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Air Traffic Control: Immature Software Acquisition Processes Increase FAA System Acquisition Risks
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  • Abstract:
    The General Accounting Office (GAO) at the request of Congress reviewed (1) the maturity of Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Air Traffic Control (ATC) modernization software acquisition processes, and (2) the steps/actions FAA has underway or planned to improve these processes, including any obstacles that may impede FAA's progress. The GAO found FAA's ATC modernization software acquisition processes to be ad hoc and sometimes chaotic, and not repeatable even on a project-by-project basis. As a result, FAA's success or failure in acquiring ATC software depends largely on specific individuals, rather than on well-defined and disciplined software acquisition management practices. This greatly reduces the probability that software-intense ATC modernization projects will consistently perform as intended and be delivered on schedule and within budget. This GAO report to Congress contains recommendations for improvement and the FAA's rebuttal of the criticism contained herein.

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