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National Airspace System : status of FAA's Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System
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  • Alternative Title:
    Status of STARS Project
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  • Abstract:
    NTIS Invoice: 23021;

    NTIS Order #:PB2002109153

    Comparing the currently projected cost and deployment schedule for

    STARS with the original cost and schedule is difficult because the program

    presently bears little resemblance to the program envisioned in 1996. At

    that time, FAA contracted with the Raytheon Corporation for a system

    using commercially available technology that could be deployed

    throughout the National Airspace System with very little software

    development. The plan was to install STARS in 172 facilities at a cost of

    $940 million with implementation to begin in 1998 and be completed in

    2005. However, in 1997, when FAA controllers first tested an early version

    of this commercially available system, they raised some concerns about the

    way aircraft position and other data were displayed and updated on the controllers’ radar screens. For example, the controllers said the system did

    not provide enough detail about an aircraft’s position and movement,

    which could hamper their ability to monitor traffic movement. To address

    these concerns, as well as others identified by the technicians who

    maintain the system, FAA decided to develop a more customized system

    that is software dependent and to deploy an incremental approach, thereby

    enabling controllers and technicians to adjust to some changes before

    introducing others. Because this incremental approach requires more

    custom software than initially planned, it also costs more and is taking

    longer to implement than the original STARS project.

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