Air traffic control : role of FAA's modernization program in reducing delays and congestion
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Air traffic control : role of FAA's modernization program in reducing delays and congestion

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      The National Airspace System (NAS) is a complex collection of systems, procedures, facilities, aircraft, and people. Because these components are interconnected and interdependent, they must work together as one system to ensure safe operations. The principal component of the NAS is the air traffic control (ATC) system-a vast network of radars; automated data processing, navigation, and communications equipment; and traffic control facilities. Through this system, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides such services as controlling takeoffs and landings and managing the flow of traffic between airports. Faced with a rapidly growing volume of air traffic and aging equipment to control it, FAA initiated an ambitious program in 1981 to modernize its ATC system. Over the past two decades, FAA's modernization projects have experienced substantial cost overruns, lengthy delays, and significant performance shortfalls. Because of the size, complexity, cost, and problem-plagued past of FAA's modernization program, we have designated it a high-risk information technology investment since 1995.
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