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HOMELAND DEFENSE: Urgent Need for DOD and FAA to Address Risks and Improve Planning for Technology That Tracks Military Aircraft


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DOD has until January 1, 2020, to equip its aircraft with ADS-B Out technology that would provide DOD, FAA, and private citizens the ability to track their flights in real-time and track flight patterns over time. This technology is a component of NextGen, a broader FAA initiative that seeks to modernize the current radar driven, ground-based air transportation system into a satellite-driven space based system. Senate Report 114-255 included a provision for GAO to assess the national defense implications of FAAs implementation of ADS-B. This report assesses the extent to which (1) DOD and FAA have identified operations and security risks and approved solutions to address these risks to ADS-B Out -equipped military aircraft; and (2) DOD has implemented key tasks in the 2007 memorandum on implementing NextGen. GAO analyzed risks identified by DOD and FAA related to ADS-B vulnerabilities, and how they could affect current and future air defense and air traffic missions. GAO also reviewed the tasks in the 2007 NextGen Memorandum and assessed whether the eight tasks specifically related to ADS-B were implemented.



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