Issues Related to FAA's Modernization of the Air Traffic Control System

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-02-27.

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

                     United States General Accounting Office

For Release          Issues Related to FAA's Modernization
on Delivery          of the Air Traffic Control System
Expected at
9:30 a.m. EST
February 27, 1990

                     Statement of
                     Kenneth M. Mead
                     Director, Transportation Issues
                     Resources, Community, and Economic
                     Development Division
                     Before the
                     Subcommittee on Aviation
                     House Committee on Public Works and Transportation

  GAO/T-RCED-90-32                  /
                                                                   GAO Form 160 (11/87)
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

      We appreciate   the opportunity       to testify     on the major issues
regarding the Federal Aviation       Administration's        (FAA) modernization
of the air traffic    control    (ATC) system.        This hearing is timely
because modernization      is at a critical      stage.     Decisions need to be
made to ensure that modernization's           promise of safety,      capacity,
and productivity    benefits   will be achieved.          Our testimony will
focus on two major issues, modernization            problems and funding
needs, as well as additional       areas of concern:

      -- FAA is still       experiencing  problems in modernizing       the ATC
         system.       Major projects,   such as the Advanced Automation
         System, have encountered additional          delays.    We have
         reported on several occasions that FAA's ATC modernization
         effort    has fallen well behind schedule.          FAA's inability     to
         meet project       schedules has deferred benefits      to system
         users and postponed productivity         gains to the agency.
         Additionally,       these delays necessitated     the creation      of new
         projects,      as well as modifications    to existing    ones.

      -- Modernization        problems have led to profound financial
         repercussions.          Last year, we estimated that the cost of
         ATC modernization         had more than doubled from the $12-
         billion    effort      FAA envisioned     in the early 198Os, to an
         estimated $27 billion.            The growing cost of ATC
         modernization,         coupled with FAA's announcement that
         recurring     funding will be needed for the foreseeable
         future,    brings to a head the issue of how FAA's needs will
         be financed.         If existing     project    schedules can be
         maintained,       greater funding will be required over the next
         few years.       As a result,      the Administration       has proposed
         increasing     user contributions         to the Airport     and Airway
         Trust Fund to pay for modernization                and a greater
         proportion     of FAA's operational          activities.     However, if
         FAA    cannot expend the additional          funds because of future
         project     delays, the danger exists that these increased
         revenues will only serve to mask the federal deficit                 and
         not to benefit       the flying     public.     Denial of the
         Administration's        proposal to increase user fees will
         require FAA to reassess its approach to modernization.
         Rather than allowing          across-the-board     reductions    to
         modernization       projects,     FAA needs to set project
         priorities.        FAA owes the Congress this information           so that
         funding is provided for those projects               most urgently

         Other emerging issues also deserve attention.               FAA needs to
         more precisely        define the roles of its support contractors
         to avoid overlapping         responsibilities   and unnecessary
         costs.       Furthermore,    the agency needs to identify      how many
         field     staff are required to make new systems operational.
         Otherwise,       current schedules and cost estimates have little
         validity.        From a longer range perspective,      uncertainties
         regarding the modification          of existing  air traffic      control
         procedures must be resolved prior to operational              use of new
         systems.       If this is not done, FAA, the flying         public,    and
         the aviation       community will not gain the full benefits           of
         the new technologies.

      We will   now discuss    each of these issues       in greater    detail.


        In 1981, FAA launched the National Airspace System (NAS) Plan
to modernize, automate, and consolidate             its air traffic    control
system.       Projected benefits      included increased controller
productivity,       reductions   in FAA maintenance staff,       reduced risk of
collisions      and weather-related       accidents for the flying     public, and
increased fuel efficiency          for system users.     Although 95 percent of
NAS Plan projects    are now under contract,   the promise of FAA work
force and user benefits    remains largely   unfulfilled.  Delays in
project   schedules, the need to add more systems to complete
modernization,    and the resultant  cost increases have raised concern
about FAA's management of the NAS Plan.

Project   Delavs and Inadeauate     Risk-Mitisation

       The Department of Transportation       (DOT) designated     12 NAS Plan
projects    as key to the successful     completion of the Plan.        These
projects    are either high in cost or are a critical         part of the
Plan.     As such, these key projects     were to receive special
management oversight      by DOT through its Transportation        Systems
Acquisition     Review Council.    Despite this special designation,
these major systems experienced significant          delays in
implementation.       In November 1988,l we reported that implementation
milestones     had slipped an average of about 2-l/2 years between the
1983 and 1987 NAS Plans.        Delays in first-site     implementation
ranged from 1 to 4 years.

      Three problems generally      contributed    to delays in the
development of key projects:        (1) inadequate definition        of
operational  and quantity    requirements,      (2) contractors'    technical
problems in developing     system software,      and (3) inadequate
operational  testing   before production.        We believe these problems
occurred largely    because of FAA's inexperience         in developing    large-
scale, highly automated systems and because it did not follow
guidance provided by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to
minimize potential    development and production        problems.     OMB's
guidance on major acquisitions       is designed to reduce the potential
for cost increases,    schedule delays, performance deficiencies,             and
premature commitments to production.           The guidance calls for a

1Air Traffic Control:  Continued Imnrovements Needed in FAA's
Manasement of the NAS Plan (GAO/RCED-89-7, Nov. 10, 1988).
disciplined     review process at each acquisition      phase.    This phased
approach minimizes the risk of adding requirements           during
development and allows decisionmakers         to make "go/no goI' decisions
on the basis of demonstrated performance at different            stages of a
procurement.       For example, production     commitment could be withheld
until    a system's performance is tested in a realistic         operational
environment.      We have found that FAA did not follow such guidance,
nor did the Department's       oversight   require its use. As a result,
several projects      were prematurely   moved into full-scale      development
and production.

         For example, production        of the $288-million       Flight   Service
Automation System was initiated              before the software was developed.
Subsequently,       this program was delayed for 2 years because of
software problems.           As a result,     the equipment sat in storage.            In
the case of the Microwave Landing System (MLS), a project                     that may
eventually      cost over $1 billion,         FAA also did not obtain sufficient
performance information           before committing to production.            Prototype
testing,     for example, was conducted only in good weather and did
not include all system capabilities.                 MLS entered   production     even
though potential         benefits   remained unvalidated        and safety and
reliability      capabilities      were still     questionable.      Another key
element of the NAS Plan, the $892 million                 Voice Switching and
Control System encountered cost, schedule, and technical
difficulties      because system requirements           were inadequately       defined.
Both prototype        contractors     had to substantially       modify equipment
they initially        proposed in order to meet FAA's stringent
availability      requirements.        Additionally,      FAA changed operational
requirements,      which doubled the number of units to be produced.                    As
a result,     costs increased and the development schedule was extended
by about 4 years.

       Over the years, FAA has taken some positive                 first   steps to
correct deficiencies   in its acquisition process.                 For example, an
agency review team found problems with the quality                   of project
documentation        and supporting     data that it attributed      to a lack of
written      procedures.       As a result,    in 1985, FAA issued guidance on
how to prepare, coordinate,            and secure approval of key project
documents.        Consequently,     data submissions and reviews have been
done in a more timely manner.               FAA has also recently    issued a new
test and evaluation          order that, if properly      implemented, can
address some of the shortcomings we found with how FAA tests
systems.       Among other actions,         the new order requires the air
traffic      organization      to be involved in the testing      and evaluation
process.        FAA needs to ensure it implements this step, because air
traffic's       agreement is needed to ensure that controller            needs will
be met. However, FAA's new order does not go far enough.                       FAA
still     lacks an independent test and evaluation           group.2
Independent testing          is important because contractors,         developers,
and users may have goals, such as meeting cost and schedule
commitments, that conflict           with thorough testing.       An independent
test group within FAA could help ensure that top-level                  officials
are provided unbiased results             of system tests when they make key
acquisition       decisions.

       Although many major systems have moved into production,
project    delays are still occurring.   For example, FAA recently
announced a 13-month delay in delivery     of the Initial    Sector Suite
System, a major component of the $4.4-billion        Advanced Automation
System. Other major systems that experienced schedule delays in
the past 2 years include the Airport     Surveillance    Radar (ASR-9),
and the Mode S communications system.       (See attachments I and II
for information    on major system schedules and costs).

2Air Traffic Control:  FAA Needs to Implement            an Effective    Testinq
Prosram (GAO/IMTEC-89-62, Sept. 22, 1989).

        Project delays and new requirements    have forced FAA to expand
the scope of the original       NAS Plan.  This expansion has led to a
significant     increase in the estimated cost of modernization.
Furthermore,      this has brought us to a key decision point regarding
how future modernization       activities will be funded.

Scone   EXDanSiOn    and Cost Increases

         Because of project      delays and increased demand on an air
traffic     system still     recovering     from the 1981 controllers'        strike,
FAA has identified        additional     requirements    and started new
initiatives       (see attachment III for data on the growth in the
number of modernization          projects).      For example, FAA developed the
Interim Support Plan to counter protracted               delays in the Advanced
Automation System and to procure additional               equipment, such as
airport     surveillance     radars.     New requirements     and initiatives       have
contributed      to building     a bow wave of facilities        and equipment
 (F&E) needs (see attachment IV for trends in F&E funding from
 fiscal    years 1982 through 1995).           Last year's all-time      high of
about $1.7 billion        for F&E will be eclipsed this year if FAA
receives its requested amount of $2.5 billion.                 FAA projects       even
greater needs in subsequent fiscal              years, reaching a peak of $3
billion     in fiscal    years 1992 and 1993.

      We have disagreed with FAA on how it characterizes
modernization.      In the past, FAA has differentiated      original   NAS
Plan projects    from new requirements,   such as radars for the new
Denver airport.      We reported that regardless     of whether projects
are designated as NAS Plan or non-NAS Plan, they are all related to
ATC modernization     and should be managed as a single entity.         We
estimated total modernization      costs at about $27 billion,
substantially   greater than the $12 billion      FAA projected     when the
NAS Plan was unveiled.            In November 1988, we recommended that FAA
revise its Plan to include all projects             needed to modernize the ATC
system in one single plan, and prioritize              such projects.3        In
response, FAA recently           stated that it is revamping the NAS Plan to
make it a more all-inclusive            document called the ATC Capital
Investment Plan.        We believe placing all ATC needs in one plan is
only partially      responsive to our recommendation.               FAA needs to set
relative    project    priorities      on the basis of benefit-cost        ratios,
mission needs, or safety considerations.               Prioritization      would
provide visibility        to FAA's proposed emphasis in the Capital
Investment Plan.        Indeed, since the new plan will differentiate
those projects      required to sustain the existing            ATC system from
those needed to raise capacity,             the Congress would be in a better
position    to weigh trade-offs         between near-term and long-term

Fundins Modernization

        Over the last decade, the Airport         and Airway Trust Fund's
revenues have been more than adequate to meet annual F&E outlays.
The Trust Fund is the funding source for capital              development of the
nation's    air transportation     system.     Its revenues are generated by
fees paid by users in the form of ticket            taxes and fuel excise
taxes.     Past F&E appropriations      reflected     the slower-than-
anticipated     pace of modernization      caused by project      delays. This
contributed     to increasing   the uncommitted balance in the Trust
Fund. FAA estimates that this uncommitted balance, often
characterized     as "the trust fund surplu~,~~ will be over $7.5
billion    by the end of fiscal     year 1990.

       The continued movement of major systems toward production    will
result   in higher F&E needs. As noted previously,   F&E needs will

3Air Traffic Control: Continued Imnrovements Needed in FAA's
Manasement of the NAS Plan (GAO/RCED-89-7, Nov. 10, 1988).
peak at about $3 billion           in fiscal     years 1992 and 1993. Although
they will increase significantly,               projected     F&E requirements,      by
themselves,        do not necessitate       an immediate rise in user fees.             On
the other hand, the Administration's                 proposal to finance a greater
percentage of FAA's operations              through the Trust Fund, coupled with
these F&E needs, would soon eliminate                 the Fund's surplus if an
increase in user fees was not enacted.                   Because of the growing
needs of FAA's safety work forces, we continue to support the
financing     of a larger portion         of FAA's operations        from the Trust
         We believe that in evaluating           FAA's F&E reauthorization
proposal,     this Subcommittee must consider consequences which
extend beyond FAA's F&E account.                For example, acceptance of the
Administration's         proposal to increase user fees should ensure a
sufficient       flow of revenue to support both FAA's projected                 capital
development and operational             needs.      However, if spending lags
behind increased revenues--particularly                  if modernization     delays
continue--the        Fund's surplus will rise, further             masking the federal
deficit.       In recent testimony,         the Comptroller       General spoke of the
dangers of using such reserves as an excuse to avoid other deficit
 reduction     actions.5      On the other hand, if user fees stay at their
 current levels,       FAA may need to scale back its modernization
 effort.     Operational      needs would require greater reliance              on the
General Fund, thereby exacerbating                the federal deficit.        Under
this option,        our recommendation that FAA prioritize               its projects
becomes even more urgent.             Those systems providing          the greatest
benefit     should be affected        the least during the budget reduction
process.       In our opinion,       decisionmakers        need to see the relative
merits of F&E projects          up front in order to evaluate options and
weigh the consequences of different                 funding options.

ITransoortation      Trust    Funds,   (GAO/T-RCED-89-36,        May 11, 1989).
5The Ouestion of Rollins Back the Pavroll Tax: Unmaskina the
Deficit Illusion (GAO/T-HRD-90-10, Feb. 5, 1990).

        We have also expressed concern about three other areas that
require FAA attention.        These involve   (1) the increasing   use of
support contractors,       (2) field  implementation,    and (3) successfully
integrating      new systems into the day-to-day      operations of air
traffic     control.

Increased    Use of Suonort     Contractors

        Following       a review of the NAS Plan in 1982, the White House
Science Council Panel recommended that FAA hire a prime contractor
charged with the formulation,               design, and systems integration          of
the entire NAS Plan.6            The panel believed that an independent,
experienced,        private-sector       organization       was needed to conduct such
an effort.         DOT and FAA hired a support contractor               but did not
completely       follow the Panel's recommendation.                In 1984, FAA
selected Martin Marietta            to perform duties as its Systems
Engineering       and Integration        Contractor       (SEIC).    The SEIC, unlike a
prime contractor,           is not responsible         for either the initial     system
design or for directly            controlling      individual     system vendors.
Instead, Martin Marietta            serves as FAA's technical           adviser for
implementing the NAS Plan.               One of the SEIC's primary
responsibilities          is to ensure that the thousands of components
being built       will be capable of working together,                a process called
systems integration.            Working with FAA, the SEIC identified
hundreds of incomplete or incorrect                  interfaces    between systems.
Corrective      action had to be taken in the form of engineering
changes and adding new projects.

      As FAA’s modernization  effort   has expanded, so has its use of
support contractors.    Most recently,   FAA awarded a $139-million

6Renort of the White House Science Council Panel on the National
Airsnace Svstem Pronosal bv the FAA, Office of Science and
Technology Policy,  Nov. 1982.
Systems Engineering      and Technical Assistance    (SETA) contract         to
Federal Systems Group of TRW Incorporated        to assist with its
automation effort,     including   such projects   as the Advanced
Automation System.       Some of the types of tasks the SETA will
perform parallel    those listed    in Martin Marietta's   contract.

        Because of FAA’s growing use of support contractors,            we are
concerned about how additional          players will affect the SEIC's
overall    role in integrating      all modernization   projects.     FAA
officials     told us that they plan to review their overall          policy on
support contractors.        We believe this assessment should, at a
minimum, define precise roles to avoid overlapping             responsibilities
and unnecessary costs.         Furthermore,    in light of the recurring
nature of ATC modernization,         development of in-house systems
engineering      expertise  is an option that deserves serious

Weaknesses in Field      Imnlementation

        We initially       focused our review of the NAS Plan on the front-
end of the acquisition            process, namely systems development
activities.         As more systems were developed, we expanded our review
to encompass field           implementation.       Field implementation     involves
planning and scheduling,             site preparation,     installing   new
equipment, and training            staff to operate and maintain facilities.
We found two major problems in FAA's field                 implementation     of the
NAS Plan.7        First,     information     systems for managing the
implementation        phase of modernization          were inadequate and, as a
result,     did not include reliable           estimates of personnel resources,
among other problems.             Second, headquarters'       plans inadequately
defined requirements            and time frames for tasks to be performed by
FAA's regions.           For example, we found that original          deployment

7Air Traffic    Control:     FAA's Imnlementation of Modernization
Proiects   in the Field,     (GAO/RCED-89-92, June 28, 1989).
plans for radio communications links were based on an invalid
assumption--that       equipment could be installed           on existing      radio
microwave towers-- rather than site analyses.                 Not all the existing
towers were high enough or in the right locations                 to meet
operational     requirements.      Some equipment that had been installed
had to be dismantled        and reinstalled       in taller    towers or at
different    locations.      While these field       implementation       difficulties
did not result      in significant     installation       delays because equipment
was not being delivered         on time, we believe these issues will
become more critical        as equipment reaches the field           in substantial
numbers.     We have just initiated         a new assignment to analyze the
status of FAA's efforts         to resolve these problems.           We expect to
report on the results        of our work early next year.

        In addition,    although FAA has not identified      its complete
staffing    needs for implementation,       it appears that the agency will
need substantially       more operations    staff--such  as controllers    and
maintenance technicians --at its Air Route Traffic           Control Centers.
For example, at the Seattle Center alone, FAA estimates that 225
additional     staff years are needed over the next 5 fiscal          years to
accomplish implementation         tasks associated with automation
projects    such as the Advanced Automation System. These resource
shortfalls    will occur despite the services of a Technical Support
Services Contractor         (TSSC) to assist with field   implementation
activities.       The TSSC contract was awarded in 1988 at an estimated
value of $368 million.          We pointed out 2 years ago that this
contract    would be inadequate to meet FAA's field         implementation
requirements.        We believe that until     FAA fully defines its complete
staffing    needs, it cannot ensure that it will meet current schedule
milestones    within projected       costs.

Intearation    of Technoloav

     FAA faces a major challenge  in successfully     incorporating    new
ATC systems into its day-to-day  air traffic   control    environment.
We reported in October 1989 on two problem areas, both associated
with the detection         and dissemination        of hazardous weather
information.      Specifically,         we found that operational          procedures
for using the Airport         Surveillance       Radar's (ASR-9) enhanced
weather capabilities         were not yet developed.8            We were concerned
about the procedures'         absence because one unit was in operation                 and
more units were being installed.                Controllers     had no guidance on
how often to use the radar's weather channel--which                      can detect
various levels of precipitation              intensity --or how to interpret          the
radar's precipitation          display.      FAA officials      believe that they
need to obtain a better understanding                 of the ASR-9 weather
channel's    capabilities,        and the effects       of intense precipitation         on
aircraft,    prior to developing          ironclad     procedures.       We recommended
that the agency issue interim guidelines                  if significant      ASR-9
 implementation    will occur before final procedures are developed.
While it generally         agreed, FAA has not formally            replied    to our

            Similarly,    FAA needs to resolve how its air traffic
controllers        will use wind shear warnings from its new Terminal
Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). Although operational                deployment of
the radar is not scheduled until            1993, concerns raised during
operational        tests in Denver demonstrated that these issues need to
be addressed.          In particular,   during system testing     in 1988, four
pilots       from the same airline    flew their aircraft     into wind shear
activity        despite warnings from controllers.       Later analysis
concluded that the crews either did not hear clearly                or did not
know the meaning of the terms used in the controller's                alert
message. Although FAA has considered some changes to the structure
and content of the advisory message, it has not yet tested the
 feasibility       of the alternative    of rerouting   planes around wind
shear activity.

8Aviation Weather:  FAA Needs to Resolve Questions                   Involvins     the
Use of New Radars (GAO/RCED-90-17, Oct. 12, 1989).
        We believe the problems associated with the ASR-9 and TDWR
reflect    FAA's difficulty      in achieving   full benefits    from new
systems, and that FAA will face similar             problems when integrating
other systems into the ATC environment.              For example, FAA projects
that future air traffic         control using the Advanced Automation
System will eventually        permit automated routine clearances to be
issued directly      to pilots.      At issue is how controllers     will regain
control    in a safe manner if computer malfunctions          occur.    FAA needs
to address these human factors-related            issues if the traveling
public is to receive the full safety and capacity benefits               of
technological     advances.

        In summary, we believe FAA has made progress toward
modernizing      certain  portions     of the ATC system.       However, in light
of the tremendous levels of F&E funding projected                 for the next few
years, it is crucial        that FAA show the Congress, the aviation
community, and the flying          public that ongoing and future
activities    will result      in demonstrable     improvements.       It is also
important,     in this year of Trust Fund reauthorization,               that we
come to grips with the issue of how ATC modernization                  should be
financed.      Furthermore,      to minimize future delays, FAA needs to
ensure that systems are thoroughly            tested and to promptly resolve
open issues related to implementation             and integration      of the new
technologies       with existing    operational    procedures.       We intend to
continue our work in advising the Congress on FAA's progress in
modernizing      the ATC system through both cross-cutting             and system-
specific    reviews.

      This concludes our prepared statement.            I will   be pleased   to
address the Subcommitteels   questions at this          time.

         I                                                                        ATTACHMENT

                                          NAS PLANMILES'IONESFOR
                                         MAJORSYsrpM ACQUISITIONS

     System Name          Year of First-Site Implementation   Year of Last-Site Implementation
                          -Iv83 Plan 1987 Plan 1989 Plan      n83 Plan 198~/ Plan 1989 Plan

Advanced Automation
  System (AAS)               1990       1993        1994         1994      1998        2000
Air Route Surveillance
   Radar (ARSR-4)            1985       1987        1988         1995      1996        1996
Airport Surveillance
   Radar (ASR-9)             1985       1988        1989         1992      1992        1993
Automated Weather
  System (AWOS)              1986       1989        1989         1990      1994        1994
Central Weather
  Processor (CWP)            1990       1994        1990         1991      1995        1996
Flight Service
   System (FSAS)             1984       1986        1986         1989      1994        1994
Host Computer                1986       1987        1987         1987      1989        1988
Microwave Landing
  System (MLS)               1985       1988        1988         1999      2001        2004
Mode S                       1986       1990        1992         1993      1995        2000
Radio Communication
 Links (RCL)                 1985       1986        1986         1989      1992        1993
Terminal Doppler
  Weather Radar ('IDWR)       a         1993        1993          a        1996        1996
Voice Switching
  and Control
  System (VSCS)              1989       1991        1993         1992      1993        1995

aThe IIXJR was not included in the 1983 NAS Plan.
Source : FAA 1983, 1987, and 1989 NAS Plans.
ATTACHMENTII                                                           ATTACHMENTII

                          DESCRIPTIONS AND COSTS FOR
                          MAJOR SYSTEMSACQUISITIONS

Advanced Automation Svstem IAAS)
Total estimated F&E cost:  $4.4 billion
FAA expects AAS to replace the computer hardware, software,                      and
air traffic    controller      work stations     at airport      tower, terminal
area, and en route air traffic           control   facilities.        According to
FAA, AAS benefits       include    (1) increasing     controller      productivity
and ATC system availability,           (2) saving fuel and passenger time,
and (3) reducing operating          costs.    Benefits also are expected to
accrue from automating many functions             now performed by controllers
and consolidating       en route and terminal        facilities.
Air Route Surveillance  Radar (ARSR-4)
Total estimated F&E cost:   $476 million
Able to search long distances,           ARSR-4 radars provide air traffic
controllers      with radar coverage of both en route aircraft       and
weather information.          These radars rely only on signals reflected
off of aircraft        or weather and are called primary radars.      The
ARSR-4s are the fourth in a series developed to supplement "beacon
radars",     which, unlike primary radars, receive more precise
signals from aircraft         and are controllers'    main source of air
traffic     surveillance    information.
Airnort Surveillance Radar (ASR-9)
Total estimated F&E cost:  $711 million
The ASR-9 is primarily      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 ASR
aircraft   position    data to keep aircraft    safely separated and
control their movements into and out of the airport.                  In replacing
the older models, the ASR-9 will provide controllers                improved
aircraft   detection    and improved hazardous weather information,
including   a six-level    weather display,    each showing a different
degree of precipitation       severity.
ATTACHMENTII                                                     ATTACHMENTII

Automated Weather Observins Svstem (AWOS)
Total estimated F&E cost:   S199 million
FAA plans to install    this system primarily    at nontowered airports
where no human weather observers are currently        stationed.    At some
towered airports,    the system also will replace the current system
of human observers.      It will provide data describing      nine critical
airport   weather elements.     This information  will be sent directly
to pilots   by computer-synthesized     voice.

Central Weather Processor       ICWP)
Total estimated F&E cost:        $129 million
This system's purpose is to collect,        synthesize,  and disseminate
weather data from all sources and produce data that are tailored            to
user's specific  needs.     The CWPhas two components.       The first   is
the commercially  available    Meteorologist     Weather Processor, which
will be leased in the near term.       The second element is a Real-
Time Weather Processor, which will create unique weather products
required by the National Airspace System.
Flisht    Service Automation   Svstem (FSAS)
Total    estimated F&E cost:    $288 million
This system is automating the way FAA provides weather data to
pilots  before take-off.        For example, one new telephone service
allows pilots     to record their flight     plans and obtain recorded
messages concerning weather for both the general area and popular
air routes, thus avoiding or reducing the time needed to talk to a
flight  specialist.      It will also provide improved access to FAA's
system of notifying      pilots   of very recent information  concerning
changes to any aspect of the National Airspace System. The 317
manual Flight Service Stations         (FSS) that existed in 1981 are
scheduled to be consolidated        into 60 automated FSSs.
Host ComDuter
Total estimated    F&E cost:    $291 million
The Host computer has replaced the existing               computers at FAA's 20
en route air traffic        control    centers with new, higher capacity
computers.       The Host uses a modified version of the previous air
traffic     control   software.     FAA justified     the Hose computer
acquisition      on the basis of existing         computers* capacity
limitations      and the agency's inability         to implement operational  and
safety enhancements until          additional     capacity was available.

ATTACHMENTII                                                        ATTACHMENTII

Microwave Landins Svstem CMLS)
Total estimated F&E cost: $1.1 billion
This system's purpose is to guide specially               equipped aircraft    to
safe landings in reduced visibility           conditions.       Because it can
guide approaching aircraft         from a wider angle than can the
Instrument     Landing Systems currently        in place, FAA believes that
MIS will allow more varied landing approaches.                 This could permit
aircraft    to land more frequently        and could give pilots       more
flexibility     in choosing approach paths to the airport            than
possible using the existing          systems.     This would enhance an
airport's     capacity to accept landing aircraft           and could mitigate
the noise effects      of aircraft     by directing    the noise over less
populated areas than is possible with current landing systems.
Mode S
Total estimated     F&E cost:     $495 million
The Mode S system consists of sensors and antennae on the ground
for receiving  and transmitting        information     from and to aircraft.
Mode S will replace existing        radar beacon systems aboard
commercial and general aviation          aircraft.     Unlike the current
beacon system, in which all aircraft            within range respond to
signals from the ground radar, Mode S will enable separate
addressing by specific    aircraft.         This will reduce signal
interference  and establish     a message channel for the aircraft           to
exchange data with the ground.
Radio Communication Links        IRCL1
Total estimated F&E cost:         $284 million
FAA is planning to install        the RCL to replace and upgrade existing
Radio Microwave Link communications lines used to transmit             voice
and radar data communications nationwide;         these include weather and
air traffic   information.      Current needs are met with a mixture of
FAA-owned and -leased communication lines.           However, the FAA-owned
equipment is outdated and expensive to maintain and the leased
lines are becoming increasingly        expensive.    In addition,   the FAA-
owned equipment will not meet NAS Plan requirements            for both system
expansion and flexibility       to accommodate new facilities      and
consolidation    of facilities.

ATTACHMENTII                                                   ATTACHMENTII

pTerminal   o
<                                323 milli   n
To help guard against wind shear around airports,             FAA is planning
to install   the TDWRas its primary,         ground-based wind-shear
detection   system.      By detecting  fast-developing     wind velocity
variations,    this radar helps to identify        the presence of wind-shear
conditions.      Currently,   pilots  and controllers     rely on other less
responsive sensors to detect wind shear.
2Voice Switchin
 Total estimated
The VSCS will enhance voice communications at 23 large air traffic
control  facilities   by improving the ability     of communications to be
switched among controllers     and between controllers     and pilots.
FAA expects VSCS to increase controller       productivity   and reduce
overall  communications costs because equipment will be owned
rather than leased.
        .4TTACHMENT III                            ATTACHMENT III

                                         Projects Funded Not in Plan (42)
                                         Transition Projects (10)

                                         NAS Plan Pmjects (92)

                                         Other Oaplll Needs (22)

~RNIZ4TlON     PROJECT (Dollars in

                                         Transition Pmjects ($12)

                                         NA8 Plan Pmjects ($15.8)

                                     I   Other Capital Needs ($7.3)
                ATTACH?lEKT IV      ATTACHMENT IV

      4.0     Qlllbls   ol Dollam