Problems Dogging New High-Tech Air Traffic System

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A high-tech overhaul to the nation's air traffic control system is mostly on track to completion. But so far, it isn't producing the benefits that airlines and passengers expected.

Federal investigators say progress has been slow as the Federal Aviation Administration replaces outdated radar technology with a GPS-based system called NextGen. The goal is to reduce delays, fuel consumption and flight times.

After years of cost overruns and delays, the program is in better shape. But progress is slow as the FAA moves from planning to putting the system in place.

A program to manage traffic near big cities has been scaled back. Computer glitches persist and airlines are reluctant to spend the money to update their planes.

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