We have discussed continuing problems the Federal Aviation Administration is having implementing a new air traffic control (ATC) system. And we’ve contrasted it with Canada’s privatized ATC system, which is one of the best in the world.
We just came across another example of FAA bungling: problems with air traffic controller training.
In designing and executing the ATCOTS program, FAA did not fully consider program requirements. As a result, FAA now faces significant challenges in achieving the program’s goals. To date, the ATCOTS contract costs and fees have exceeded baseline estimates by 35 percent during the first year of the contract (from $81 million to $109 million) and increased by 20 percent during the second year (from $91 million to $109 million). More importantly, those funds have only been sufficient to support existing training methods and procedures; innovations, such as pilot programs for new capabilities to reduce training time and cost, have not been implemented.
FAA rewarded Raytheon for training tasks that relied on significant FAA efforts to meet the threshold for receiving an award fee. For example, only FAA has the authority to conduct on-the job-training, the quality of which impacts student pass rates. Although in evaluating this measure, FAA acknowledged its own “significant contribution” toward achieving the student pass rates, it awarded Raytheon 90 percent of the award fee pool set aside for meeting this measure…
In total, FAA awarded Raytheon 91.9 percent of the award fee pool available in the contract for the first year for measures that were not significantly related to improving performance or achieving desired outcomes of the program.