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US Air Traffic Control System Lacks Interoperability With Other Countries

© AFP 2023 / TREVOR COLLENSAn aircraft flies past the control tower as it prepares to land at New York's John F Kennedy Airport, May 25, 2015
An aircraft flies past the control tower as it prepares to land at New York's John F Kennedy Airport, May 25, 2015 - Sputnik International
A new report by the US Government Accountability Office says that the next generation software program to handle US air traffic management may have problems operating with systems in other countries.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The next generation software program to handle US air traffic management may have problems operating with systems in other countries, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report.

Based on interviews with aviation experts, GAO said on Friday "various factors… may affect the interoperability of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)—a complex, long-term initiative to modernize the US air-traffic management (ATM) system—with other countries' ATM modernization efforts.”

Interoperability allows different air traffic management systems to accept and use each other's information and services for technical or operational purposes, the GAO explained.

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) developed an international strategic plan in 2014 to guide internal efforts for coordinating and executing NextGen's global interoperability and other international activities, the GAO noted.

“However, FAA lacks a mechanism for comprehensively identifying and assessing risks and for prioritizing resources to manage NextGen's interoperability risks,” the report continued.

FAA has not conducted a comprehensive risk assessment or analysis of threats and vulnerabilities specific to NextGen interoperability, GAO added.

“Without a more comprehensive approach to assessing and managing risks, FAA is not well positioned to ensure that its strategy effectively mitigates all potential risks to NextGen's interoperability or to prioritize resources toward actions that will manage and mitigate those risks,” the report concluded.

The GAO recommended that FAA conduct a comprehensive assessment of risks to NextGen's global interoperability.

The US Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends the taxpayers’ money.

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