IG Questions FAA’s Controller Training

 - January 13, 2014, 10:37 AM

The chairman of a U.S. Senate subcommittee overseeing FAA contracts asked the Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) to look into the agency’s handling of an $859 million contract to support air traffic controller training required to help prepare 11,700 new controllers by 2021. The recently released report said the subcommittee was not convinced the FAA could or would meet the stated goals of its Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) program.

In a September 2010 report, the IG highlighted weak acquisition practices on the part of the FAA and a lack of effective contract oversight for ATCOTS. The IG’s follow-up review found that although the FAA addressed eight of nine initial recommendations, weaknesses in contract and program oversight have continued with four consecutive years of cost overruns that cost taxpayers an additional $89 million.

According to the IG, the FAA has not been able to achieve key goals focused on reducing training time and has not measured its progress toward the goal of reducing total controller training costs.

The FAA concurred with 9 out of 10 of the IG’s recommendations, and partially concurred with one.