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Actions Needed To Meet FAA’s Long-Term Goals for NextGen

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On February 16, 2011, the Inspector General testified before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) efforts to develop and transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).  The Inspector General noted significant challenges FAA faces in achieving its long-term goals for NextGen across two areas: (1) addressing schedule delays and cost overruns with the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) program--without ERAM, other programs intended to provide more efficient data sharing and airspace routes will not be possible--and (2)  reaching consensus with partner agencies on key research and development efforts that will affect the cost, schedule, and capabilities of NextGen.  The Inspector General also highlighted several management actions that FAA can take now to strengthen FAA’s management of long-term NextGen initiatives.  These include clarifying responsibility within FAA for critical NextGen development areas, finalizing performance goals and metrics for NextGen, establishing an integrated budget document to align and track all partner agencies' NextGen resources, and fully leveraging the technology portfolios of partner agencies to assist with NextGen development.