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GAO Reviews FAA’s NextGen Modernization Program

AirplaneA new government audit says the Federal Aviation Administration has received an estimated $7.4 billion for activities to implement a program designed to transform current radar-based air transportation systems into one product that will utilize automated aircraft position reporting, digital communications and satellite navigation.

FAA has received funds for the Next Generation Air Transportation System program from fiscal years 2004 through FY 2016 as well as other air traffic control modernization programs, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday.

GAO noted FAA officials have also identified six NextGen activities previously slated for completion in 2025 which have been deferred until beyond 2030 because of a change in operational needs or infeasibility of the activity.

The auditor added FAA’s 2016 business case estimate projected costs of NextGen activities to reach $20.6 billion with $15.1 billion as the current projection of costs for the aviation industry.

Congress has asked GAO to examine FAA’s cost estimates, expenditures and time frames for NextGen completion and the report worked to discover how much the aviation agency has invested in the program since FY 2004 and when projects will be accomplished.

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