Mode S (Vendors: UNISYS and Westinghouse Electric Co.) Mode S employs a system of sensors and ground-based antennae to exchange information between aircraft and air traffic control facilities. Because Mode S addresses individual aircraft separately, signal interference is reduced and a clear message channel is established between aircraft and ground installations. Aircraft equipped with new Mode S avionics will also be able to directly obtain weather information now available only through controllers. FAA project officials attributed delays in the Mode S to hardware and software development problems encountered by the contractor. FAA plans to procure additional Mode S systems. Their cost is not included in the F&E funding estimates below. Table 2.18: Schedule Chanses of Critical Milestone Dates for Mode S Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in davs Contract awarded 10/05/84a 10/05/84a 0 Critical design review 12/17/8ba 12/17/8ba 0 Delivery to first operational site 05/25/89 07/08/91 774 Shakedown test 03/02/90 06/05/91 460 First implementation 03/05/90 11/28/91 633 Last implementation 08/05/92 02/26/95 935 aactual completion dates 25 Table 2.21: Program Funding History for Radio Communications Links (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $281.3 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 259.6 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 244.6 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 177.0 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 21.0 Terminal Donnler Weather Radar (Vendor: Raytheon Co.) The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) is designed to detect wind shear and microbursts around airports. The FAA is planning to procure 47 TDWRs to function as the primary ground- based wind shear warning system. FAA originally included funds for an additional purchase of TDWRs under a contract option in its previous project estimates. However, FAA has eliminated the funding for the additional systems, lowering the total project cost. The FAA project manager told us that the production contract was awarded before the results of operational tests were complete. When testing results required changes to system software, FAA granted the contractor a 3-month delay for system delivery to the first operational site, which, in turn, affected subsequent milestones. Table 2.22: Schedule Chances of Critical Milestone Dates for Terminal DODDler Weather Radar Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in Days Contract awarded 11/02/88a 11/02/88a 0 Critical design review 07/20/90 11/06/8ga -256 Delivery to first operational site 08/29/92 12/02/92 95 Shakedown test 08/21/92 01/29/93 161 First implementation 01/04/93 03/31/93 86 Last implementation 12/29/95 03/31/96 93 aactual completion dates 27 Table 2.25: Prosram Fundins History for Voice Switchino and Control System (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $892.4 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 235.7 F&E funds appropriations through fiscal year 1989 63.5 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 60.1 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 185.1 29 Requests for copies of GAO reports should be sent to: . U.S. General Accounting Office Post Office Box 6015 Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877 Telephone 202-275-6241 The first five copies of each report are free. Additional copies are $2.00 each. There is a 25% discount on orders for 100 or more copies mailed to a single address. i Orders must be prepaid by cash or by check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents. < APPENDIX I APPENDIX I MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS FACT SHEET PESOURCES. COMMUNITY, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIVISION, WASHINGTON. D.C. Allen Li, Assistant Director Robert D. Wurster, Evaluator-in-Charge Sara Magoulick, Senior Evaluator Kathleen Johnson, Evaluator Philip Willis, Evaluator ATLANTA REGIONAL OFFICE Ray Bush, Senior Evaluator (341262) 30 Table 2.23: Prooram Fundins History for Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $348.6 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 211.1 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 104.1 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 95.9 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 83.7 Voice Switchinq and Control System The Voice Switching and Control System (VSCS) integrates the various communications systems--intercom, interphone, and air- ground --which are needed to monitor and control en route and terminal air traffic. Use of the VSCS will enhance voice communications and facilitate switching of communications between controllers and pilots. FAA anticipates achieving the dual benefits of increased productivity and lower costs since the system will be owned rather than leased as in the past. The schedule listed below is currently under review. Table 2.24: Schedule Chanses of Critical Milestone Dates for Voice Switchinq and Control System Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in days Contract awarded 09/11/89 11/29/89 79 Critical design review 10/31/89 03/29/90 149 Delivery to first operational site 01/14/91 08/29/91 227 Shakedown test 06/18/90 08/29/91 437 First implementation 10/18/91 05/29/92 224 Last implementation 12/17/93 03/29/94 102 28 Table 2.19: Proaram Fundins History for Mode S (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E funds $495.3 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 328.5 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 304.7 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 276.7 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 37.0 Radio Communications Links (Vendor: AT&T Technologies) FAA intends to install Radio Communications Links (RCL) to replace and upgrade existing Radio Microwave Link communications lines used to transmit voice and radar data nationwide. The desired objectives of this replacement are to provide reliable transmission of data, improved system availability, and reduced costs for interfacility communications. In addition, the RCL replacement will provide the system flexibility to meet the requirements of the NAS plan and facility consolidation. Table 2.20: Schedule Chanaes of Critical Milestone Dates for Radio Communications Links Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in davs Contract awarded 05/03/85a 05/03/85a 0 Delivery to first operational site 01/06/86a 01/06/86a 0 First implementation 05/07/8ba 05/07/8ba 0 Last implementation 12/31/91 12/31/91 0 aactual completion dates 26 Table 2.15: Proqram Fundins History for Fliaht Service Automation System (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $474.3 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 425.7 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 414.7 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 352.5 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 47.8 Microwave Landins System (Vendor: Hazeltine Corp.) The Microwave Landing System (MLS) is designed to guide aircraft to safe landings in conditions of reduced visibility. The MLS's ability to guide approaching aircraft from a wider angle than permitted by the Instrument Landing System currently in use may allow aircraft to follow a variety of approach paths, including curved approaches. FAA contends that this added flexibility could help increase an airport's capacity to accept landing aircraft and help to alleviate some of the undesirable noise effects of approaching aircraft. All schedule data for the MLS first buy is currently on hold because FAA sent a termination letter to the 'contractor in August 1989. Plans for a second buy of MLSs have also been delayed pending the results of demonstration program that will validate agency projections of benefits. Table 2.16: Schedule Chancres of Critical Milestone Dates for First BUY of Microwave Landino System Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in davs Contract awarded 01/12/84a 01/12/84a 0 Critical design review 09/12/85a 09/12/85a 0 Delivery to first operational site 04/09/88a 04/09/88a 0 Shakedown test 11/14/88 05/04/90 536 First implementation 03/04/88 05/15/90 802 Last implementation 06/29/90 08/31/92 794 aactual completion dates 24 Central Weather Processor (Vendors: NASA, Harris Corp. (MWP)) The Central Weather Processor (CWP) is designed to collect, synthesize, and disseminate weather data from various sources and produce data that are tailored to users' specific needs. This program is comprised of two components: the Meteorologist Weather Processor (MWP), and the Real Time Weather Processor (RWP). The MWP is an off-the-shelf commercial service, while the RWP is expected to provide added capabilities. FAA's CWP project office attributed delays in the MWP to (1) a need to go through a deployment readiness review that it did not originally plan, and (2) minor technical changes made by higher organization levels during the review process. Table 2.12: Schedule Chanses of Critical Milestone Dates for Central Weather Processor Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activity Jan.89 Jan.90 in davs MWP Contract awarded 06/01/89 09/29/8ga 120 Delivery to first operational site 10/02/89 06/29/90 270 Shakedown test 03/12/90 08/15/90 156 First implementation 11/01/89 09/28/90 331 Last implementation 02/01/90 04/30/91 453 RWP Contract awarded 04/30/93 04/30/93 Critical design review 05/23/94 05/23/94 Delivery to first operational site 01/06/95 01/06/95 Shakedown test 02/17/95 02/17/95 First implementation 03/16/95 03/16/95 Last implementation 06/24/96 06/24/96 aactual completion date 22 Delivery to first operational site 06/27/88a 06/27/88a 0 Shakedown test complete 06/U/88 03/18/8ga 277 First implementation 06/30/88 05/02/8ga 306 Last implementation 12/31/90 06/30/92 547 aactual completion dates Table 2.9: Proaram Fundina Historv for Airport Surveillance Radu (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $700.8 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 630.3 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 620.8 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 435.3 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 47.4 Automated Weather Observino Svstem (Vendor: Qualimetrics Inc.) The Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) is primarily intended to fulfill an immediate need at non-towered airports. At some towered airports, the system will be used to replace the current system of human observers. Utilizing a computer synthesized voice, the system will provide information directly to pilots on nine different critical airport weather elements. The AWOS program also includes FAA funds that the National Weather Service uses for procuring Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS). The ASOS system collects weather information, which is transmitted to the AWOS and provided to pilots in a timely manner. The ASOS system will be installed at both towered and non- towered facilities. ASOS systems will provide a similar function to AWOS at different sites. 20 Delivery to first operational site 09/30/91 05/29/92 242 First implementation 09/30/92 06/30/93 273 Last implementation 09/29/94 09/05/95 341 aactual completion dates Table 2.5: Prooram Fundino History for Air Route SUXVeillanCe Radar (Dollars in Millions) Total estimated F&E costs $349.4 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1990 131.6 F&E funds appropriated through fiscal year 1989 92.6 F&E funds obligated through fiscal year 1989 45.0 F&E funds requested in fiscal year 1991 75.2 Air Route Traffic Control Center Plant Modernization Modernization of Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) iS needed to house the Advanced Automation System. The current facilities lack essential space and power requirements to accommodate the AA.9 and other projects. The total F&E funding shown below does not include $574 million in ARTCC modernization funding included in other F&E projects, which, when included, raises the total funding needed to $906 million. The majority of these additional funds are included in the Advanced Automation System project. Although standardization of ARTCCs is desired, some latitude for site specific exemptions has been included in the project plan. In the 1983 NAS Plan, the program addressed only modernization of the ARTCCs. The 1989 Plan includes both modernization and expansion of the facilities to support components of the AAS. FAA's project manager attributes schedule delays to a lack of funds, construction problems, and other unanticipated problems characteristic of building rehabilitations. According to the project manager, the modernization project may not provide adequate space for the total number of Initial Sector Suites at some sites. This could eventually increase total costs of the project. 18 Table 2.2: Schedule Chanses of Critical Milestone Dates for Advanced Automation System Milestone dates as of Change Milestone activitv Jan.89 Jan.90 in davs Contract awarded 07/25/88a 07/25/88a 0 Peripheral Adapter Module Replacement Item Delivery to first operational site 11/21/90 06/28/91 219 First implementation 05/22/91 12/31/91 223 Last implementation 02/22/93 09/30/93 220 Initial Sector Suite System Critical design review 09/16/88 04/20/8ga 216 Delivery to first operational site 03/31/92 10/30/92 213 First implementation 08/11/93 03/31/94 232 Last implementation 05/12/95 12/29/95 231 Terminal Advanced Automation System Delivery to first operational site 02/10/94 09/30/94 232 First implementation 01/20/95 08/31/95 223 Last implementation 10/10/96 05/30/97 232 Area Control Computer Complex Critical design review 08/07/89 08/31/90 389 Delivery to first operational site 08/10/94 05/31/95 294 First implementation 02/12/96 09/30/96 231 Last implementation 01/13/98 08/31/98 230 16 Table 2.1: Project Costs and NAS plan Implementation Milestones For Major System Acquisitions (Dollars in Millions) Year of first-site Year of last-site Total implementation implenentation sqstem name F&E cost 1983 plan 1989 plan 1983 plan 1989 plan Advanced Autanatioc systen (AAS) $4,430.9 1990 1994 1994 2000 Air Route Surveillance Radar (APSR-4) 349.4 1985 1988 1995 1996 Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARICC) Modernization 332.0 1985 1984 1987 1997 Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-9) 700.8 1985 1989 1992 1993 Autanated Weather Observing system (AwD.5) 189.5 1986 1989 1990 1994 Central Weather Processor (CWP) 134.9 1990 1990 1991 1996 Flight Service Autanation systen (ESAS) 474.3 1984 1986 1989 1994 Microwave Landing System (MIS) 1,112.8 1985 1988 1999 2004 Mode S 495.3 1986 1992 1993 2000 Radio Cmunication Links (XL) 281.3 1985 1986 1989 1993 Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) 348.6 1993 1996 Voice Switching and Control systen (vscs) 892.4 1989 1993 1992 1995 Source: FAA National Airspace Systen Plans issued in 1983 and 1989. Note: NAS Plan milestones listed in this table may differ fran dates in subsequent tables because the former were last updated in Septenber 1989. 14 FAA received increased F&E appropriations in fiscal year 1990 and expects a further increase in fiscal year 1991. However, it plans to keep the unobligated balance at about the current level by removing some projects from full funding and increasing obligation rates. It is premature to speculate whether FAA will achieve its goal: however FAA has already altered its obligation plans for fiscal year 1990. At the time it delivered its fiscal year 1990 budget request to the Congress, FAA planned to obligate during the first year of the appropriation about 78 percent of the $2 billion it sought. This is a much higher rate than traditionally obligated, an amount which has ranged from about 37 to 60 percent over the last 5 years (see table 1.2). FAA has altered its plans, however, and now expects to obligate, in the first year, about 65 percent of the $1.7 billion the Congress appropriated for fiscal year 1990. Table 1.2: Trends in First Year Obliqation Rates (Dollars in Thousands) Fiscal Year Appropriation Obliqations in first year Amount Percentace 1985 $1,358,000 $723,314 53.3 1986 937,780 347,648 37.1 1987 804,584 479,255 59.6 1988 1,108,056 516,260 46.6 1989 1,384,184 662,964 47.9 / 12 J -- projects in the requirements definition phase, in which systems are still being developed before contract award: -- projects in development or production, for which a contract has been awarded for development of either prototype or final system: -- projects in implementation, for which at least one system has been delivered to a field site; and -- projects completed, for which all systems are operational in the field. Table 1.1 shows the number of NAS Plan projects in each stage, as well as the percentage of total cost they represent. As noted in the table, most of the NAS Plan is in implementation, both in terms of cost and number of projects. Although approximately 32 percent of the NAS Plan projects are now complete, they account for Only about 4 percent of the FAA's $15.8 billion estimated NAS Plan cost. Table 1.1: NAS Plan Project Status (Dollars in Billions) Stage of Number of Percent Estimated Percent proaress projects of total cost of total Requirements definition 3 3.4 $ 0.3 1.7 Development/production 15 16.9 7.1 45.1 Implementation 43 48.3 7.8 49.2 Completed 28 31.5 0.6 4.0 Total 8e ilL!sula S15.8b 1OO.Q "Percentages do not add to total due to rounding. bThis is the total cost FAA estimates for the original NAS Plan projects. There are additional modernization projects that need to be undertaken. Their inclusion raises total ATC modernization costs to approximately $27 billion. Chanses in F&E Avprooriations and Unobligated Balances Have Paralleled Each Other ATC modernization progress can also be measured in terms of the amount of F&E funding appropriated and obligated since fiscal 10 SECTION 1 INFORMATION ON THE OVERALL STATUS OF MODERNIZATION Although the 1981 NAS Plan was originally envisioned as a lo- year, $12-billion undertaking, it has grown in both length and cost. FAA now estimates the total modernization funding in the Facilities and Equipment (F&E) account for fiscal years 1982 through 2000 at approximately $27 billion (as measured in current year dollars), while it estimates the cost of the original NAS Plan projects at $15.8 billion. Figure 1.1 shows, as of September 1989, both the original NAS Plan projects and new categories of ATC modernization projects--which FAA classifies as llnon-NAS1'--as a percentage of the total number of F&E projects. The original NAS Plan projects account for about 55 percent of FAA's total modernization projects. Expressed in another way, estimated funding for projects FAA categorizes as l'non-NAS1' will begin to exceed funding for the original NAS Plan projects in fiscal year 1993, as shown in Figure 1.2. Figure 1.1: NAS Plan and Other Projects as Percentages of the Total Modernization Effort NAS Plan Projects (89) Other Capital Needs (22) 8 2.10 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 21 Dates for Automated Weather Observing System 2.11 Program Funding History for Automated 21 Weather Observing System 2.12 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 22 Dates for Central Weather Processor 2.13 Program Funding History for Central Weather 23 Processor 2.14 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 23 Dates for Flight Service Automation System 2.15 Program Funding History for Flight Service 24 Automation System 2.16 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 24 Dates for First Buy of Microwave Landing System 2.17 Program Funding History of Microwave 25 Landing System 2.18 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 25 Dates for Mode S 2.19 Program Funding History for Mode S 26 2.20 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 26 Dates for Radio Communications Links 2.21 Program Funding History for Radio 27 Communications Links 2.22 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 27 Dates for Terminal Doppler Weather Radar 2.23 Program Funding History for Terminal 28 Doppler Weather Radar 2.24 Schedule Changes of Critical Milestone 28 Dates for Voice Switching and Control System 2.25 Program Funding History for Voice 29 Switching and Control System B-239008.1 We are also providing copies of this fact sheet to the Secretary of Transportation, the FAA Administrator, and other interested parties. If you have questions about this fact sheet, please contact me at (202) 275-1000. Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix I. 'Kenneth M. Mead Director, Transportation Issues 4 B-239008.1 OVERALL STATUS OF MODERNIZATION FAA has thus far measured its progress in modernizing the ATC system by (1) the number of projects it has completed and (2) the amount of funding it has received and used. We found many NAS Plan projects are in production but few are complete. About 32 percent of NAS Plan projects were complete as of January 1990. However, the cost of those completed projects represents only 4 percent of the total estimated cost of all NAS Plan projects. Section 1 contains more details on the total cost and scope of modernization. Since the NAS Plan was initiated in 1981, two major changes have occurred. First, projects had to be added to the Plan and existing projects had to be modified in order to counter project delays and increased demand on the ATC system. Second, these additions increased the scope of what had to be acquired, more than doubling the initial NAS Plan cost estimate of $12 billion. As a result, the projects in the original NAS Plan now account for about 55 percent of the total number of estimated ATC modernization projects. The agency's ATC modernization program is funded by Airport and Airway Trust Fund revenues through the Facilities and Equipment appropriation. Another measure of FAA's progress is the amount of Facilities and Equipment funds appropriated and obligated to date as compared to the total estimated modernization cost of $27 billion. Between fiscal year 1982 and the end of fiscal year 1989, FAA received about $7.2 billion in appropriations for ATC modernization. FAA obligated about $5.8 billion of those funds through the same time period, leaving it with an unobligated balance of $1.4 billion. Aware of the concerns associated with the level of appropriated yet unobligated funds, FAA has stated its intention to increase Facilities and Equipment spending rates in the next few years. Section 1 of this fact sheet provides further details on Facilities and Equipment appropriations and unobligated balances. STATUS OF MAJOR SYSTEMS All of the major modernization projects in the original NAS Plan have experienced significant schedule delays since the inception of the Plan. In November 1988, we reported that implementation milestones had slipped an average of about
Air Traffic Control: Status of FAA's Effort to Modernize the System
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-04-17.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)