DOT IG: Tech Problems Plague NextGen Programs

 - March 30, 2011, 3:15 AM

Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) Calvin Scovel III told Congress that technical problems continue to plague the en route automation modernization (Eram) project. This nationwide upper-airspace flight data and management system is necessary for full National Airspace System introduction of ADS-B, DataComm and system-wide information management (Swim). Originally planned for all ARTCCs by late 2010 at a cost of $2.1 billion, Eram is now expected to enter service in 2014 with $500 million added cost. MIT professor John Hansman, who is also co-chair of the FAA’s R&D advisory committee, testified that the FAA plans and roadmaps for future research needs are so detailed and complex as to be almost impossible to use in evaluating key next steps in NextGen’s future critical path.