Crossed Wires

Another government project to talk about. This time around it’s a $1.
Written by Michael Krigsman, Contributor

Another government project to talk about. This time around it’s a $1.7 billion telecommunications project designed to modernize the FAA’s air traffic control infrastructure.

Linda Rosencrance reported this in Computerworld magazine, describing the various problems. The article is based on a report issued by the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General. You can download the original .pdf report here.

Here are some selected quotes from the article:

The FAA awarded the five-year, $1.7 billion project to Harris in July 2002. The contract was revised in December 2004 to $2.4 billion through 2017. The new system is expected to go live in December 2007, according to the report

“However, expected benefits from reducing operating costs are eroding because of schedule problems…”


The FTI is a “high-risk” and “schedule-driven” program that is unlikely to meet its December 2007 revised completion date. In fact, only months after being revised in December 2004, the program again began falling behind schedule and has not recovered.

Recommended that the FAA take the following measures:

  • Develop a realistic master schedule and an effective FTI transition plan.
  • Develop a transition plan with all affected parties to avoid further schedule delays and outages to air traffic operations.
  • Modify the FTI contract to require that Harris send its monthly program management information reports to the FAA for the fixed-price elements of the contract.
  • Validate FTI cost, schedule, and benefit information to ensure that the FAA’s FTI investment is still cost-effective.


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