Chairman McCaskill Raises Concerns about FAA’s Contract to Train Air Traffic Controllers

Today Chairman McCaskill wrote to Federal Aviation Administration Acting Administrator Michael Huerta to ask for information about the FAA’s Air Traffic Controller Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) contract.  The Subcommittee has learned that the ATCOTS contract, which was awarded to Raytheon in 2008, is due to run out of money by August 2012, more than a year before the contract is due to end.  To address the shortfall in funding and continue the training, FAA may be planning to exercise the first three-year option period earlier than anticipated.  Exercising the option early would commit FAA to a three-year contract without addressing the need to update cost estimates, define training requirements, and develop and implement appropriate performance measures.  Instead, it appears that FAA plans to continue the ATCOTS contract without adequately addressing many of the issues which have led to the current cost overruns and performance shortfalls.