Recommendations By OIG And FAA Responses


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Recommendations By OIG And FAA Responses  

Recommendation 1. Accelerate efforts to establish requirements for ADS-B In and certify cockpit displays for enhancing pilot situational awareness to improve operations at high-density airports.  

FAA Response: Concur. In July 2010, FAA formed an ARC to explore ADS-B In. The FAA has agreements with several airline partners (e.g., United Parcel Service, United, US Air, etc.) to equip aircraft and collect data. The airline partners have subcontracts with avionics manufacturers and those efforts will lead to certified avionics.  

Cockpit displays are expected to be the most expensive type of avionics. As the FAA and industry research potential high-value ADS-B ?In? applications, part of that work will involve prioritizing which applications would require a cockpit display. The ARC is chartered to deliver a final report on its recommendations by September 30, 2011. It will also complete all follow on work and prepare a summary report detailing recommended next steps by June 1, 2012.

Recommendation 2. Further quantify and validate controller productivity enhancements that can result from displaying ADS-B information on controller displays and the additional automation needed to maximize these ADS-B benefits.  

FAA Response: Concur. The FAA is nearing completion of negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association about the nature and extent of controller participation in evaluating any potential modifications. Potential productivity enhancements could arise from procedural changes and do not necessarily involve changes to the automation system.


The FAA will analyze the costs and benefits between contemplated procedural and automation changes in its decision making process. As part of the FAA?s business case, the benefits of providing improved surveillance data via ADS-B Out to air traffic control decision support tools such as User Request Evaluation Tool (URET) and Traffic Management Advisor (TMA) were quantified.  

The present value of increasing the utility of these decision tools was estimated to be $802 million for URET and $417 million for TMA. The URET benefits begin to be accrued in 2017 after the decision support tool is migrated to the R-Side (radar) while the TMA benefits were not to be accrued until 2020 due to uncertainty of achieving the benefit prior to full user equipage.  

Additionally, the implementation of a ground based interval management system in conjunction with ADS-B Out provides air traffic control with the ability to support optimal profile descents in busier traffic environments translating to $796 million in present value dollars between 2014 and 2035. 

Recommendation 3. Develop and fund a targeted human factors research effort for pilots and controllers for ADS-B In requirements (display and procedures) in order to prioritize efforts and examine the proper sequence for introducing new capabilities.  

FAA Response: Concur. The Agency will evaluate any recommendations from the ADS-B ?In? ARC and RTCA efforts. All recommendations will be addressed and incorporated into the Joint Resources Council (JRC) in 2012 which will baseline and fund activities 2014 and beyond.


DO-317 A, the standard for cockpit based ADS-B ?In? applications, is under development as a joint RTCA/EuroCAE product. Development of this standard will be completed by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2011 third quarter. After DO-317A is published, a TSO ? certification requirements for avionics invoking it will be published within 3 months (by FY 2011 fourth quarter).  

The Agency has conducted multiple focused human factors research efforts to date related to ADS-B ?In? and has plans to continue conducting this research in the future.  

Examples of research efforts include and/or will include: Surface Indications with Alerts - conducted 5 human-in-the-loop (HITL) studies (between 2008-2010) plus additional simulation and flight test HITL studies (February 2010); In Trail Procedures (ITP) - white paper on ITP display issues and potential resolutions (March 2010), demonstration of ITP display concepts (July 2010), human factors flight simulator evaluation (September 2010), human factors flight test evaluation (February 2011); Interval Management - HITL simulations (April 2007, June 2008, July 2008, September 2008, December 2008, August 2009), field tests (June 2010, August 2010), and additional HITL simulations (beginning FY11 if the ARC endorses). There will also be Traffic Situation Awareness with Alerts human factors studies completed by 2012.  

Recommendation 4. Work with the U.S. intelligence community to assess potential threats to the ADS-B system and ways to mitigate them. 

FAA Response: Concur. FAA is conducting an ongoing dialogue with DoD and the intelligence community and making annual updates to its Security Certification and Authorization Package (SCAP). The next authorization date (SCAP update) is October 29, 2010.  

Recommendation 5. Update the cost benefit analysis for the acquisition to ensure that FAA?s plan is still appropriate before committing the additional funds for a nationwide deployment of the ADS-B ground infrastructure.  

FAA Response: Partially Concur. The FAA agrees with the need to eventually update the cost benefit analysis, but disagrees with the timing of the recommendation. It is premature to update the benefits portion of the cost benefit analysis because the benefits are tied to the equipage rate. 

The FAA approved and baselined the nationwide deployment of ADS-B at the August 2007 JRC meeting. Using the latest July 2010 Earned Value Management data, FAA planned to spend $522,762,990 by that point and actually spent $488,038,680. The plan included attaining Initial Operating Capability at four key sites and publishing a rule for ADS-B Out, all of which have been accomplished. The program Cost Performance Index is 1.04 and program Schedule Performance Index is 0.97, indicating a healthy program.  

The ADS-B In Service Decision (ISD) occurred on September 22, 2010. At this time, an analysis of approved versus spent dollars will be conducted as part of a decision to continue nationwide deployment of the system.  

The ADS-B Out rule was recently published (May 2010) and the compliance date is not until 2020. The cost benefit analysis will be updated once a substantial level of equipage is in place to realize and calculate the planned benefits. In the interim, the Agency will sample the equipage rate between 2015 - 2016 and validate the cost benefit analysis as compared to the baseline.  

Recommendation 6. Clarify the use of ADS-B value-added services and reexamine assumptions about the ability of ITT to sell them in light of other planned NextGen efforts to greatly expand information sharing between FAA and stake holders.  

FAA Response: Concur. The FAA agrees that plans to share data with the aviation industry and others should be carefully coordinated. The ADS-B contractor was not promised exclusive use of ADS-B data - but the value of that data feed could be diluted to the extent that similar aviation data becomes available from alternate sources.  

The FAA is in the process of creating a new organization (ATO-V, Mission Support Services) with overall responsibility for coordinating data release issues. The ability of ITT to sell value added services in light of other planned NextGen efforts may be aided by segregating data related to FAA ?core? activities from data to be used for other customer activities such as asset tracking and resale of surveillance data to third parties. Actual sale of value added services is dependent on equipage rates, customer demand, and ITT marketing.  

The Surveillance Broadcast Services (SBS) program office has initiated discussions with ITT regarding which value added services would be most attractive to potential customers and would provide an effective stream of revenue. The ITT value added ADS-B architecture has been approved by FAA. A Beta Test period has been initiated where data is currently being provided to several users.  

The Beta Test will aid in determining how the delivered data could be displayed and utilized. The SBS program office is developing a governance policy (to be in place by calendar year 2010) which will guide the type of data which will be released and the authorized usage by each customer. It is envisioned the Beta Test will last approximately 6 months.  

After the Beta Test is completed, ITT will charge customers for data. At that time, a system will have been developed which will include the data release approval process and a related revenue reporting system. The SBS program office has also authorized ITT to establish a link for display of ADS-B value added data to Alaskan pilots to enable them to assess the potential of value added products.  

Recommendation 7. Specify the cost and schedule for providing ADS-B critical services to all Enroute and airport surface domains over the life of the contract. 

FAA Response: Partially Concur. The FAA agrees that the contract pricing tables do not in some instances separately identify pricing for ADS-B Critical Services and that it is not always clear in those tables whether the costs are included in the pricing.  

The stated cost for providing Critical Services is a layer of the overall cost because the contract pricing assumptions stated that the Critical Services would be built upon the pre-established Essential Services network. Accordingly, there is an initial charge for establishing Critical Services, after which the cost of providing Critical Services are included in the Service Volume Essential Services prices.  

The schedule for establishing Critical Services (based on the contract?s pricing tables) for remaining locations is:

FY 2011: 6

FY 2012: 97

FY 2013: 109

FY 2014: 86

Total: 298 locations  

In lieu of reissuing the pricing tables with a specific cost and schedule for ADS-B Critical Services, existing contract provisions for pricing assumptions will be clarified to state that where there is no separate ADS-B Critical Services subscription charge in the pricing table, the charge is included in the Essential Services charge for that service volume. A contract modification will be completed by October 31, 2010.  

Recommendation 8. Assess the technical readiness of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Rebroadcast (ADS-R) and any risks to its development and determine which locations will need ADS-R.  

FAA Response: Concur. ADS-R was baselined for situational awareness as part of the essential services ISD in November 2008, before reaching ISD extensive testing and validation was completed to ensure technical readiness. All sites will be deployed with ADS-R capability by 2014. When high value ADS-B ?in? applications are baselined ADS-R will be reassessed, which will include all necessary testing and validation.  

Recommendation 9. Determine and obtain the necessary in-house expertise to effectively monitor the contractor?s efforts and oversee the ADS-B ground infrastructure over the long term.  

FAA Response: Concur. The FAA is continually assessing the extent to which various skill sets are necessary as part of its annual Acquisition Workforce Planning. In addition, there were two SBS ISD action plans related to staffing identified and approved within Category 8 of the ISD checklist which will be closed by June 2011.

Overall, the OIG report provides a useful summary of the issues and perspectives involved with ADS-B development.


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