Air Traffic Control: Better Guidance Needed for Deciding Where to Locate Facilities and Equipment.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVE LOPMENT DIV
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For the three facilities and equipment projects we reviewed, FAA officials funded high-priority locations in accordance with agency guidance. This often resulted in a fairly equal distribution of facilities and equipment among FAAS nine regional offices based on the priority assigned by each regional office and the availability of the regional offices work force to implement the projects. However, we found that FAA generally did not rank locations numerically from a national perspective, use benefit-cost analysis as a tool for ranking eligible locations, and document the factors used to select certain locations over others. For example, for one of the projects we reviewed-the establishment of Instrument Landing Systems-agency officials told us that generally each regional offices top-priority location was submitted to the Congress for funding in fiscal years 1992 and 1993. FAA did not attempt to determine whether one regional offices number two or lower-priority location was of a higher national importance than another offices number one location. FAA officials believe that their approach for locating facilities and equipment under the three projects ensured that scarce resources were targeted to high-priority needs. The officials said that it would be too costly to numerically rank each location on a national basis and subject each to a benefit-cost analysis, especially since other factors such as safety may outweigh economic considerations. Moreover, according to the officials, such analyses would create tension among regional offices about the methodologies used to justify individual locations. Furthermore, benefit-cost analyses may bias the selection process in favor of projects at large airports if qualitative criteria and judgment are excluded from the process.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Air Navigation and Guidance