Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Federal Aviation
Administration's (FAA) project to consolidate four terminal radar
approach control (TRACON) facilities in the Los Angeles basin area
by 1995, focusing on FAA plans to meet the automation needs of the
Los Angeles basin area's terminal airspace. GAO found that: (1) the
airspace in the Los Angeles basin area has experienced more
near-midair collision reports than any other location in the United
States; (2) the four TRACON facilities in the Los Angeles area had
previously reported computer capacity shortfalls resulting in the
loss of aircraft identification information from controllers'
screens; (3) FAA reacted to those shortfalls with stopgap measures
designed to keep current, aging systems operating; (4) the FAA plan
for a consolidated facility did not allow for steep growth in air
traffic and assumed that an advanced system would be implemented on
schedule; and (5) due to its lack of a computer capacity and
performance management program, FAA did not know if its automation
plan for the consolidated facility would meet future needs.
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