The nationwide ground infrastructure necessary for air traffic controllers to see airplanes according to their GPS-transmitted location is now complete, says the Federal Aviation Administration.
Despite having extensive data on airplane safety violations, the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't seek to understand their root causes or identify safety trends, a report from the Transportation Department office of inspector general says.
Whistle-blower claims investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration want more training to understand the industries they oversee in the transportation sector, a report from the Government Accountability Office says.
NextGen funding at the Federal Aviation Administration would drop from $901 million to $836 million under the Transportation Department's budget proposal for fiscal 2015.
Auditors say the Federal Aviation Administration's enterprise architecture is limited as a strategic planning tool guiding air traffic control modernization efforts known as NextGen.
NextGen improvements so far resulted in reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emission and are expected to reduce delays by about 41 percent by 2020, Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta told a House panel.
Transportation Department auditors are now saying the Federal Aviation Administration will "not likely be ready" to mandate by 2020 use of avionics allowing airplane pilots to see in real-time their position and the location of other airplanes. That assessment comes in a Jan. 28 audit (.pdf) that's slightly more pessimistic than a September 2013 preliminary version in which auditors said the FAA "may not be ready."
The remaining fleet of nine Customs and Border Protection drones has been grounded after one crashed into the Pacific Ocean Monday night.
Now that it has approved test sites for unmanned aerial systems, the Federal Aviation Administration is turning its attention to establishing a new center of excellence for drone research. The agency will first need to develop a research agenda for the center, but it plans to begin the selection process later this year, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said during a Jan. 15 hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
A top official at the Federal Aviation Administration described an agency struggling to effectively design its major air traffic controller training contract during a Senate hearing Jan. 14.