- Published: July 18, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS), the union that represents Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) systems specialists, today applauded a new Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (IG) report that irrefutably illustrates that the FAA has blatantly mismanaged the operational transition to the new Federal Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI).
Last week, the IG released its assessment of the FAA’s replacement of seven existing telecommunications networks with a single network known as FTI. The FTI provides vital circuitry and communication functions for the entire agency.
Primarily, the IG asked that the agency develop a realistic schedule to transition to the new system, namely one that would avoid further delays and outages in the air traffic control system. The IG also asked that the FTI contractor submit monthly program management information reports to the agency and that the FAA validate FTI cost, schedule and benefit information to ensure the FAA’s investment is still cost effective.
“We are pleased that the IG has confirmed our serious concerns about FTI transition, many of which we have repeatedly brought to the FAA’s attention,” said Tom Brantley, PASS national president. “The burden is now on the agency to remedy the serious shortcomings confirmed in the IG report and make good on the promises to improve the overall transition.”
In 2002, the FAA awarded Harris Corporation a five-year $1.7 billion dollar contract to manage the FTI transition. “Since the very beginning, the transition has been plagued with contractor errors, outages, missed deadlines and escalating costs. More than anything else, the IG report emphasizes that the FAA must get control of its contractors. We should never forget that the safety of the American flying public is at stake,” said Brantley.
PASS represents more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures and perform quality analyses of the aviation systems. For more information, visit the PASS website at www.passnational.org.