Inspector General To Audit ADS-B Process

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As the FAA gets ready this week to award a massive contract (estimated at $1 billion) to implement the so-called NextGen airspace system, there will be folks with sharp pencils looking over its shoulder. In an Aug. 15 memo obtained by AVweb, the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General has told the agency it will be auditing implementation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system that is the cornerstone of the NextGen system. “Specifically, our objectives are to (1) examine key risks to FAA's successful implementation of ADS-B and (2) assess the strengths and weaknesses of FAA's proposed contracting approach,” Robert Martin, the Assistant Inspector General for Aviation and Special Program Audits wrote to the agency. [more] According to the agency’s implementation timetable, the contract for the 15-year project is supposed to be awarded by the end of this month, with implementation in Louisville, the Gulf of Mexico, Philadelphia and Juneau by spring of 2010. By 2025, the system is scheduled to fully replace the existing ground-based system, although radar will continue to be part of the NextGen system.