AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: VOICE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM CHALLENGES CONTINUE

The General Accounting Office (GAO) made an assessment of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) recently revised acquisition strategy for its Voice Switching and Control System (VSCS). Currently, two contractors--American Telephone and Telegraph Technologies, Incorporated (AT&T) and Harris Corporation--are designing and developing VSCS prototypes. The results of GAO's investigation, in brief, are as follows: After nearly 5 years of development, neither VSCS contractor has been able to successfully produce a prototype system that meets FAA's requirements. As a result, total estimated project costs, originally estimated at $258 million in 1982, have escalated to $1.5 billion; and implementation of VSCS at the first operational site has been delayed from 1986 to 1994. Due to the contractors' difficulties, FAA recently restructured the acquisition of VSCS by extending the prototype contracts to December 1991 and exploring the development of alternative interim voice communications systems that could work with the new Advanced Automation System workstations. FAA's revised acquisition strategy is a positive step toward completing important testing at the contractors' facilities and avoiding delays in Advanced Automation System workstation implementation. However, demanding system requirements present formidable challenges to the contractors in building prototypes that will pass testing this summer.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1991-8

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 9 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00612024
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/IMTEC-91-49
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1991 12:00AM