Page 1       TOP OF DOC

71–355 PS











 Page 2       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC




MARCH 14, 2001

Printed for the use of the

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman

THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin, Vice-Chair
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
 Page 3       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
STEPHEN HORN, California
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
SUE W. KELLY, New York
ROBERT W. NEY, New Jersey
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
JIM DEMINT, South Carolina
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
HENRY E, BROWN, JR, South Carolina
 Page 4       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
SAM GRAVES, Missouri
MARK R. KENNEDY, Minnesota
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania

NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
BOB FILNER, California
 Page 5       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
JAMES P. MCGOVERN, Massachusetts
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
RICK LARSEN, Washington



 Page 6       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC


JOHN L. MICA, Florida, Chairman

THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
STEPHEN HORN, California
SUE W. KELLY, New York
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana, Vice Chairman
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
SAM GRAVES, Missouri
 Page 7       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
MARK R. KENNEDY, Minnesota
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania

  (Ex Officio)

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
 Page 8       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
  (Ex Officio)




    Antonucci, Don, President, Air Traffic Management, Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Fanfalone, Michael D., President, Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS)

    Marchilena, Frank, Executive Vice President, Raytheon Company, and President, Command, Control, Communications, and Information Systems

    Mead, Kenneth M., Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation

    Ryan, Jack, Acting Senior Vice President, Aviation Safety and Operations, Air Transport Association of America
 Page 9       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Shea, John M., Jr., STARS Representative, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)

    Zaidman, Steven, Associate Administrator for Research and Acquisitions, Federal Aviation Administration


    Brown, Hon. Corrine, of Florida
    Costello, Hon. Jerry F.
    Millender-McDonald, Hon. Juanita, of California
    Oberstar, Hon. James L., of Minnesota
    Young, Hon. Don, of Alaska


    Antonucci, Don
    Fanfalone, Michael D

    Marchilena, Frank

    Mead, Kenneth M

    Ryan, Jack
 Page 10       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Shea, John M., Jr

    Zaidman, Steven


    Marchilena, Frank, Executive Vice President, Raytheon Company, and President, Command, Control, Communications, and Information Systems, response to a question from Rep. Mica

    Ryan, Jack, Acting Senior Vice President, Aviation Safety and Operations, Air Transport Association of America, list, ''ATA Top Ten ATC Modernization Program List''

Zaidman, Steven, Associate Administrator for Research and Acquisitions, Federal Aviation Administration:

    Status of Selected FAA Initiatives Still Under Development, chart
    Status of Selected Recent FAA Initiatives, chart
    Additional responses to questions


    ADSI, Inc., K. Prasad Nair, CEO, letter, April 12, 2001

 Page 11       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

Wednesday, March 14, 2001
House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, Washington, D.C.

    The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:30 p.m., in room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Honorable John L. Mica [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.

    Mr. MICA. As I convene the first hearing of the Aviation Subcommittee, it is both an honor and a challenge to chair this panel. At no time in the history of the U.S. airline industry has our domestic aviation system faced greater criticism.
    With the enactment of new authorizing legislation AIR 21 last year, Congress laid the foundation to get our aviation system back on track. Meeting the goals set forth in AIR 21 will be challenging, but I am committed to resolving some of the problems relating to air traffic delays, capacity, administration, and modernization. It is my intention to address these problems one at a time and do everything possible to implement viable solutions.
    In today's hearing, we will review the Federal Aviation Administration's efforts to modernize the air traffic control system. Specifically, we will focus on the current status of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System or STARS. This program is grossly behind schedule and over budget. This will be the first of several hearings we will conduct on STARS over the coming months.
    Without modern air traffic control hardware and software in place, our aviation highway cannot operate safely, efficiently, or economically. The STARS Program is intended to develop a state-of-the-art digital system to replace aging air traffic control equipment in 172 FAA Terminal Radar Approach Control facilities (TRACONs).
 Page 12       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    STARS is in fact a main component of FAA's larger effort to modernize the air traffic control system. Unfortunately, FAA has a terrible track record with its modernization programs, and STARS unfortunately is no exception.
    In March of 1993, in one of my first hearings in Congress, despite earlier assurances that everything was on schedule, the acting FAA Administrator and the Chairman and CEO of IBM Federal Systems sat before this subcommittee and announced that the Advanced Automation System Program (AAS) was 19 months behind schedule but that the system could still be delivered in 2 years. They also indicated at that hearing that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the program costs had grown from $2.5 billion to $5.1 billion. In December of that year, FAA released another estimate that showed the cost of AAS growing to $5.9 billion.
    The following March, FAA released yet another report, the Daschle Report, which indicated that AAS costs would balloon by an additional billion dollars and that the program schedule would slip another 20 months. A month later, in April 1994, FAA Administrator Hinson sat before this subcommittee and discussed his plans to get AAS back on track. Soon after the hearing, FAA canceled the AAS Program, casting aside 11 years of development time and, according to GAO, wasting more than $1.5 billion of taxpayer money.
    In 1996, in an attempt to salvage roughly $20 million of the $400 million it had spent on the Terminal Advanced Automation System portion of AAS, FAA entered into a $940-million contract with Raytheon to acquire an off-the-shelf air traffic control system to replace the aging equipment at FAA TRACONs. That is how the STARS Program began.
    FAA and Raytheon promised to deliver the first STARS system in just over 2 years, in December 1998. Again, problems arose.
    The off-the-shelf equipment proved to be inadequate. The original STARS hardware and software could not handle the high traffic volumes required. To further complicate matters, the air traffic controllers and the service technicians rejected many of the new design features of the STARS system.
 Page 13       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    In 1998, FAA and Raytheon restructured STARS into a major redevelopment program. The price tag of the modified STARS Program has now soared to $1.4 billion, and the delivery date has now been pushed back to the year 2003.
    So here we are today, having spent over 17 years and many billions of dollars on the air traffic control modernization. By some accounts, we have been told that STARS is now on track. FAA claims that the most difficult aspects of the STARS development have been completed. Other experts claim that the STARS software development may be even further delayed.
    Both the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and the Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) supported the changes to the original design. FAA now estimates that it will field the first fully functional STARS site in 2 years. However, based on my previous experience, I remain skeptical.
    To date, FAA has only deployed a limited number of STARS display terminals at Syracuse and El Paso. Critical components of the STARS hardware and software have yet to be fully tested and final installation will not be complete until 2008. Both the proposed development and deployment schedules remain in question.
    This subcommittee has an obligation to insure that FAA successfully completes this program. With this hearing today, I expect straight answers, firm commitments, and a plan of action to complete this portion—we haven't even gotten into other portions of air traffic control modernization—but we are going to continue these hearings. If we need to do them every 2 months or every month or every 3 months, we will do it. Somehow, we are going to get this modernization into place.
    To tell us where we are, we will hear testimony today from the DOT Inspector General, the FAA, Raytheon, Lockheed, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Professional Airways Systems Specialists, and Air Transport Association.
    I would like to welcome our witnesses here today and I look forward to your testimony and working with the subcommittee.
 Page 14       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    At this time, I am pleased to yield to the Ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, Mr. Lipinski, for his opening statement.
    You are recognized, sir.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing today. Oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration and its efforts to modernize our Nation's air traffic control system is one of the most important responsibilities of this subcommittee. I look forward to working closely with you during your tenure as chairman of this subcommittee on this and other issues of critical importance.
    So far, the FAA has not done a great job in modernizing the air traffic control system. Although there have been some success stories, such as the installation of DSR in the en route centers, there are other not-so-successful stories, such as STARS. STARS, which grew out of a failed AAS Program, is over budget and past schedule.
    Fortunately, the FAA has recognized some of the mistakes made during the development of STARS and has worked to correct them. For example, the FAA is now working with the controllers and the technicians—the folks who will actually use this new technology—to address their concerns about the system.
    Development of STARS is nearly complete. The next big challenge is to deploy the system to the field. The FAA has outlined an aggressive schedule for deployment. I hope they are not overreaching their ability. With all the past mistakes of STARS, the program does not need to be further marred by cost overruns and delays in the deployment schedule.
    I urge the FAA as well as Raytheon, the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers, PASS, and anyone else involved in this effort to closely examine the planned deployment schedule and make sure it is a realistic schedule that can be met with current FAA resources.
    I believe the FAA has learned from its past mistakes and is focused on the future. I believe this subcommittee should also focus on the future and move forward with the modernization of our Nation's air traffic control system.
 Page 15       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I look forward to hearing the thoughts and insights of our knowledgeable witnesses here today. And again, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back the balance of my time.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    Mr. Horn?
    Mr. HORN. Thank you very, Mr. Chairman.
    I well remember 1993-1994, the excellent chairmanship of Jim Oberstar, when he took you and me out to where they were putting this thing together. I think the mood of a lot of us was that it didn't seem to have any management. Everybody was running around in circles. In terms of reaching a time, it just didn't happen. You could sense it.
    I asked one of the supervisors, Have you looked at what Lufthansa does? And there was a big, blank stare. Two years later, I had forgotten about that and joined Mr. Duncan's trip in Europe and I was there for another reason. I went up in a Lufthansa tower—we were the guests of the president of Lufthansa—I asked if they would mind getting their technical officer there so I could ask a couple of questions. He did and I asked him if the FAA ever came into the tower. He told me that they had never been up there.
    We have FAA representatives in Germany and Europe and they had never been up in that tower, from what they said. This was all Raytheon equipment and we could have been years ahead if we had started with Raytheon to start with. We never did. Our people just thought, If we don't do it here, we're FAA. That's bologna.
    I have seen other disasters. That disaster went to $4 billion. I think the chairman said $5 billion. He might well be right. But I agree with the chairman that we need to hold hearings until we finally get on top of this thing.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
    I yield now to the Ranking Member of the full committee and the former Chair of this subcommittee, Mr. Oberstar. We are pleased to have you join us.
 Page 16       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Congratulations on assuming the chairmanship and winning the chairmanship of this subcommittee. It is a prestigious assignment and one I know you will discharge with great sincerity and skill and purpose of mission.
    I want to welcome back our Ranking Member on our side, Mr. Lipinski, and congratulate him on his superb work over the past 5 and a half years he has been the Ranking Member on our side on aviation.
    Mr. Chairman, you and Mr. Lipinski both and the gentleman from California, Mr. Horn, have laid out some contexts and structure and history on this troubled system. Let me just add further context.
    STARS is the fundamental building block for the future of air traffic control. Putting STARS in place at the 173 or so facilities—which is a scaled-down number of TRACONs from those currently in existence—will be a formidable task, but it is in good hands under the leadership of Administrator Jane Garvey, with whom I am greatly impressed. She is hands-on, takes responsibility, is inclusive, accepts criticism, turns it into beneficial use.
    But this FAA that we are here talking about, that everyone loves to write about and that the news loves to cover—especially when it is a slow day—manages 200,000 takeoffs and landings every day, a system that moves 600 million people a year. That is two-thirds of all air travellers in the entire world that travel in United States air space. No private industry, no foreign air traffic control system, does what our air traffic control professionals do. No system accomplishes anywhere near what our FAA does 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
    In February, 632,000 departures in the United States, compared to 380,000 in Europe, 222,000 in Asia, 55,000 in Canada. I mention those because often people ask us to look abroad at what other people are doing, but none of those systems can come anywhere close to our FAA and our air traffic control system, plus moving 30 billion ton miles of cargo and 88 percent growth over the last decade.
 Page 17       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Not only is our system good and getting better and the greatest, but Japan—the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced just a few days ago that they are sending their controllers to the United States to study the FAA training system and teamwork skills to improve the quality of their air traffic control.
    In the deployment of STARS—and it has been a troubled system. I have been what I like to think a constructive but frequent critic of FAA on this subject. I am just as frustrated as you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Horn and Mr. Lipinski. But I think FAA is now able to manage. They were not able to manage large, complex, costly contracts a decade ago. That has largely changed. They were not involving NATCA and PASS in the planning, development, and deployment of these large, complex systems, but they are now. The defining characteristic of the Garvey tenure is inclusiveness, openness, and threading together all the private and public sectors in these complex systems.
    STARS is going to be a system that will be controlled centrally but adapted locally to each unique center where it will be installed. And teamwork in doing this is critical. That is a key element of the stage that STARS is at today.
    This system has to be viewed as a platform. It is the platform on which other technologies will be hinged, will be deployed for the next stages of modernization, including free flight one.
    I also think this is an appropriate opportunity to address delays. In the coming summer months, when delay is the greatest, I am very pleased with what the FAA has done under Jane Garvey's leadership. At 5:00 a.m. every day there is a conference call with the airlines to discuss the coming air traffic control situation, to harmonize their weather technology, to take a look at what is going to happen today, and have an agreement on how to plan the day's operations.
    FAA is responsive to its so-called customers, that is, the airlines, to be inclusive and to take what action is necessary without compromising safety. I think NATCA and PASS will have to admit as well that Jane Garvey has been inclusive. That was not the case in other years. It was not the case early on in her Administration, but she has learned how to do it.
 Page 18       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    There were 98 human concerns identified by NATCA. About 80 percent of those have been addressed. Others are outstanding and they are working on them. Of the 52 human factors issues addressed by PASS, my understanding is—and I have reviewed the papers on it—they have all been resolved. That is a good record.
    If we are going to address the billion or so passengers to travel in our system in the next decade, then STARS is fundamental, it has to be deployed, we have to move ahead, and we can't afford any further delays. I was a little disappointed, I must say, Mr. Chairman, with statements by Lockheed-Martin earlier this week saying that their common arts technology is the equivalent to STARS. That is simply not the fact.
    I remember the predecessors of Lockheed-Martin. IBM Federal Systems Division, which Mr. Chairman and Mr. Horn and I visited out in Germantown—we saw the problems. They had this extraordinarily complex system too difficult for air traffic controllers to operate. Then it became LORAL. Now it has become Lockheed-Martin. They don't have perfectly clean hands to be coming in here pointing fingers.
    This is not a time for finger-pointing. This is a time to get on with the business of the public and get this system on track and get it installed and move ahead for the next phases of aviation technology advancement. With only 15 percent of the 1.3 million lines of computer code to be done on STARS, this is no time to head down the path of switching horses in midstream, or when you half-way to the next bank or a third-way to the next bank.
    Just think of how complex this all is. At our TRACONs last year, 52 million operations. At towers, 68 million operations last year. To write in the computer code to handle that many operations in real time is very complex. I saw how difficult it is. I visited the centers. I visited the Atlantic City Testing Center. I visited the contractor site to see what they were doing with the writing of computer code. It is complex.
    We have had to scale the system back. We didn't waste $5 billion. We never spent the $5 billion. It would have been wasted had we gone down the wrong path. Now we are on the right path and I think we need to hear today what everybody on this panel has to say, but I really believe that we need to stay on track and get this system installed and underway.
 Page 19       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Jane Garvey, again—it is my understanding from the constant reviews I have of this system—has established a terminal business services unit, a coordinating entity that will have responsibility for installation of STARS, stay on track with this system as it is being installed to resolve problems so they can keep the installation waterfall moving. That, again, is a move in the right direction.
    I look forward to this hearing, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for calling everyone together.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Oberstar.
    I see we have been joined also by the former Chair of this subcommittee, Mr. Duncan.
    Did you have a statement?
    Mr. DUNCAN. No, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you. It's good to have you back.
    Mr. LoBiondo, the gentleman from New Jersey?
    Mr. LOBIONDO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding these hearings on the modernization of our Nation's air traffic control system. I would like to welcome our panel of witnesses. I look forward to hearing your testimony.
    The FAA Technical Center located in my congressional district in Pomona is our Nation's premier aviation research, development, and engineering test and evaluation facility. I would like to thank the almost 2,000 men and women who work there every day with great enthusiasm and diligence in the FAA's flag ship facility.
    Mr. Chairman, I hope that we as a subcommittee will have the opportunity to visit the FAA Tech Center in Pomona sometime in the near future.
    Once again, thank you.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
 Page 20       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I might announce for the benefit of the subcommittee, we are tentatively planning—and if you can help us arrange it—to go up Monday, April 2nd. Everyone who is interested will have an opportunity to visit that facility.
    Let me recognize the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Sandlin, at this time.
    Mr. SANDLIN. I have no statement, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Pascrell?
    Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    First of all, I would like to start off by thanking Secretary Mineta today for opposing any thoughts of privatizing the air traffic controllers. I think this is a great step forward. When we are talking about reorganizing and restructuring the system, that is a good start, a good opener. We have the controllers, the airlines, and the Secretary of Transportation joined in opposition to any thoughts on that front.
    The air traffic control system, in addition to aviation infrastructure in general, is falling further and further behind in its ability to meet public demand for air transportation. I want to build on the words and comments on the chairman and Ranking Member as well as Mr. Oberstar in saying we are going to move forward and not move backwards.
    However, last week, the American Society of Civil Engineers came out with a report card on America's infrastructure and gave the aviation infrastructure a less than stellar D grade. One statistic they cited was that airport congestion delayed nearly 50,000 flights in just one month last year. The number of airline passengers in the United States is expected to exceed 1 billion a year over the next decade, adding further stress to the system.
    Constituents in my district and in New Jersey know all too well how bad airport congestion is getting. The New York/New Jersey metropolitan area has had many problems with delays. I trust that the FAA Administrator will stand by her word and begin the restructuring and redesign by beginning in the New York area. So far, the Administrator has. I think that is critical because once you begin to move and change the infrastructure, you are impacting upon cities far removed from the metropolitan area within which I live.
 Page 21       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I hope we can resolve, Mr. Chairman, how we can move this project ahead quicker, understand the depth of the over-cost, and what it is going to cost us down the line. We need to know this if we are going to stay with this state-of-the-art development.
    Mr. Chairman, I want to assure you of my support of your efforts to bring us together, not to point fingers but to construct a system that we can live with for the next few decades.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
    I am pleased to recognize the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Ehlers.
    Mr. EHLERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will try to be brief.
    I wanted to comment, first of all, on Mr. Oberstar's comments. I certainly agree with him that the FAA does a fantastic job in handling a lot of different issues, airplanes, and passengers and getting them where they are going safely. There is no question about that. The difficulty arises in that it does not do it efficiently at this point. We are not making efficient use of air space and the facilities we have.
    What troubles me most, as Mr. Horn commented earlier, is that we have been dealing with essentially the same problems for several years here. I came at roughly the same time he did. I continue to be frustrated at hearing the same story over and over.
    Part of it I am very familiar with it. I have written rather complex computer programs myself and I know how often you not only encounter problems that you have to solve, but as you get into it, you find all sorts of elegant things you can do which will make the system far better. It takes time to do that. But it surprises me that the FAA has not learned that this always happens and we need a far better estimate of time and cost going into these projects, certainly a more accurate estimate in the future.
    Also, we have to resist the temptation, as I said, of continuing to add more elegant aspects to it all the time just to make it a better system. You simply have to draw the line at a certain point and say, that is it and we are going to put this into production.
 Page 22       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    So I commend Administrator Garvey. I think she has gone a long way in trying to resolve some of these problems. But we have a long way to go yet until we achieve fully efficient use of air space, minimize our delays, and proceed further.
    I also want to compliment FAA on one aspect. I don't think there is any other industry that is so much at the whim of the weather as aviation, with perhaps the exception of agriculture. That is a constant, daily—almost hourly—challenge for the aviation industry and the FAA. I think they are making substantial progress on communicating with each other on that and I commend them for that. But no matter what system we come up with, that is going to be a challenge. We can only try to minimize the effects of the weather as we deal with it. But again, a more highly efficient system would handle that much better.
    I yield back.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman and recognize the gentlelady from California, Ms. Millender-McDonald.
    Ms. MILLENDER-MCDONALD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome to the subcommittee on aviation. It is good to see the old Chair, Mr. Duncan, here.
    Also, I am pleased to again sit with our Ranking Member, Mr. Lipinski, and welcome him aboard as well as the Ranking Member of the full committee, Mr. Oberstar.
    I suppose we are here again because there have been a lot of delays and failures given this STARS Program, Mr. Chairman. We need to really examine this because I have quite a few airports throughout California—of course we all do who represent California—but the main one is Los Angeles Airport and the expansion that it needs, yet the safety that is required for expansions.
    So when we talk about modernization of programs, we certainly need to examine this program that is now more than 2 years past its original date of operational readiness and still seems several years before the beginning of the operations.
 Page 23       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    So today, once again, we will examine the issues involved with modernizing our air traffic control system because we do want to be in the position to meet the standards and the demands of air travel, since we all travel quite a bit, and want the system to be as efficient and safe as it can as we move passengers and cargo.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you again so much for convening this hearing so that we can again examine why we cannot move this STARS Program along.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentlelady and now recognize the gentlelady from New York, Ms. Kelly.
    Ms. KELLY. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you for holding the hearing today. Also, I thank the witnesses for coming here today.
    I fly in and out of La Guardia. Our air traffic control system is really in need of improvement. We all know it, we are all affected by it, and the FAA really has fallen short of some very reasonable expectations that the public has held about how the problem ought to be addressed.
    This hearing today is because people expect the Government to be doing a better job to make sure our air traffic control facilities have the equipment they need to ensure the safety of the flying public. I can assure you I am not the only Member of Congress who has been frustrated by the FAA's difficulties in finding air traffic control equipment for airports in his or her district.
    Mr. Mead, I know you are familiar with my frustration because you and I have had numerous conversations about this. I want to take this chance to publicly thank you so very much for your assistance in making sure that a good interim system was installed at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York. I look forward to hearing your testimony today and am hopeful that we will continue to see more progress in addressing this issue in the near future.
    I intend to continue working very closely with Chairman Mica, Ranking Member Lipinski, and my fellow members of this subcommittee to make sure that our air traffic control towers, including those at our smaller airports, are furnished with the equipment they need and staffed appropriately.
 Page 24       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Again, I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I thank our witnesses. I yield back the balance of my time.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentlelady.
    I recognize now the gentleman from Oregon, Mr. DeFazio.
    Mr. DEFAZIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, I will be brief. The introductory remarks have almost gone on as long as the deployment of the new system, so we do need to move ahead.
    Mr. DEFAZIO. But I just want to make a couple of points.
    I have been sitting here for 14 years waiting for the promised system. I saw the mock-ups on that trip 6 years ago and share the disappointment and concern of many members. I believe that Administrator Garvey has attempted to bring some better management and decisionmaking to the FAA, but it is a very, very difficult task. You have an extraordinarily inefficient, entrenched bureaucracy, the only part of the Federal Government worse at procurement than the Pentagon. We have to be certain that we are on the right track here.
    I am dubious about this proposed sudden change in direction, but I would also like to note that we are developing contingencies in case they don't meet these time schedules or some of the parts of the system aren't fully compatible.
    We are looking at alternative technologies. I had a very interesting demonstration of ADSB in Salem, Oregon, last December. I think the FAA is essentially hostile toward innovative, new, and potentially supplementary technologies. The lower level bureaucrats just can't handle that. We need to make certain that they can and they do because ultimately we are talking about lives here. I think it is by the grace of God, the extraordinary work of air traffic controllers, without very good tools, and a lot of luck that we haven't had more serious incidents other than the near misses and the runway incursions we have recently experienced.
 Page 25       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    But we do have to move forward with deployment of new state-of-the-art technology expeditiously. And we also have to continue to be open to other technologies that might supplement or improve our technology.
    I thank the chairman for this hearing and hope that it is the first of a number on this issue that will look at some alternative technologies.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
    I don't see any additional requests on our side. Mr. Holden, from Pennsylvania?
    Mr. HOLDEN. I have no statement, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Baldacci from Maine?
    Mr. BALDACCI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Members, for the comments that were made. I will also be brief.
    But let me say first of all that my experiences in dealing with Jane Garvey and the Federal Aviation Administration have been very successful. I have found it to be a very good working relationship. Like other members have pointed out here, when issues and concerns have been raised, there has been good collaboration to work together to bring it about to a resolution.
    I looked at the history on this particular file. I recognize that the FAA had approached the committee in 1999. It briefed the committee on the issues and concerns that were being raised at that time. Since that briefing, things have been on schedule. It is not to say that this is a perfect system and that it compares well to other operational systems overseas, but the points in the testimony that have been raised by the FAA in terms of an international market where they have command and control central in a deregulated marketplace that is growing by leaps and bounds and the heroic efforts of our air traffic controllers are not supposed to be considered on the same level. I think once you get into the testimony, you will come to the point that I have come to.
 Page 26       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I am disappointed that there is this competition that exists and it is detracting from being able to bring this system to a resolution. I will be following with you, Mr. Chairman, and the members of this committee as we go along to make sure that we hold the appropriate people's and organizations' and interests' feet to the fire in the public interest and making sure that that is served.
    Mr. Chairman, I also have a list of questions I would like to submit and leave for the panel to be able to respond to at an appropriate time.
    Mr. MICA. Without objection, your questions will be submitted to the panel and be made a part of the record.
    I have additional requests for time. Mr. Boswell, the gentleman from Iowa, is recognized.
    Mr. BOSWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, will be brief.
    I thank you for taking us out to that center yesterday. We learned several things. For those of you who were not able to go, it was a good opportunity to go out to the center.
    I was impressed by many things. I was very impressed with those controllers. But as a current airplane driver—me and Mr. Hayes and probably others I don't know on the panel that still fly—we have a lot of needs. When I get a hold of Des Moines approach, Minneapolis Center, or Chicago Center, I know there is a professional there. It gives me great relief when we have the communications established.
    I just want to pay tribute to those dedicated professional workers. They are challenged. Just go spend some time at one of those centers and you will understand what I mean.
    After hearing Mr. Oberstar's sharing of data, it is sobering. It is very sobering. There will be more. It is going to increase. He will tell you the same thing: it is going to go up. We are going to be challenged. We will have to continue to upgrade. I really believe in the concept several of you have said: If we will work together, we must, we can, and we will and the travelling public will be safe and will be served well. I am just anxious to be part of making it better. I am glad to be here. I thank all of you who will testify.
 Page 27       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I want to challenge you and charge you. We must pull together and make this happen right. We can do it.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
    I have a request for an opening statement from the gentlelady from Nevada, Ms. Berkley.
    Ms. BERKLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, will be brief.
    I represent the fastest growing community in the United States, Las Vegas. In the last 10 years, Las Vegas increased its population by 85 percent. North Las Vegas, by 140 percent and the city of Henderson by 170 percent. That coupled with the 36 million visitors we have to Las Vegas every year makes McCarran International Airport—which is also located in my district and is the 7th busiest airport in the United States—very, very important to me. It is the pipeline that helps fill 120,000 hotel rooms which protects and strengthens the economy of my community.
    The Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is one of 11 airports throughout the country that is scheduled for an upgrade to the STARS system this year. The officials at the airport have expressed their support for the system upgrade and hope that the system will in fact be operating by the end of 2002. They have asked me to convey to you—and when you finish your testimony and are answering questions, they are very concerned about the latest controversy. They want to make absolutely sure that the STARS system will in fact be in place at McCarran Airport by 2002.
    Is there any way to deploy the process sooner than that? We certainly are in desperate need.
    They also want to make sure that the demonstration mobile unit program, which is due to come to Las Vegas so that the air traffic controllers can review it and use it on a trial basis, will in fact occur at the end of this month, as they have been promised.
 Page 28       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    These are very, very important issues for the people I represent and the people that run McCarran Airport. At the appropriate time, if you could answer those questions for me, I would be most grateful.
    Thank you all very much for being here today.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentlelady.
    Any additional requests for opening statements?
    [No response.]
    Mr. MICA. In response to Mr. Boswell, who also visited with us yesterday—I think we had six members go to the FAA Herndon Command Center. We will conduct some additional field meetings. As I said, April 2nd we are going to go up and look at the Research Center in Atlantic City at the invitation of Mr. LoBiondo.
    But yesterday we did see equipment out there that does post on the Internet delays of aircraft. It is instantaneous. They have it as soon as anyone has it. We found out it is on a web site. I spoke briefly with the Chairman of the full committee and we are going to try to see if we can't get that information into the terminals so passengers can see it within the next 60 to 90 days. It seems like a pretty simple venture. Of course, everything gets complex in this business, but we are going to try to work with some of the airport managers and airlines. There is no reason why the public can't have instantaneous information rather than filtered.
    I just report that back as some positive results of our meeting yesterday. I think you will like that if we are able to institute it. FAA has agreed to work with us to see if we can make that happen.

    With that, let's call our attention to our panel of witnesses that we have today.
 Page 29       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    The first witness has testified before the panel before, of course, Mr. Kenneth Mead, who is the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation. We also have with us Mr. Steven Zaidman, the Associate Administrator for Research and Acquisitions for the Federal Aviation Administration.
    Another witness is Frank Marchilena, Executive Vice President for the Raytheon Company, he is the President of Command, Control, Communications and Information Systems Segment of Raytheon.
    Don Antonucci is the President of Air Traffic Management for Lockheed Martin. John Shea is the STARS Representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
    Michael Fanfalone is the President of the Professional Airways Systems Specialists. And finally, the last of the witnesses is Jack Ryan, Vice President of the Air Traffic Management for the Air Transport Association.
    I welcome all the witnesses. Those who work with the Federal agencies, sorry you are delayed, but that is part of the torture for not having the ATC modernization up to date and on time and in budget. We hope not to torture you too much in the future. We look forward to working with you as we try to get these systems on line.
    I am pleased to recognize now the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation, Mr. Kenneth Mead.
    We will run the clock, but we will have a little bit of leeway. Then we will get into questions. Try to limit your oral presentations before the subcommittee so we can get into questions. If you have lengthy statements or documents you would like to have made a part of the record, if you would request their submission through the chair, they will be made a part of this official hearing record.
    Mr. Mead, you are recognized. Welcome.
 Page 30       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. MEAD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. We will submit our prepared statement for the record, sir.
    Mr. MICA. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Please proceed.
    Mr. MEAD. I would like to make a few points and offer a set of recommendations on the subject of the STARS Program.
    Initially, it is important to make clear what STARS will do. STARS will provide air traffic controllers in a terminal environment—that is the complex air space about 50 miles off an airport—with color displays, processors, and computer software at about 170 FAA facilities and about 100 Department of Defense facilities.
    In essence, STARS provides both the display—the screen, the scope that the controllers see—and a brain to back that up, and another brain that is redundant to the first brain, in case you need a backup.
    Where does STARS fit into the scheme of things? It is one of several major FAA acquisitions on which major decisions are due this year: satellites, oceanic air traffic control, free flight phase one, and the HOST software replacement. HOST is the brain, if you will, that is used to control high altitude air traffic at the en route centers.
 Page 31       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Where does STARS rank financially? STARS rates second in projected program costs, second only to the Wide Area Augmentation System, which is the formal term for the satellite navigation program. The satellite navigation program is at about $2.9 billion; STARS is currently poised at about $1.4 billion. FAA has spent $540 million on that.
    I think the STARS Program is best explained with a sense of history. Some of the members have already offered important elements of that history.
    STARS came about after the failed advanced automation system. You may recall that the advanced automation system involved very extensive software development, an incredible amount of software development. That was probably one reason it failed. On the heels of that failure, FAA did not want to get into software development anymore, so it bought STARS, which was envisioned as essentially an off-the-shelf system that was in operation in air traffic control environments in Oslo, Norway and Oman. What has happened is that it has gone from this off-the-shelf system to a developmental system.
    Late in the game, computer-human interface issues surfaced. At first, there were a handful of issues, like the mouse. The mouse the controllers used was very heavy, it took up a lot of space, and didn't leave much room for the controllers to write. Another was that the controllers weren't used to a tool bar like you have on Windows. They were instead used to knobs.
    An opaque window would drop down in front of the controller on the display. I have always been somewhat incredulous as to how this could have been in the design, but in any event, it was. This window would drop down in the middle of the display screen and block air traffic. The controllers—understandably, I think—found this disconcerting. After this initial set of issues was identified, more came out of the woodwork, about 200 in all when you count all the issues raised by the controllers and the maintenance technicians.
    I think the good news here is that the FAA, the controllers, and the maintenance technicians have largely resolved what to do about those issues.
 Page 32       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    But as a result of all this—these 11th hour factors that came into play—the lines of software code that needed to be developed grew from nearly 120,000 to over 400,000. That is a large increase. So FAA now estimates that full-service STARS will not be deployed nationwide until 2008, 4 years behind schedule. Program costs have gone from the $940-million mark to $1.4 billion. I think you should expect that costs will increase further.
    You should know that DOD went forward with the original design, without the modifications. Since June 2000, DOD has been managing air traffic with the initial version at Eglin Air Force Base. In fairness, it ought to be noted that DOD does not handle the volume or complexity of air traffic that FAA does.
    You will hear that STARS or a version of STARS has been installed at two facilities, El Paso and Syracuse. These are two low-traffic facilities, relatively speaking. But don't confuse this with full STARS. What is essentially at El Paso and Syracuse is the display without the brain. The brain is going to come later.
    Because of the problems with STARS, FAA moved forward with an interim measure known as Common ARTS. That is Lockheed Martin's. That replaced 30-year-old software. Common ARTS provides many of the same functions as STARS and they have installed Common ARTS at five air traffic sites as an interim measure. FAA expects to install Common ARTS at five more high-traffic facilities. When STARS is in, FAA will remove the Common ARTS systems.
    Second, I want to point out that while FAA has at least turned the corner on software development and it is about 90 percent done—that will leave about 35,000 lines of code to go—you will hear an October date. I would just like you to keep in mind that the last mile of software development is often the most difficult. Then there is extensive testing. So I wouldn't take the October or November date to the bank quite yet.
    I think there is an unacceptably high level of uncertainty about how long it is going to take and how much it will cost to deploy STARS. Late last year, the STARS team put forth two alternatives to the Administrator. One alternative they gave to Ms. Garvey was to extend the deployment another 30 years, while the other added nearly half a billion dollars to the program baseline in order to keep on schedule. Neither alternative was acceptable to the Administrator. FAA has now set out another schedule that will complete deployment by the end of fiscal year 2008.
 Page 33       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    That seems to me like a long time, and I am sure it does to you, too, especially in the current environment of gridlock and congestion. But the FAA hasn't really set specific dates yet for the delivery, installation, or site testing within that time frame. I think it is time to get that done.
    I would like to turn finally to a set of recommendations for your consideration. I think by June of this year FAA should do three things. The first is establish milestone dates and quantify all costs associated with the delivery, installation, and testing of STARS for the 164 sites outlined in their deployment schedule. Those costs should also include whatever additional work they plan to do with the Common ARTS, which is the Lockheed system.
    Second, they need to complete a facility logistics and training strategy for the controllers and maintenance technicians that identifies specific dates and personnel requirements necessary to meet the deployment schedule.
    Third, I think they need to evaluate if additional Common ARTS displays will be needed to support the deployment schedule for STARS, and if so, to quantify all associated costs. That ought to include a detailed comparison of the capabilities of each system and their ability to be upgraded with future enhancements.
    Much of the tasks that lie ahead with STARS are logistical in nature, not developmental in nature. It is deploying it to the 170 facilities. I would like to know why Lockheed would feel that they would not encounter the same obstacles in that regard as Raytheon.
    That concludes my oral statement, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Mead. We will withhold questions until we have heard from all the panelists.
    Next we will hear from the Associate Administrator for Research and Acquisitions of FAA, Mr. Steven Zaidman.
    You are recognized, sir.
 Page 34       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Thank you. And I would also like my full statement included in the record.
    Mr. MICA. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. I appreciate that. I will also be very brief.
    Chairman Mica, Congressman Lipinski, members of the subcommittee, I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you about STARS. When completed, the installation of STARS will have replaced the display screens and the computer automation systems for 173 FAA TRACONS and 102 Department of Defense air traffic control facilities. The DOD and FAA have a joint program, so we are essentially buying the same thing and we are acting as their contract agent, if you will.
    TRACONS generally control air traffic that is within 40 to 60 miles of an airport and STARS allows the controllers to see where the airplanes are. It takes the radar data and puts it on the controller displays.
    While we have been proceeding with the STARS program, and while we work toward its full national deployment, which is scheduled to be completed in 2008 for FAA facilities, we have taken other interim steps to help ensure that we continue to sustain our ability to meet current demand because it is providing service to the flying public that we are all about. As an example, between 1998 and 1999 we modernized the computer automation system at all five of our highest demand terminal facilities, and we provided new color displays to many of these facilities as well. Between 1998 and 2000 we also installed new hardware and new software—the brains that Mr. Mead talked about—at 131 of our 185 TRACON facilities. And we did that as an interim step to keep the system going. We have a reliability rating of this system at 99.5 percent.
 Page 35       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    In the en route environment—these are the air traffic control centers and we have 20 of those—we replaced the HOST computers, the heart of the system, at all 20 control centers and we replaced the display systems at these centers also at all 20, and we did that within 2 years. So by 2000 we have completed this effort. The HOST systems there are the equivalent to STARS. The STARS works around an airport and at the control centers we have an equivalent system that we have developed and implemented and delivered successfully. They are already done. The oldest system there is under 2 years old.
    But Mr. Chairman, I understand and appreciate that members of this committee are truly concerned that the STARS program had suffered from past delays and cost growth, so I would like to take a moment to review the history, but more importantly tell you where we are going from here.
    Not long after the STARS contract was awarded in September of 1996, it became clear that modifying commercial off-the-shelf equipment to our system in the United States was going to be more complex than we originally anticipated. Frankly, it was a bad move and the wrong move for FAA to go out and assume that a commercial system which operated in Norway—which was the baseline—would operate here.
    Consequently, the air traffic control and maintenance work forces, represented by Mr. Shea and Mr. Fanfalone here, correctly identified numerous human factors issues that they strongly believed, if not addressed, would have compromised public safety. Because of the amount and complexity of air traffic in the United States, our air traffic controllers have developed computer-human interfaces and tools over the years that have become a standard part of the automation system and displays they use today. The STARS system will replace equipment that is over 30 years old. When you get used to something over the past 30 years, you expect that in the system that is designed to replace it.
    Many of those features were not present in the original commercial product that Raytheon had developed. For the next 2 years, FAA worked extensively with Raytheon and our work force to address the issues identified to the satisfaction of all parties. In October of 1999, we briefed the congressional staff, including the staff of this committee, to inform them about the changes we were making in the STARS contract. And we restructured that contract following the briefings to this committee to get away from the commercial system and move more to a developmental program.
 Page 36       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    The largest challenge we faced in the last two years was software development, but I believe that software challenge is largely behind us. As has been noted, we have completed the design and coding of 85 percent of the software. And I totally agree with Mr. Mead that we have to test it. The challenge that lies ahead is the deployment of 173 systems. This will present more of a challenge than the development of the last 15 percent of the software.
    And as has been mentioned before, the Administrator has created a terminal business unit, as we call it, to focus on scheduling the waterfall and it has been given the responsibility to deliver the system between now and 2008.
    However, I do not want to leave this committee with the impression that we are waiting to complete full STARS development before we deploy needed upgrades. We have worked with Raytheon and our work force to develop an early STARS capability—that will be deployed in Las Vegas, as you talked about, ma'am—and we call this system EDC for early display capability. We have two sites operational and between now and 2003 we will have 11 more of these sites operational in total. Then we will use that as the basis to deploy full STARS.
    Modernization is a continual progression. Administrator Garvey has spoken many times about the FAA's restructured approach to modernization; that it is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Since we restructured STARS in 1999, we have been pleased with the results of this approach, including our ability to detect and address problems earlier in the process. Through our continued efforts and good communication with the operators and maintainers of our system and with system users, STARS modernization will progress and provide a reliable and efficient system that will support the world's most complex and safest airspace.
    Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    I would now like to introduce Mr. Frank Marchilena. He is the Executive Vice President of Raytheon.
 Page 37       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Welcome, sir. You are recognized at this time.

    Mr. MARCHILENA. Thank you.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Lipinski, and members of the subcommittee. I also would like to have my written statement entered for the record.
    Mr. MICA. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. MARCHILENA. Thank you.
    Thank you for the opportunity to address the subcommittee on Raytheon's work on STARS. This program forms the foundation of the FAA modernization of the terminal area air traffic control system, and I welcome the subcommittee's interest in our program.
    The STARS air traffic management system will ultimately provide an increased level of safety. It will also easily meet the requirement to expand system capability to meet future air traffic demands. STARS will replace existing monochromatic terminal display systems that have limited capability to implement new software required for controller aids that are aimed at increasing safety and capacity in the future.
    Considerable progress has been made on the STARS program with a full service STARS system deployed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and successfully controlling live air traffic since June 2000; and with two STARS early display configuration systems deployed in El Paso, Texas in December of 1999 and Syracuse, New York in January of 2000. They have provided flawless operation since going into service.
    I can report today that through the diligent efforts of the FAA, NATCA, PASS, and Raytheon we charted a clear path to implementation of the desired modifications required by its users. The majority of those modifications are now complete and in the system and will be phased in over the next 2 years. Most of the features are now in the EDC system in use at El Paso and Syracuse.
 Page 38       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    There have been rumors over the last couple of years that STARS was not suitable for TRACONs like New York and Dallas/Ft. Worth. I would like to clear up that misconception also. The STARS was designed and tested for large TRACONs from the start. It has the capacity to process and display 7,000 tracks and interface with 16 short-and long-range radars. STARS was specifically designed to meet the requirements of large TRACONs. In addition, the modular, open systems architecture design of STARS allows for easy and rapid incorporation of new functions in the future that will aid ATC in increasing safety and system capacity.
    One of the biggest challenges that we faced over the last 2 years was identifying, defining, and implementing the modifications to the computer-human interface for full STARS that was requested by both NATCA and PASS. Through a dedicated working group, we were able to identify, rapidly prototype, and demonstrate the desired modifications to the CHI. I am pleased to say that the early participation of the users in defining the new requirements has paid off. We now have completed design, coding, and initial testing of over 80 percent of the software. This was completed on time and on budget and we remain on track for completion of the full STARS software in October of this year, which is 15,000 lines of code.
    With the majority of the new software design and coding behind us, I believe that the risk associated with new software development has been managed and we now need to move ahead with test and deployment. We have received extremely positive reviews from controllers using the EDC at El Paso and Syracuse. Eleven more EDC sites are planned for operation in fiscal year 2002 and fiscal year 2003. The major benefit of EDC is that it gets new displays into the facility and incorporates 100 percent of the hardware need to transition to full STARS. In addition, we are supporting a full STARS system that is now controlling live air traffic at Eglin Air Force Base. Again, we have received extremely positive comments on the STARS operation from the military controllers at Eglin.
    Looking ahead, the next step is the deployment of STARS system to 173 FAA and 102 DOD facilities. With development nearing completion, the production and fielding of full STARS systems will commence in just 20 months. We will need to apply the same energy to the deployment as we have to the development portion of the program. It requires that the FAA, NATCA, PASS, and Raytheon be involved in the planning and implementation of this phase.
 Page 39       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    The FAA has started to prepare for this deployment through its establishment of its focused Terminal Business Services Unit that brings together all the elements necessary to field a new system such as STARS. Raytheon's Technical Service Company is ready to support installation tasks. We also stand ready to provide the FAA with the required manpower to field and implement the STARS and associated terminal area modernization projects.
    I would like to summarize by saying that the deployment of STARS is bringing to the National Airspace System and air traffic management a modern operating system that facilitates dramatic increases in safety, efficiency, and capacity. The last 2 years have been spent successfully achieving common goals and this has been accomplished on time and on budget.
    Again I am pleased to say that the software development for full STARS is nearing completion and is low risk. We are now turning our attention to the deployment of 30 to 50 FAA and DOD systems per year. Raytheon is committed and stands ready to assist the FAA in this goal. We look forward to its successful deployment.
    Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and I look forward to your questions.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you, and we will withhold questions until we have heard from all the witnesses.
    Mr. Don Antonucci is the President of Air Traffic Management for Lockheed Martin Corporation.
    Welcome, sir. You are recognized.

    Mr. ANTONUCCI. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity today to discuss an extremely important subject, the FAA's efforts to modernize our country's air traffic control system.
    Mr. Chairman, my full testimony has been submitted for the record and I will summarize for today's hearing.
 Page 40       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MICA. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. We have all read the various analyses that suggest aviation gridlock is here today or will be shortly. There are many contributing factors to this complex issue, such as weather, airline scheduling, runway availability, and the capacity of our ATC system. A multi-faceted problem can only be solved by a multi-faceted solution with cooperation and participation of aviation stakeholders.
    Technology is certainly a portion of the answer. Lockheed Martin continuous participation with the FAA and ATC automation reaches back 40 years. Our experience is in both the en route and terminal areas. ATC automation is an evolving science and our experiences over those 40 years have served us well as the foundation for our very successful recent programs.
    Since October 1994, when we contracted for the display system replacement program, through today's current efforts, Lockheed Martin has met or beat every deliverable milestone on all our FAA programs. The DSR Program was our most ambitious effort. This $1-billion program included over 700,000 lines of developed software and the extensive use of commercial products. We delivered the system to the first site in Seattle 9 months early and received Government acceptance at the remaining 19 sites 4 to 8 weeks early.
    Our abilities in the en route area were again challenged in early 1998 when the FAA learned that the installed HOST computers had potential Y2K and sustainability issues. Lockheed Martin, in partnership with the FAA, was able to replace the HOST computers and achieve operational acceptance at the first site in 11 months and the last of the 23 sites, including the three oceanic sites, by July of 1999. This helped to make Y2K a non-event for the FAA.
    Our recent efforts in the terminal environment have been equally successful. We completed the development, test, and acceptance of the Common ARTS System in August of 1997. This $100-million program was the rewrite of three different deployed systems into a common open system and included the development of 325,000 lines of code and the replacement of aging back room processors. The system was deployed to 136 TRACONs, including the five largest such as New York and Chicago. We completed the deployment to all 136 TRACONs in only 28 months from the first operational site.
 Page 41       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Our most recent terminal program is the ARTS color display. This $39-million program was for 294 modern, color displays for installation at some of the busiest TRACONs, including Washington National and New York. This effort was also delivered early and went operational in New York in August of 2000, a total of 15 months from contract award to first site operation.
    In summary, I think that based on the above the FAA has made excellent progress on ATC modernization. It is also these successes that formed the foundation of our unsolicited proposal that we submitted to the FAA only yesterday for an alternate solution to terminal automation. Our fixed-price proposal offers to continue the deployment of the Common ARTS system to the remaining 44 TRACONs and the deployment of the ARTS color displays to the 176 TRACONs, providing the FAA with a modern, open software and hardware platform including new color displays.
    Our offer would allow the first site to be available in 12 months and the last site in 36 months. Lockheed Martin believes that we, as a trusted and successful technology provider to the FAA, have a heavy responsibility to provide the FAA with an alternative path that we are confident is the low-risk approach, most time-efficient, and lowest cost to modernization.
    Thank you for your time this afternoon.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    We will hear from our next witness, which is John Shea. He is the STARS representative from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
    You are recognized, sir.

    Mr. SHEA. Thank you.
    I would like to thank the members of the subcommittee for affording me the opportunity to come today and speak about the Standard Terminal Automated Radar System, also known as STARS. Again, my name is John Michael Shea, and I represent the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. NATCA represents 15,000 air traffic controllers serving the FAA, Department of Defense, and the private sector.
 Page 42       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I would also like to thank the subcommittee for the passage of AIR 21. This 3-year, $40-billion Act will provide necessary funding for modernization and airport construction projects that NATCA has long believed are essential in keeping our modernization efforts on track.
    I think it unfair to continue to refer to the air traffic control system as outdated and antiquated. That is no longer an accurate characterization, in my opinion. Under the leadership of Administrator Garvey, the FAA has made significant progress in modernizing the air traffic control system. NATCA is a firm supporter of Administrator Garvey's build a little, test a little, deploy a little strategy. We plan to remain an advocate of this throughout the modernization effort.
    The FAA has already replaced and/or upgraded many of the major components of the air traffic control system. You heard testimony today about the 20 en route air traffic control centers, the DSR Program, the display replacement, the HOST computer hardware, the 131 mid-level density facilities that were replaced and upgraded with software, and the EDC configuration STARS equipment we have deployed. We have two early display configuration systems on site working, as everyone spoke to, in El Paso and Syracuse. We also have plans within the next 2 years to deploy 11 additional sites.
    The development of STARS to date has encountered some problems with computer-human interface. With the leadership of Congress and the fall hearings of 1997, we were charged with conducting and proceeding with a complete study of computer-human interface. To that result, we are in a position now where we firmly believe we are close to a deployment exercise only. You heard the date of October for completion of the software development. We think the date is September, so we are close. And we believe that the risk is low. There is risk, no question. There is risk in everything we do.
    Our biggest risk, we feel is going to be in the deployment of the system. To the Administrator's credit, again, we have developed at FAA the Terminal Business Service. Under the guise of that service, we will make certain that all the interdependencies that are related to STARS and modernization efforts throughout our facilities will be met and we will be able to field STARS in a timely fashion.
 Page 43       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I would like to thank you all once again for the opportunity to speak and I will be happy to answer any questions.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    We will now recognize Mr. Michael Fanfalone. He is President of the Professional Airways Systems Specialists.
    You are recognized, sir.

    Mr. FANFALONE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to summarize the full statement I have submitted for the record, please.
    Mr. MICA. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. FANFALONE. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, Mr. Lipinski, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present our views on STARS. PASS represents more than 11,000 of the FAA's systems specialists, flight inspection pilots, aviation safety inspectors and safety support staff.
    As has been said, STARS began in the mid-1990's to upgrade and modernize the automation systems and controller displays for the Nation's air traffic control towers and terminal radar control facilities. Although 5 years behind schedule and nearly 50 percent over budget, the once out-of-control program is finally headed in the right direction. This is due in large part to PASS' participation that began nearly 4 years ago.
    While the program has come a long way, however, its development is still at a point where it could fail. A concerted effort is now needed at this crucial point in the development and implementation phase to assure that a full-service STARS system will, in fact, be capable of meeting the functionality requirements to modernize terminal automation.
 Page 44       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Many have said, and will continue to say, that a 5-year implementation schedule is far too ambitious for the FAA to accomplish. However, PASS would like to remind all who have a stake in a outcome of the overriding goal, the goal is and has been to upgrade the terminal automation infrastructure.
    While the STARS program has not met the delivery expectations of 5 years ago, that is not to say that the goal is not being achieved. Under the leadership of Administrator Garvey, by 1999 the ARTS IIIE platform was upgraded at five of the Nation's most complex facilities. Another five locations are on schedule to receive the enhanced ARTS IIIE platform over the next year. Additionally, as of May 2000, the upgrading of 131 ARTS IIE facilities has been completed. All this resulted in a single baseline for each of these facilities.
    Just a few short years ago, the technical work force dealt with a myriad of hardware configurations and software versions. The movement to a single configuration, the Common ARTS system, has facilitated the FAA's ability to provide logistics support and training for its technical work force to remain highly qualified and fully capable of supporting terminal automation.
    Finally, another aspect in terminal automation has been the replacement of aging controller displays. Over the past 6 months, ARTS color displays have been deployed at three of the more critical locations with three more scheduled during the coming year. All these upgrades were made to accommodate an aging automation infrastructure while the STARS system has been under development.
    Within the past 2 weeks, the STARS waterfall schedule has begun to take final form. Until now, the schedule was not practical. Locations were slated for STARS without having a digital radar capability, which is needed to feed the system, while others were identified for deployment just prior to a scheduled tower renovation or replacement. With the help of PASS, the plan has been reworked to accommodate these concerns.
 Page 45       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    PASS has also provided the agency with a training plan that will actually make the deployment schedule possible. Training is set to begin this May for the instructor pool, who will then provide in-depth training in two phases, which will be completed at each location. The PASS training plan provides the prerequisite training, STARS-specific training, on-the-job training, performance exams, and certifications to each of the site's terminal automation specialists prior to that site's commissioning.
    This on-site, just-in-time training can be accomplished without adversely impacting the field's ability to continue to support the existing systems during installation and testing. Further, this method of delivery is estimated to save $30 million for just one of several training courses and does not require the hiring of additional personnel.
    In spite of these successes, however, major challenges still must be overcome. A growing need exists to replace the aging ARTS IIIA automation system, including the displays, at some 54 locations. The ARTS IIIA is virtually on its last leg and well past its ability to be retrofitted. These locations cannot support growth in air traffic nor handle any improvements to functionality. In other words, the ARTS IIIA sites cannot stand any further delays in the STARS Program. At PASS' insistence, these locations have now been moved to the front of the STARS waterfall schedule, which is starting in 2003.
    As has been mentioned, STARS is currently operating at El Paso, Texas and Syracuse, New York. However, this is not the STARS full service system. Rather, it is the EDC, early display capability. EDC does not replace the back room ARTS equipment, only the controller displays. While EDC is operational at these smaller facilities, STARS has not yet proven it can handle the air traffic volume of larger, more complex areas.
    Because of the pressing need to replace the existing systems at the 54 ARTS IIIA locations, and the fact that the full-service STARS system is yet to be operational, we would ask that a contingency plan be devised in the event that deployment cannot begin in just 2 years. PASS feels the FAA should seriously consider other possible options.
 Page 46       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I would like to thank Chairman Mica, Congressman Lipinski, and the members of the committee for recognizing the importance of modernizing terminal automation and for calling this hearing. If a viable contingency plan is developed, PASS believes a real possibility exists to modernize the air traffic control towers and TRACONs, which is absolutely critical for future capacity increases and to provide controllers with much needed functionality improvements.
    I thank you, sir.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    We will hear from our last witness, who is Mr. Jack Ryan. He is the Vice President of Air Traffic Management for the Air Transport Association.
    Welcome, sir. You are recognized.

    Mr. RYAN. Good afternoon. I would like to ask you to—
    Mr. MICA. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. RYAN. On behalf of ATA and our member carriers, I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Lipinski, and the committee members for this opportunity to provide our views on the Standard Terminal Automation System project and other efforts by the FAA to modernize the air traffic control system of the United States.
    The United States' ATC System is under great stress. As you know, the summers of 1999 and 2000 have been record-breaking in terms of increases in delays and airline customer dissatisfaction. Delays tabulated by FAA increased 20 percent in 2000 over 1999, and an unbelievable 47 percent in 2000 over 1998. We believe there is a direct proportional relationship between delays and the number of customer complaints. The answer to a substantial reduction in these delays, and hopefully customer complaints, is FAA ATC modernization.
    First, about STARS. We have supported a new terminal automation system since the Advanced Automation System was announced by FAA and a contract was awarded in 1982 to Hughes and IBM to build competitive prototypes, and the production contract was later awarded to IBM in 1988. The STARS system, although over budget and behind schedule, is out of intensive care, and seems on the road to recovery, insofar as its major problem, the writing of additional software code to meet human factors requirements. Last year, the DOT OIG in a March 2000 report estimated that over 135,000 lines of code needed to be developed and that ''the largest risk to the overall program is the amount of software that remains to be developed, tested, and integrated to resolve human factors issues.''
 Page 47       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Recent discussions with FAA indicate that approximately 34,000 lines of code remain to be completed, a substantial reduction from last year. The focus for concern now switches to the deployment of more than 173 STARS systems.
    Deployment of STARS begins in 2002 at 14 sites, ramps up to 35 in 2004, and continues at approximately this rate through 2007. Although this may seem on the surface to be an extended period of time, installing the STARS equipment at about three sites a month is, I believe, a formidable task, considering the logistics and local site adaptation and training involved. There is, however, a slim possibility that given the experience gained in the early deliveries, some modicum of efficiency might result in later sites being accelerated.
    The important consideration now is to insure that early deliveries are accomplished with few problems and that controller and technician acceptance is high. FAA's oversight of the project must be thorough and relentless.
    Mr. Chairman, I would now like to address a sample of other projects that have a high priority on the airlines' Top Ten List of Capacity and Efficiency Initiatives, which we are encouraging FAA to expedite. The most important is the FAA's En Route Automation Modernization, known as ERAM, to rewrite the ancient software hosted on the en route computers at the air route traffic control centers. The ERAM program was initiated to address concerns with the long-term viability of the current NAS software in its current architecture to support the future demands for aviation services.
    As you know, FAA just announced its intention to award a sole source contract to begin this monumental software project. FAA has done the right thing. They should be encouraged instead of being criticized for moving expeditiously to implement a much-needed aviation technology. This program cannot afford to be delayed with a long, drawn-out, and unnecessary competitive procurement that could last 18 months.
    Another vital program to increase system capacity is the implementation of Full-Scale Global Positioning Satellites Satellite Navigation, including LAAS, WAAS. In addition, the air space redesign project, along with reduced vertical separation, is a badly-needed redesign program which will help to relieve the daily air space saturation that causes ground delays and restrictive increased spacing between aircraft in the en route environment. By re-drawing air traffic control center and sector boundaries and revising arrival and departure routes at complex terminals, airplanes can be routed through the system more efficiently.
 Page 48       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. Chairman, I have taken the liberty of attaching ATA's Top Ten List to my testimony for your review.
    In summation, number one, FAA is out of the woods with regard to STARS development, but must pay careful attention to deployment of the 173 sites.
    Number two, FAA must maintain discipline with regard to requirement creep.
    Number three, FAA has done the right thing with regard to ERAM procurement.
    Number four, users of the ATC system need this Committee's assistance and continuing oversight of the National Airspace System.
    Mr. Chairman, I will be happy to answer your questions.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you, and we will turn to questions now. I will start.
    We will go ahead and run the clock. We will try to keep this as close as we can and go through a couple of rounds, if necessary, but try to be fair on the time.
    Mr. Mead, you talked about cost overruns in the program. The estimate is that we are going from $940 million to $1.4 billion or $1.5 billion.
    Based on what you have seen, what is your best guesstimate as to what this is going to cost us?
    Mr. MEAD. I would not be surprised to see this program in the $1.7 billion to $2 billion neighborhood by the time all the deployment is done, all the facilities overhauled, and things of that nature.
    Mr. MICA. We have heard testimony that some 15 to 20 percent of the software still needs to be developed. A time table of that being developed—we have heard September or October. Do you think that is realistic?
    Mr. MEAD. Well, I would have to ask Raytheon or FAA to say, What exactly will be delivered in October?
 Page 49       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Zaidman, Mr. Mead laid out some suggestions for the subcommittee and for FAA that we have some hard deadlines—June 1st—that we have some milestone deadlines, cost deadlines. Can that be met? Can we get some assurance, too, on the development schedule for the software that is hard?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That matches pretty well with our schedule and our thinking. We plan to issue detailed milestones by June, primarily for the 54 oldest systems which have to be replaced over the next 2 years.
    Mr. MICA. So we will schedule a hearing the first week in June and you will present us with that?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. I will be here.
    Mr. MICA. Also, I think Mr. Mead recommended something of a lack of a development of a training schedule. Will that be part of what you present to us?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes. In fact, the first part of that we will have next month. So I think we are pretty much there.
    Mr. MICA. One thing that concerned me is that Mr. Fanfalone is that there is no backup plan. I think they have raised concerns that there is no backup plan. We have 54 ARTS III(A) which are basically computer hardware that is on its last leg in 54 locations. They speak from a pretty knowledgeable standpoint that we are going to have to have some backup plan to deal with this situation if any of this slides and even if we stay on schedule. The deployment schedule now could not possibly even get us to deal with 54, according to what Raytheon has testified.
    Will you have a backup plan?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Mr. Chairman, we do have a backup plan. There are two elements of it. One is to continue to deploy the early display capability. Many of those will be deployed at the 54 locations Mr. Fanfalone talked about. The second part of it is deploying the ARTS IIIE system, which is an update of our current system, which we are deploying at 10 locations right now.
 Page 50       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MICA. This raises a question that the Common ARTS, which has been deployed at five locations, I guess is Lockheed's most sophisticated system. Is that correct?
    And that employs both hardware and software and is operational?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That is correct, in the back room. It does not include displays. It includes the brains of the system in the back room.
    Mr. MICA. Because right now we are dealing with hardware only in some locations and some outdated hardware. We are talking about two places where we have STARS, where we have display or hardware but no brains, El Paso and Syracuse. Is that correct?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. We have half-brains. We have new hardware already deployed.
    Mr. MICA. But operating on old software?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. In El Paso and Syracuse—
    Mr. MICA. Is there new STARS software at either of those locations?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes, but not complete.
    Mr. MICA. Okay.
    I am concerned, too, that one of the reports we got in January during the testing of the STARS FS-1 at the tech center—they attempted to increase the number of screens during simulations from 9 to 22 screens and the test failed or the system ran too slowly with additional screens. What is the status on that?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. We ran the test again and it passed fully. The reason it failed the first time is that we had a wiring error. When we attached all 22 screens, we wired them incorrectly. We found the problem, wired it up correctly, and it passed.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Antonucci, you have deployed this Common ARTS most sophisticated system with both hardware and software as sort of an interim backup. To your knowledge, what is the difference between STARS and what you are already installing and that is operating?
 Page 51       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. Mr. Chairman, the Common ARTS system—the software system has been deployed to 136 sites.
    Mr. MICA. But there is something more complex at five sites?
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. The five sites have both the software and the front room hardware.
    Mr. MICA. Right. What is the difference between your most sophisticated deployed operational system and STARS?
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. Since I am not privy to the STARS contract, I can only speak to what the Lockheed Martin system is capable of.
    We heard testimony that STARS can handle 7,000 tracks in 16 short-and long-range radars. The Common ARTS system was built in such a fashion that it handles 6,000 tracks in 15 short-and long-range radars. The specification was to include a 50-percent capacity expansion criteria. So the Common ARTS system is installed today, it is operational, and I think it can handle future growth.
    Mr. MICA. You think it can handle the job. I guess you said just yesterday that you submitted an unsolicited proposal for another—
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. For an additional 44 sites at which the Common ARTS has not been deployed. Common ARTS has been deployed to about 75 percent of all TRACONs. Our suggestion was to deploy it to the remaining 25 percent of the TRACONs and then to take the ARTS color display, which is the new front room equipment, and deploy it to all the centers.
    Mr. MICA. Has FAA conducted a cost-benefit analysis on STARS and Common ARTS?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes, we have, late in 1999, sir.
    Mr. MICA. What was your finding?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. They were about equivalent. However, the STARS system contains much of the computer-human enhancements that Mr. Shea talked about while the ARTS color displays do not.
 Page 52       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MICA. Are you telling me that basically they do the same thing?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. In my opinion, the ARTS IIIE systems that Mr. Antonucci described are capable of doing the same thing, but additional software and additional development would be needed.
    Mr. MICA. Maybe we could ask the controllers.
    Mr. Shea, would you accept that?
    Mr. SHEA. I would accept the fact that what Mr. Zaidman said is absolutely correct. There are differences. There are inherent differences.
    Mr. MICA. But would you accept that Lockheed Common ARTS—
    Mr. SHEA. Yes, sir. NATCA has always been in the position and remains in the position that we want to put in the field the very best piece of equipment that we can for our controllers.
    Mr. MICA. Are you willing to wait until 2008 for the STARS?
    Mr. SHEA. First of all, we do not know that we will have to wait until 2008. That is the end of the program. Granted, I will give you that, sir. But that is an incremental build and we are going to build incrementally to the end.
    Mr. MICA. My time is up. Let me give Mr. Marchilena an opportunity to respond.
    Mr. MARCHILENA. Well, there are a lot of features that have been put into STARS. One of the most important, we believe, is the triple redundancy you have in STARS that you do not have in other systems. A triple redundancy is made up of two STARS channels plus a totally different set of software. So if there is anything inherently wrong with the design, you have a backup system that will not have that same type of design.
    Also, STARS is built completely on COTS equipment, commercial off-the-shelf equipment. There is no requirement to have any kind of specialized equipment at all. If you want to replace the work stations that they are on, you go out and buy a new work station if it is compatible, like most computers today.
 Page 53       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    [The information received follows:]

    Mr. MARCHILENA. So there are a lot of differences.
    Mr. MICA. Finally, the schedule I am told now is that the software—
    Mr. MARCHILENA. The software will be complete in October. There are 15,000 lines of code remaining.
    Mr. MICA. And then I am told that the first place it would be installed is Memphis in 2003. Can someone tell me?
    Mr. MARCHILENA. That will be 2002.
    Mr. MICA. And would be tested there for a year, and then be deployed in 2003, finishing in 2008.
    Mr. MEAD. Mr. Chairman, if I might just, for the record—I was making a point in response to your question about the software completion date of October or November. I said that it should be made clear exactly what would be delivered in November.
    I am not prepared to say to you that the October date or the September date is the date on which the software that is sufficiently robust for full STARS to run in, say, a New York facility would be delivered. Delivering software at that level to Memphis is one thing, New York is a totally different air traffic environment.
    I think that should be clarified for the record by both FAA and Raytheon.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Zaidman?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. We will have full STARS capability software developed by the vendor in 2002. There is a 20-month FAA process for testing that software, both at the tech center and at the local site, which will bring the deployment to 2003. So Mr. Marchilena is quite correct. The contractor will deliver the software, but that is just delivery of the software. FAA has a full safety test and evaluation program of that software that takes the remaining time.
 Page 54       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MARCHILENA. There is an intention to deliver one configuration. There will not be multiple configurations of STARS.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    Let me yield to the other side.
    Mr. Matheson, did you have questions at this time? You are recognized.
    Mr. MATHESON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I have a question I would like to direct initially to Mr. Marchilena and Mr. Antonucci, although I suspect the entire panel could answer it.
    With respect to the STARS and the Common ARTS systems, can you describe for me the differences in the functional requirements of these two programs? And what are the differences in the capabilities of the two systems?
    Mr. MARCHILENA. I think we described the functional. The function is to control aircraft. That is the same with all of them. The capacity to do it is in STARS 7,000 tracks, 16 radar, short-and long-range, and an infinite number of displays because it is on a LAN. That is the basic capability of the system.
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. And the Common ARTS system is designed to handle 6,000 tracks, 15 short-and long-range radars.
    Mr. MATHESON. And you would say that that in sum describes the differences between the two systems?
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. Common ARTS is currently operational in New York.
    Mr. MARCHILENA. I talked about the backup. There are differences in backup. The picture for the 16 radars that you see on the screen is a combined air picture. It is not that way in ARTS. It is mosaic in ARTS. There are differences in capability.
    Mr. MATHESON. Do you have anything to add to that?
 Page 55       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. I would be glad to answer.
    In my opinion, either of the two systems—the Raytheon or the Lockheed product—will do the job. It is a question of how much more time and money we want to put into the system. I view it as being in a row boat for several years now with the STARS system. I see the shoreline and I don't want to start changing boats. Both systems have the horsepower. Both companies are very good. But the thing that drives software is the requirements of the people who maintain the system and the requirements of the people who control air traffic.
    So the software will work, but when you start customizing the Lockheed Martin product to meet the agreed-upon requirements of the Raytheon product, we are going to relive a painful lesson learned. That is how we got into trouble the first time.
    In my humble view, I think the best course is to finish what we have started before we venture on to new avenues. Where we need to make modifications or make backup plans, we have a very good system—the ARTS IIIE that Lockheed Martin developed and that we use day in and day out—that is capable of doing the job on an interim basis. The controllers and maintenance people say that they are willing to use it. The controllers, in particular, have made it clear to us—and we agree—that ARTS IIIE is an interim system and we should treat it as such.
    Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    Mr. Horn?
    Mr. HORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Zaidman, I am curious. Your proposal for the TRACONs is to hold the control of that aircraft within the 50-mile radius. How about when they land on the ground? We have had a few incidents where one airplane on the same airport knocks into the other plane on the same airport. What is your thinking on that? And is that a part of this particular control system?
 Page 56       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. No, it is not—and Mr. Shea can help me out here because I do not profess to be an air traffic controller. There is a hand-off from the TRACON controller to the tower controller. Someone in the tower cab has the local responsibility for line of sight where he can visually see in and around an airport. It is in that area that we are most concerned about the potential for runway incursions.
    There is also local air traffic control on the airport itself that has responsibility for dispatching aircraft in and out of gates and onto the taxiway for initial clearances. This person is often not a Federal employee.
    Mr. HORN. Has the FAA gone to airports in this country to see where the blind spots are so this would not happen? Often the tower is in the wrong place.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Very much so. We not only survey all our airports on a continuing basis, but we have training sessions with our controllers and with pilots, both air carrier pilots and general aviation pilots. It is a very serious issue, particularly because aviation has grown so much and particularly since there are so many construction projects at the airports. The airfield is always different.
    Training is one of Administrator Garvey's top five initiatives in FAA. We have education programs, training programs, and technology programs underway.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you.
    Mr. Marchilena, in terms of representing the Raytheon Company, you might have been around when I did mention the tower of Lufthansa in Berlin. Could those have been quadrupled and covered all of Europe? Or could any of that have covered the United States? Do we really need to go through all this Mickey Mouse that we have gone through for $4 billion lost 6 or 8 years ago and now we are dubious? What will happen?
    Mr. MARCHILENA. Let me clarify.
    We keep talking about the lines of code that have to be developed. The P-1 system that is in Germany is in fact the basis for STARS. We have picked up—the predecessors to STARS—when they refer to a COTS system, it has been installed in over 15 countries. The software that has been brought into STARS that we do not talk about that works is 960,000 lines of code that does the radar processing, does all the critical safety issues. That code has been brought in and is in fact a benefit to STARS and was developed partially in Germany and other countries by countries where this has been done.
 Page 57       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    We have taken advantage of that. Full development of software would have been well over 1.5 million lines of code. Instead, it was 400,000 lines of code, mostly associated with the interface with humans. All the radar data processing, all the critical emergency software, the alert software for collisions and all that has already been done in other countries. In fact, Germany was one of those countries.
    Mr. HORN. Mr. Shea, are your controllers satisfied with this system? Are there other things that they would like to have and management has cut them off on it?
    Mr. SHEA. With the progress of the STARS system, sir, we are more than satisfied. The issues of the air traffic controllers were 98. Mr. Oberstar referred to 80 percent of those issues being corrected. Far be it from me to correct Mr. Oberstar, but you were absolutely correct when you gave that 80 percent, sir, but 80 percent of those are actually already coded and in the software and will be delivered as early as April 2002 to El Paso and Syracuse. The remainder have been identified and fixed, and that is the delta. That will come later on with subsequent software.
    So yes, sir, we are absolutely satisfied and optimistic.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I yield back.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    I recognize Mr. Oberstar at this time.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the panel for their presentation. It is all rather helpful and enlightening to hear different views.
    Mr. Zaidman, is the STARS contract a fixed price contract at this point? Or will there be further growth above the $1.4 billion?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. The software is always typically cost plus and hardware is fixed price, if I am not mistaken.
 Page 58       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    As to the cost growth, there is a potential for cost growth when we deliver the system to various FAA facilities.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. What will be the factors that will contribute to cost growth?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Asbestos removal, heating and air conditioning, power, and moving walls. I am pretty confident that the basic STARS automation will not grow.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. There may be adaptation. There is certainly a difference between installing STARS at El Paso and at the Southern California TRACON.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes, and I think the challenges are with regard to physical environment regarding STARS rather than the STARS itself.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. And in the installation, FAA will be using PASS to do the installation as well as outside contractors, as I understand it.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That is correct, sir.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. But using PASS as much as possible, in house, so there is long-term employment ahead for PASS.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Fortunately for us, yes.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Fortunately for PASS. Fortunately for air travellers.
    Those cost growth figures, then, should not be substantial if you are not anticipating significant fundamental growth in cost of the software, but only the installation cost.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. I think it is important to differentiate the cost of delivering STARS as an automation tool and the associated cost of brick and mortar and hazardous material removal. I think the greatest risk is in the associated costs. I would figure on the order of 10 or 12 percent potential cost growth risk for the installation STARS.
 Page 59       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. OBERSTAR. I am most concerned about the cost of the product rather than the housing of the product. When DSR was installed, the big cost was in adding on to existing facilities in which to locate DSR. Once that installation began, the waterfall installation went very rapidly, as Mr. Antonucci already described. Lockheed certainly did an excellent job with that requirement. I would anticipate that once you get on the learning curve of installing these one a month—or two a month, hopefully, or more—that the pace can quicken.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That is exactly our expectation, sir.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Mead, you have done extraordinary service to aviation, to the public, both during your service at GAO and your continued service to the public as the IG at DOT. For that, I am most grateful. We have relied on your wisdom, your balance, and your objectivity to write good policy.
    One of the issues that you and I and members of the committee have discussed over the years is the FAA's ability to manage large, complex, big-dollar volume contracts. What would you evaluate as today's state-of-the-art of FAA's ability to manage large, complex, big-dollar contracts such as the one we are talking about today, VSCS, and DSR? A very troubling issue raised in your testimony—which I have been aware of—is the ASR-11 radars, the new digital radar that will be the necessary data feed into STARS.
    Mr. MEAD. Good question. You can draw back on 10 to 15 years of history on these different programs.
    I have to say unambiguously that FAA is much better when it knows what it is buying. HOST, DSR, I would put in that class. They brought it in roughly on budget, approximately on time, maybe even ahead of time. I think it was well managed. I don't think it was just the identity of the contractor. I think FAA had a lot to do with that.
    Software-intensive contracts—we are still learning lessons. We tend not to buy off as much as we were with AAS. We wanted to fix the whole system.
 Page 60       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Human factors in STARS. A good example, we have learned some hard lessons. In the 11th hour, things start coming out of the woodwork and basic issues, even so basic as the type of keyboard that was going to be used. I think that is an important lesson learned.
    I think FAA still has a good ways to go, sir, on integrating the different elements of an acquisition. For example, one of the issues here is fielding the thing. You will hear almost a consensus at the table that we see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to development. So why, 5 years into the acquisition, are we saying that we have to count on another 6 years for deployment and we really don't know much about the brick and mortar. We really don't know about that is what you are hearing.
    I am saying that I think the different units in FAA need to integrate better on that front.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Is this a case where FAA knew they were going to do this installation, knew there would be construction costs, but something they wanted to face later and didn't want to plan on the cost estimates at the outset?
    Mr. MEAD. I think, sir, they were so preoccupied with the problems that had surfaced on development that they put it off. You, particularly, will recall the airport surface detection equipment and the problems developing that so it could identify what was on the runway. Then at the 11th hour we realized that the thing was too heavy for certain towers in the United States.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. That's right.
    Mr. Zaidman, do you have an observation or a response?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Well, I can quote FDR, one of my favorite quotes, when he says that it is easier to lob grenades than to catch them. I have great respect for the IG. But in this case, I basically agree.
 Page 61       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Let me just say that we haven't ignored the life cycle costs. It is a very complicated and complex undertaking to go to 173 sites and know precisely what will be needed between now and 2008. So the important element in an effective acquisition is the clarity with which we make those estimates. We have estimates, but it is always important to get the latest data to modify the estimates as necessary.
    Things change over time, so it is like changing tires on a bus, as I have heard you say. That is pretty much an accurate analogy. We need to do a better job in integrating, and which is why the Administrator created the Terminal Business Unit. I think Mr. Mead is quite correct. Nothing comes easy in this business. This is one of the most complex efforts we have ever undertaken.
    One of the first things I did when I took this job was to go and visit both the public and private sectors to learn how they managed large software contracts. The good and bad news is that there is no silver bullet out there. The same challenges faced by FAA are faced by DOD, General Motors, and IBM. This is not an excuse, but we are not unique. This country has not yet learned how to manage large software contracts to the degree that we need to.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Well, I appreciate and concur in your views. It is extremely difficult. But I just want to emphasize that again it is FAA managing the private sector, developing and installing these contracts. While so often the answer is that if you turn this over to the private sector all the problems will go away. The private sector folks are sitting right here and they are having just as much trouble with this as the FAA is. It is FAA's job to oversee them.
    I am hearing from Mr. Mead a degree of confidence that the structure within which this is taking place—that build, test, deploy—is a good framework but we need to do a little thinking ahead.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
 Page 62       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    Probably the only difference in the private sector is that you would go bankrupt and here we have an endless supply of money.
    Mr. MICA. The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Isakson?
    Mr. ISAKSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me first of all make sure that I don't say something incorrectly.
    Mr. Mead, you used the term ''unacceptable uncertainty'' with regard to the current STARS system. If I read your recommendations, they all deal with defining dates, defining goals, and having benchmarks. Am I correct?
    Mr. MEAD. Essentially, yes, sir.
    Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. Fanfalone, you said, ''We cannot tolerate further delays.'' Is that correct?
    Mr. FANFALONE. At certain locations where there is ARTS IIIA, yes.
    Mr. ISAKSON. And Mr. Zaidman, you said that the fall back position, if we have further problems, is the Common ARTS system. Is that correct?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That is one of the fall backs.
    Mr. ISAKSON. What is the other?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Early display capability which we are deploying now at certain locations.
    Mr. ISAKSON. Well, I don't want to get deviated from the point.
    I have a high regard for the way Mr. Mead writes and obviously the way he looks at things, in having read his analysis before coming here.
    In answer to Mr. Oberstar's observation at the outset, Mr. Zaidman, you basically said that Common ARTS and STARS substantially are similar in their capability. The difference is that Common ARTS is out there. In fact, Common ARTS is right now being use to be continually installed as you need to update because of the delays in STARS.
 Page 63       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    So here is my question. Mr. Mead is clearly saying that we are going to reach a point some day where we continue to have delays. We have thrown too much money after a system and we have to go to an alternative. You have pretty much said that the alternative would be the Common ARTS system. Why don't we go ahead and make a determination of what that cost point is by doing an analysis, so if we are going to have protracted delay we have a point at which there is no return and we go into completing it with Common ARTS?
    Just for the benefit of the Raytheon people and everybody else involved, that date wouldn't become so moveable.
    Maybe I am missing a point here, but can you answer that, Mr. Zaidman?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. I don't disagree with that at all. We would be willing to do that analysis to update the one we did in late 1999. We have every confidence that we can continue the STARS deployment. Since we restructured the program in 1999, we are on schedule and on budget. The cost growth and schedule growth took place prior to that date.
    So before I would launch into an alternative strategy, I would like to continue the one we have been successfully working on for the last several years. But at the same time, sir, we must do what you suggest and prepared with alternatives should that become necessary.
    Mr. ISAKSON. My statement is really in the interest of the taxpayer. I know how complicated all this stuff is and how easy it is for some congressmen to sit up here and pontificate, not really knowing all the facts. But just reading all the reports and listening to everybody, there is a point in time at which, since we have a system of acceptable performance that we are continuing to install while we are waiting, that we say stop and go ahead another way. I think it would be better for us to know that point of return. I think that is somewhat of what Mr. Mead was saying.
    I want to ask Mr. Mead one other question, because I have made this mistake in my private life myself and I heard one of these gentlemen refer to it.
 Page 64       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Have we continually moved the baseline in terms of what we wanted STARS to do? Has that protracted the software development delay? Is there a point in time where we need to cap it and don't keep looking for new things to add to it, and just get a baseline developed? Has that been part of the problem?
    Mr. MEAD. Yes, it was. As a matter of fact, this was very instructive to FAA on the computer-human interface issues that came up. One, you can't wait until the 11th hour to start doing them because it is a basic design issue. We were literally in the 10th or 11th hour and people were saying that we were converting this off-the-shelf system into a developmental system to compensate for this.
    Secondly, the Department of Transportation and the FAA found out that you can't just have a meeting and talk about the human factor issues. It is a very scientific, disciplined process. Before the experience with STARS, I don't think that was well realized. It was certainly instructive to me. I had never seen this unfold. You have to close the door at some point and say no more.
    But as a scientific process, to extract from the controllers and the maintenance technicians what it is exactly that needs to be done—I think some important lessons were learned.
    Mr. ISAKSON. Thank you.
    My time has expired.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    We will turn to Mr. Pascrell from New Jersey.
    Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    My priority in this matter is the folks who will be utilizing the system: air traffic controllers. When you go back over the past 20 years to the promises and commitments that were made to the air traffic controllers since the debacle of the early-1980s, you see how many promises were made and how many promises were broken. It is imperative that we have a comfort level with the air traffic controllers.
 Page 65       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    This almost reads like a Fellini movie. What has happened since 1981? To hear you, Mr. Shea, I am gratified and hopeful that we are moving in the right direction. I have one question for you.
    We are establishing a new automated system. It comes on line at different times, depending where and how the implementation is working. What are we doing to train the controllers to gradually feed into the system and utilize the system, now that you have stated for the record that we are moving in the right direction?
    Mr. SHEA. Again, sir, I will restate that. I do truly believe that we are moving in the right direction.
    Also, the training that needs to be accomplished for the controllers to operate the STARS equipment is somewhat different than what the technicians need. The technicians need quite a bit more extensive training, and the controllers' training is what we refer to as just-in-time training. It doesn't necessarily do us any good to train a work force 6 months in advance of the equipment getting there. All those skills and knowledge that has been learned are then forgotten. So our training schedule will be a just-in-time training schedule that will accommodate the deployment of the system.
    If I might add two other things, I think we may not be stating clearly enough on this panel that the logistics with fielding the STARS system are no different from fielding any alternative system. The problems that we face in fielding any system in the NAS, are just that.
    At the risk of sounding like Yogi Berra, it doesn't matter what system we put out there, we have to face those human difficulties: the asbestos, the NAS modernization features. So there is no quick fix and there is no magic bullet.
    Also, we are forgetting one other big player in that, and that would be our good friends in the DOD. This is a joint acquisition, as you know, sir, and DOD has in excess of 100 sites. We cannot forget that, and I know we will not.
 Page 66       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you, sir.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    I recognize the gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Kennedy.
    Mr. KENNEDY. Thank you.
    And thank you for your testimony.
    This question goes to either Mr. Mead or Mr. Zaidman.
    In my experience of dealing with large systems like this, when you have multiple players, is I know there is tremendous potential for scope creep. As I have often said, perfect is the enemy of the good. If you try to get everything that everyone wants without any consideration for the structure and the architecture of the software, that is a recipe for disaster. A program as big as this really is not going to work unless there is somebody in the center at the focal point that is coordinating everybody and keeping everybody in a common mission and not allowing them to be diverted from that, to try to accommodate every single thing that needs to be done so we can be sure that the core things we are all trying to accomplish are achieved.
    Who is the person who is keeping this whole thing on focus? Who is the person that we can look to for accountability to make sure that the path you have outlined today is moving along in the way it needs to be?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Okay, that's for me.
    We have a new head of our Terminal Business Unit. I would like to introduce Mr. Bill Voss, who has the accountability. He reports directly to my counterpart, the Associate Administrator for Air Traffic, or Steve Brown. That is where the accountability lies in delivering this system.
    Let me just say that I agree with you 100 percent. In the development world, if you don't know what you are building to, you never get there. When you have shifting requirements, it is a prescription for disaster.
 Page 67       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. KENNEDY. You said it was Bill Ross?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Bill Voss, V-o-s-s.
    Mr. KENNEDY. Part of Bill's ability to be effective is authority. As was just mentioned, the DOD is also another player in this. Do we have one party that can say to the DOD and the FAA that it is a great and wonderful idea but that we need to get this 80 percent in the middle done first before we start worrying about the 20 percent on the side just to make sure that the 80 percent in the middle happened? Does he have that necessary authority? Or is that an authority that we need to make sure that he gets to make sure that this project is effective?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. He has the necessary authority. By prior agreement, the DOD has agreed to participate in FAA's contract. So we have control of contract administration and contractor performance.
    Mr. KENNEDY. If there are issues with not getting enough focus, that if you need someone to help push that, I would be happy to do it.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Thank you.
    Mr. KENNEDY. My second question has to do with the security issues. I am very concerned. We have seen how important the infrastructure that we are working on here is, not only to the economic health of America but to the security issues as well. How comfortable should we be in that regard with this new system, and with the transition between the old system and the new system?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Security, as you know, is a vital concern and getting more important everyday. The weaknesses in any system are in your communications lines, the ability to penetrate and deny service. The STARS system is designed to have secure communications lines between the sensors, that is between the radar units and the automation. Some of them are commercial lines and we have security specifications for those. Some are military lines and I don't think there is a problem for those sites. Some of them are FAA-controlled lines, and we have the responsibility for security on those sites.
 Page 68       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    But the communications lines must meet a security specification in this program.
    Mr. MEAD. I would like to raise a concern there.
    One of the strengths of the current system, such as it is, is that it is relatively isolated from other administrative systems in the Department of Transportation or the Federal Aviation Administration. That is its strength because people who are trying to hack into an administrative system will not, if successful, thereby hack into the air traffic control system.
    There is under consideration in the Federal Aviation Administration a proposal to integrate the air traffic communications with some of the administrative systems. We have expressed concern about that proposal before. We think it might be worth the price to keep them separate, unless we have absolutely iron-clad assurances that they cannot be penetrated from the outside.
    Mr. KENNEDY. I would encourage you guys to look strongly at that and look at it from the perspective of these smart 17-year-old hackers that seem to go beyond anything we can imagine. As we look more at home on defense, our air traffic control system, along with our electric city grid and several other things, are critical. That is something we don't want to take any risk on and I encourage you to think about it in that way.
    Mr. KENNEDY. Thank you again for your testimony. My time is up.
    Mr. MICA. I thank the gentleman.
    I now recognize Mr. Lipinski.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I want to thank all the witnesses today. This has been a long hearing. We appreciate your being here.
 Page 69       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Does STARS do anything to enhance aviation capacity in this country?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. STARS provides a platform for future enhancements, but the primary purpose of STARS is to replace aging infrastructure. It is basically a one-for-one replacement to replace aging computers and aging software. That is our number one requirement. The reason that this is so is our biggest detriment to capacity if we have an outage.
    Having said that—
    Mr. LIPINSKI. I'm sorry. Would you repeat yourself?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. If you have an outage of a STARS system or the system that STARS is designed to replace, then capacity essentially goes to zero because the controller loses his or her eyes in the skies. So viewing capacity from that standpoint, it is critically important for us to maintain and replace our infrastructure.
    Having said that, STARS provides a platform for enhancements such as free flight, satellite navigation, and things like that. But I want to make it clear, the primary purpose for FAA undertaking the STARS program is the infrastructure.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. Free flight can be implemented before STARS is implemented throughout the country, right?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes, that's true.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. And I know it is not your area, but do you have any idea how much free flight enhances capacity?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Well, in certain places like Dallas/Ft. Worth we have seen an increase of about six airplanes an hour during the rush into DFW, basically a 5 to 10 percent capacity gain on a runway. It is not a lot in the overall scheme of things, but it is significant in terms of what automation and procedural changes can do.
    My belief is that the greatest enhancement to capacity is more concrete, which poses another set of challenges.
 Page 70       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. LIPINSKI. I assume you mean there building additional runways and additional airports?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Right.
    So the technology does have its limits. We control traffic in the STARS environment 3 miles from nose to tail. There is very little we can do to shorten that for safety and procedural reasons.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. What was the other one besides free flight? Global positioning?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. It will serve as a platform to have sensors other than radar, such as satellite sensors that can track aircraft and display them to controllers. We can do that with the current systems and we can do that with the new systems such as STARS, as well.
    STARS also has color displays with it. That will enhance the controller's ability to see different levels of severe weather. You can get color displays through the ARTS system as well, but it doesn't come as a package like it does in STARS.
    So again, the main benefit we see in STARS is infrastructure replacement to keep our reliability above 99.5 percent for the future while providing a platform for the future of free flight.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. In providing this platform, are there any other ideas bouncing around that will be put on this platform that will expand capacity strictly through the air traffic control system? I am not talking about pouring more concrete at the present time. I am just trying to get an idea of STARS ultimately leading us into a situation where we do pick up additional capacity because you know it is an enormous problem at the present time.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Basically, on the technology front, it is the use of satellites for future surveillance and free flight that will provide the most significant capacity enhancements. There are different elements of free flight. Free flight is an umbrella of technologies. But we need new digital displays, such as those that come with STARS, to deploy certain technologies. For example, technology to assign aircraft to runways earlier and help the controller in decisionmaking to say whether this airplane should go on the left runway and this airplane should go on the right runway. New technology can plan decision making further out in the process so the flow of traffic is expedited.
 Page 71       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Future enhancements will provide sequence numbers where aircraft merge, to enable them to merge onto the runway safely and efficiently. The STARS system with free flight will have the ability to designante the aircraft one, two, three, four and to assign sequence numbers to other aircraft as an aid to the controller. Some of the future technologies we are looking at are actually giving controllers advice on speed and vectoring should the controller want that information. That information can be displayed on the STARS platform to really optimize the use of the runway as much as possible.
    This technology is an R&D project that is down the road in terms of deployment. The sequencing technology is much closer in, and in fact, is starting to be deployed today.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. Right now you have STARS with the display screen and the half-brain deployed at El Paso and Syracuse. Next you are moving on to Memphis. Will it have a full brain when it gets to Memphis?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes. Memphis and El Paso are two of our three key sites. The first full STARS site will be at Memphis, and then we graduate to Philadelphia, which is a significant site.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. That is a pretty good site.
    My next question was going to be, When do you really get to a site that has a high degree of activity? Philadelphia will do pretty well.
    When might you get to a place like O'Hare?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That is down the waterfall, not because—
    Mr. LIPINSKI. How far down the waterfall is that?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Pretty far.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. But let me explain why. Chicago O'Hare has what is called the ARTS IIIE system, which is one of the newer systems. So the waterfall philosophy is to replace our oldest systems first because, as Mr. Fanfalone correctly said, those are in the most danger of failing and are the hardest to sustain. So we will do the newer facilities last and the older facilities first.
 Page 72       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MEAD. But the Chicago facility should be asking about it, since it is so far down in the waterfall. I don't know exactly where it is, but it is probably the 2006, 2007, or 2008 time frame. Mr. Zaidman says 2006.
    You are going to have the Common ARTS, which is the Lockheed system, in until that time. It would be replaced when the full STARS comes in. You are not in the meantime going to have the new displays that are going in elsewhere.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. That is as of right now.
    Mr. MEAD. I will leave that to you.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. Go ahead. I don't expect you to comment.
    Mr. MEAD. That is out of my league.
    But DFW now has the Common ARTS, just like Chicago does, but they also have the displays. There is one other large facility that has both the Common ARTS and the display, but I forget which one that is.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. New York has a new display.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. New York, too. But us poor people in the Midwest always get completely ignored. They take care of the East Coast and the West Coast and nobody takes care of us in the center.
    Mr. MEAD. This illustrates, Mr. Lipinski, why it is important that FAA have the benefit of these views before they submit their June analysis to the subcommittee.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. I think that is a very good idea. I am happy to hear you say that.
    I won't put you on the hot seat anymore because we are getting into very dangerous waters over here, particularly on the last minute or two of the things I have heard said. So I would just as soon prefer those in a different context rather than in this public hearing.
 Page 73       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I want to thank Mr. Mead very much—I was going to thank him anyway—because I have a very high regard for his judgment in regards to all these matters. He has always been enormously helpful to our subcommittee, our full committee, and to me personally in understanding many of these things. But I have to say that his judgment has even gone up higher in the last couple of minutes when he gave me some additional information that will be enormously helpful to me in the very near future.
    I thank you all for being here.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Lipinski.
    Let me recognize the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Kirk.
    Mr. KIRK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I want to echo the statements of Mr. Lipinski. As a junior member of this committee, if he is the captain of our Illinois aviation community, I think I am the junior purser aboard. But I share some of his sentiments. Certainly, the implementation of free flight is something we are very interested in.
    I experienced my own version of free flight in the military last year. I don't know anybody in the front of the cockpit who looks at the old VORs or any of the old Navaids anymore. We are all focused completely on the GPS. And one of the things you will see over the skies of Kosovo is that we don't have Navaids operating there because the Serbians run it. So the hundreds of aircraft arriving over their targets are operating under a free flight system run by the United States military and done in a way that we did it completely safely with people on the ground actually shooting at us.
    I wanted to touch on another issue, which is international air space. It is my understanding that we control the air space of about 70 percent of the Pacific Ocean, yet Australia and New Zealand have air management systems far more advanced than that of the United States.
 Page 74       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    With such a long time to implement the systems we are talking about, are we in danger of losing control of the air space over the oceanic space around the United States as other countries upgrade against the United States?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. We do have a bid out for modernizing all three of our oceanic centers. We expect to award a contract award in June of this year. We have learned lessons about the human factors issues in the STARS experience. We also recognize that we have 75 percent of the Pacific Ocean under FAA air traffic control.
    One of the differences between the Australian environment and our environment is we have from 10 to 12 times the amount of traffic that exists in the Australian oceanic region. So any system that we ultimately acquire will have to handle that dramatic difference in traffic load. But we are on track to awarding a contract.
    Mr. KIRK. Did you say that is the principal reason we are so far behind the New Zealand and Australians?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. No, I don't think so. We have a system in place in the ocean now. It does need to be modernized. Frankly, there have been other priorities, particularly compared with other air traffic control requirements. It is not to diminish the need for oceanic improvement, but we must prioritize. Frankly, over the recent years, the air traffic system over the United States has received a higher priority. But we do need to move on and modernize the ocean.
    I will say that recently we made dramatic progress in air traffic control procedures over the ocean. Before last year, we had separated aircraft vertically 2,000 feet.
    [The following information was received:]

    Before last year we had separated aircraft vertically by 2,000 feet. Now, thanks to a program called the reduced vertical separation minima (RSVM), we reduced this to 1,000 feet. While the implementation of this program involved changes to the ground systems, the primary change involved changes in the cockpit in order to certify that each aircraft in the program could meet the stringent height keeping requirements.
 Page 75       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. KIRK. Is the oceanic air space a potential test bed for STARS?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. STARS is designed to aid with the control of air traffic within a certain number of miles of an airport. So the oceanic system is more akin to an enroute air traffic control facility; something like HOST and the DSR system. That is more of an equivalent air traffic control environment, I think.
    Mr. KIRK. Mr. Mead, when we have the airport capacity report coming out—which I understand is imminent—would it be possible to generate a number of aircraft that would be able to handle under free flight for—let me take a random airport, O'Hare—
    Mr. LIPINSKI. That was a good random sample.
    Mr. MEAD. Capacity benchmarks, which should be coming out soon—in about the next 2 or 3 weeks—they are not coming out from our office. Our office is the office that recommended that they be built. FAA has been constructing them. I must say that I am impressed with the sophistication of FAA's approach to them.
    Both the layout for the top 30 airports in the country—or maybe the top 25—
    Mr. LIPINSKI. It is the top 31.
    Mr. MEAD.—airports by time of day, what that airport can handle in good weather conditions and in poor weather conditions.
    It also takes another cut at it and says that that is the status quo. What if the following technologies were in place and operating, what could this airport handle by time of day under the same two conditions?
 Page 76       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Then a third scenario FAA has built into these is what happens if we put in a new runway. I don't think in your case that they would ask what would happen if you had another airport. But they do add for most of the scenarios a third runway.
    I think you will find them very useful. Some of the free flight technologies aren't mature enough to be incorporated into that, but certainly free flight phase one is.
    Mr. KIRK. And we are going to see that in the FAA report?
    Mr. MEAD. They are finalizing those now and they are deliberating on how best to convey them to the community and to the Congress.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. But if there is no planned runway at any airport, then they don't take that into consideration and aren't putting that in their report? Such as, at O'Hare—there aren't any planned new runways at O'Hare, so there would be no figures generated saying how much the capacity of the airport would be increased if there was an additional runway?
    Mr. MEAD. I am not sure of the answer to that question. I will have to get back to your office.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. No, I am answering your question. That is what it is.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. Now, there are some airports who have said they want to build new runways. And there are some airports that are about to announce that that has been taken into consideration and it is in the report. But as far as O'Hare, no one has ever said anything about building new runways at O'Hare in an official capacity. Consequently, there is no discussion about how much capacity a new runway would add in the report.
    Mr. MEAD. So you are saying that if the FAA is not unilaterally saying that this is what would happen if we put in a new runway.
 Page 77       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. LIPINSKI. That is correct.
    Mr. MEAD. The local community has to put down a marker for that to happen.
    Mr. LIPINSKI. Right.
    Mr. KIRK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. MICA. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Lipinski.
    I have a couple of questions in closing.
    Last year we passed AIR 21 and I believe the President signed it into law in April or last spring. One of the provisions of that law—something that was recommended by this subcommittee—and that was the creation of a COO, chief operating official or officer, to oversee the modernization and some of the administration in FAA.
    What is the status of that, Mr. Zaidman?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Mr. Chairman, I will have to provide that for the record because I am not involved in that selection process. I cannot say.
    [The following information was received:]

    The FAA is currently in the early planning stages in its work to develop a performance based organization (PBO). The FAA is working to lay out the functions, the responsibilities and the relationships necessary to make this kind of structure work.
    It has also taken the initiative to restructure one of its key modernization initiatives. Specifically it has integrated the functions of its terminal modernization programs into one new organization. The new structure, which crosses old organizational lines, is referred to as the Terminal Business Unit and is performance based in nature.
 Page 78       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    With regard to the recruitment of the Chief Operating Officer, the FAA is fully committed to recruiting for this new position. We are continuing the search process, but so far, have not made a selection.

    Mr. MICA. But we have no one in place?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. We have no one in place today, but I do know that the Administrator and the newly created ATS board have a search going on. I cannot say here today what the status is.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Mead, are you familiar with that search or the efforts? Are there any problems in getting that position filled?
    Mr. MEAD. I know the effort is underway. I know the Secretary considers it among the very highest priorities. I also know there is some concern about the salary for that position.
    Mr. MICA. It is inadequate to attract someone?
    Mr. MEAD. I think it is about $140,000 plus a maximum bonus of up to 50 percent of your base salary.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. It is $145,000 plus 25 percent incentive bonus.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Marchilena, I have had some reports that Raytheon has lost personnel, one of the problems for some of the software development delays. That was relayed to me. Have you had the same folks working on this?
    Mr. MARCHILENA. There is a 12 percent turnover in the industry in software people. That is a fact of life.
    Mr. MICA. How about this particular project, if we looked at the personnel records?
    Mr. MARCHILENA. In Marlboro, where the majority of this is being done, it has experienced that 12 percent. It has affected all programs in Marlboro. But I don't see that as any significant delay. It is not that there are not replacements for people. It works two ways. They go out the door and they come in the door because there is a lot of opportunity out there for people. So I don't think we have seen any significant delays due to lack of personnel.
 Page 79       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MICA. We have heard free flight talked about today. Free flight is an attempt to try to utilize the air space and also technology to optimize air traffic. Some of that is already installed. How much is already installed, Mr. Mead or Mr. Zaidman?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. We have systems in place in Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Minneapolis, Memphis Center, and Indianapolis Center today. By the end of 2005, we anticipate having the technology available in all our centers and a majority of the high-activity TRACONs.
    Mr. MICA. The deployment schedule I was given had that equipment installed and software installed on a little bit more rapid schedule. But you say that will be 2005?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That is free flight phase two. Sorry, I leaped ahead. Free flight phase one ends in 2002. Then we have a follow-on program, free flight phase 2, that ends in 2005.
    Mr. MICA. That meshes into STARS, supposedly?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Some of the tools on free flight will mesh into STARS and some currently mesh into the ARTS IIIE with the displays we have now.
    Mr. MICA. Is free flight one and two both compatible with Common ARTS?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Not totally. We require something called digital displays for the front room to fully utilize the free flight tools.
    Mr. MICA. Are they in place now in any of the locations?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. In some locations they are.
    Mr. MICA. So that could be deployed on a more rapid basis with existing hardware and software?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes. I can give you an example.
 Page 80       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    We are upgrading Saint Louis and Minneapolis with ARTS IIIEs to take advantage of the free flight tools in those locations.
    Mr. MEAD. Mr. Chairman, this is not exactly free flight, but there is a very important compatibility issue on the radars because they are replacing analog radars with digital radars. If that program is not kept in sync with STARS, you will find that STARS won't work with the old analog radars. This is designed to work with digital whereas your Common ARTS is designed—I believe Common ARTS can work with both digital or analog.
    Mr. ANTONUCCI. That's correct.
    Mr. MICA. What concerns me is not just STARS that we have sort of fallen behind and keep changing the target dates and also some of the specs. We have to be fair. We are back to the developmental phase of software.
    But many of the other programs—at least the staff has indicated—Mr. Mead, if you are familiar with these, can you tell me if they are behind schedule or on schedule? We heard a little bit about the oceanic modernization. I am told that is behind schedule. Is that correct?
    Mr. MEAD. Oceanic was supposed to be in place in 1996.
    Mr. MICA. In 1996?
    Mr. MEAD. Yes.
    Mr. MICA. WAAS?
    Mr. MEAD. That is several years behind.
    Mr. MICA. The ASR-11?
    Mr. MEAD. I don't know whether that is late.
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Not yet.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Zaidman, you are saying that is not behind?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. In fact, that is a DOD procurement.
 Page 81       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MICA. On each of these, I want you to give me what any previous schedule was and what the current—
    Mr. MARCHILENA. I can give you the ASR-11, since we are the contractor. The ASR-11 for the FAA is not behind schedule.
    Mr. MICA. But I would like you to provide for the record each of these programs. The airport movement area safety system, AMASS, which Mr. Horn got into—I am told that is not only behind schedule but that what was developed hasn't worked.
    Mr. Mead?
    Mr. MEAD. That system is substantially behind schedule. NTSB feels that its prognostication abilities for a runway incursion are not what they would like to see. I think it is better than what we have now because it gives people an alert to something that is about to happen.
    Happily, this summer, I believe, FAA intends to deploy AMASS at the first of 30-odd airports and we will have to report back to you after that. This has been a very long time coming, sir.
    Mr. MICA. Can you add that to the list, Mr. Zaidman?
    I am concerned now that I have heard that the air space redesign program, which is also key to getting better efficiencies, was put on hold as recently as the last week or so with some disputes with air traffic controllers. Is that behind schedule? Is it now stalled?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. That's not my area, but I would be glad to provide information for the record
    [The following was received:]

    NATCA and FAA management have been discussing controller concerns regarding airspace redesign for the past year. The controllers have expressed a concern that a proposed change in the sectorization or routing could affect operational counts, and thus the pay of the controllers in a facility. NATCA recently withdrew from the national airspace redesign process for a period of 9 days in order to focus on this issue. FAA and NATCA have subsequently completed negotiations and signed a ''National Airspace Redesign MOU'' on March 16 that satisfied the controllers' concerns.
 Page 82       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    The National Airspace Redesign Program is moving ahead as planned.

    Mr. MICA. Can you also provide me with some information?
    Mr. Mead, have you been involved with that at all?
    Mr. MEAD. Yes, but I do not know the current status.
    Mr. MICA. Can you provide that?
    Mr. MEAD. Yes, sir, we will.
    Mr. MICA. How about the controllers? Can we get a response? Maybe you know, Mr. Shea.
    Mr. SHEA. No, I do not. Unfortunately, I am restricted pretty much to work on the STARS Program. I can, however, have my union answer that for the record.
    Mr. MICA. For the record, I would like to get independent responses. Free flight, which I have mentioned, I am told is also behind schedule or has had problems with development. The 2005 date is for the second phase. Is the first phase on schedule?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Yes, it is, sir.
    Mr. MICA. Can you give me again what was promised and where we are on this?
    And we have had some problems with the automated dependent surveillance broadcasts. Is anyone familiar with that?
    Mr. MEAD. Yes. In my view, that is a system that suffered from the not-invented-here syndrome. It is a good system that basically helps with runway incursions, it helps in the air, it essentially puts a set of eyes in the cockpit and the same set of eyes with the controller. It is satellite-based or in part satellite-based. It could be further along than it is.
 Page 83       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    But the startup of it was delayed because I think there was some hostility to it, quite frankly, at one time inside FAA.
    Mr. MICA. Mr. Zaidman, did you want to respond?
    Mr. ZAIDMAN. Last year, Administrator Garvey said that we would establish a goal of establishing the automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, ADSB. The first place it was to be tested was in Alaska on January 1st of this year and that is exactly what we have done.
    Mr. MICA. Again, I would like in writing to the subcommittee the status of these. Also, the en route software and hardware, the ERAM. I understand that is now the question of possibly expediting or moving forward. Are familiar with that, Mr. Mead?
    Mr. MEAD. Moving forward with what, sir?
    Mr. MICA. The en route software, the ERAM?
    Mr. MEAD. Yes, sir, I am familiar with that.
    Mr. MICA. What is your prognosis of that program?
    Mr. MEAD. I think we will know a lot more in April because this clearly needs to be replaced. This is the brain that I was referring to at the en route centers for the high-altitude air traffic. This is the acquisition that FAA stated an intention to go sole source with.
    This month, they should be getting responses from other potential offerors as to what they believe they are capable of. FAA will have to evaluate that and then they will have to make a decision on when to go forward. The replacement of the brains of the en route center was something that was envisioned as part of the advanced automation system years ago.
    Mr. MICA. I would like to get the latest update, if I can, for the benefit of the subcommittee.
    I am also trying to create some benchmarks of where we have been, where we are, and where we intend to go so that at least over the next 24 months, while I chair this subcommittee, we will be able to use that again, for some action plan or get back with some response from you all if we move forward, fall behind, or stay on schedule.
 Page 84       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    We are going to conduct a hearing the first week of June, another hearing on STARS. In the meantime, I would like FAA or the chief vendor, Mr. Mead—any of you who have testified here today—to contact me immediately, if not sooner, if we see any slippage in what has been testified to here today as far as schedules. At the June 1st hearing, we will have a complete review of where we are, hopefully, the backup plan, training schedule, and an update. We are not going to stop until we make certain that these systems and programs are working and we have some viable schedule and action plan in place.
    I just ask you. That is how I will operate as chairman. I want you to let me know if you hear of any delays or anything that should slip behind, even between now and June 1st.
    There has been a request for additional questions to be submitted to this panel. Without objection, they will be submitted to you.
    In agreement with the majority and the minority, we will leave the record open for 30 days for additional submission of these questions and other submission of testimony. Without objection, that is so ordered.
    I think that we have had a good hearing today. I think Mr. Pascrell said that this has been in the past like a Fellini movie. It may have been a nightmare today, but it is not going to be that type of a finish. We are going to have one of those successful finishes.
    I look forward to working with all of you. I appreciate your coming out today and giving us an update. I think we can put this together and make it work, but we are all going to have to stick to some commitments and deadlines and review.
    There being no further business before the subcommittee, I want to thank again our witnesses and panelists for being with us.
    This hearing is now adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4:25 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, to reconvene subject to the call of the Chair.]
 Page 85       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC