Friday, October 21, 2011
Shuffle the Deck Again
FAA’s Air Traffic Chief Pledges Execution of Capital Programs
”The largest commitment involves the $2.1 billion En Route Automation Modernization (Eram) program to replace the computer system connecting 20 FAA air route traffic control centers. According to the DOT IG, the program is running four years late and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.
“This isn’t necessarily a failure of money. This is a failure of management,” U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said during a hearing on October 5. Grizzle said developers must introduce 200,000 additional lines of software code to the system and complete 18 more en route centers before anyone can consider Eram operationally ready.”
Here’s a crazy idea. Take the last 100 computer programmers Lockheed has hired -- the kids just out of college -- send them out to academy in Oklahoma City and try to make them controllers. Those that make it through, send them to the various Centers and try to make them controllers. Let them work traffic for 2 years and them give them back to Lockheed. They’ll be there in time to work on ERAM.
Or you could reverse that idea -- like they did last time. Take 100 controllers and let Lockheed make them into programmers.
You could do both at the same time. Well, except for the fact that the FAA is short of controllers. (That’s what happens when you let ideologues run your bureaucracy.) Let me restate it. The U.S. Government could afford to do both -- at the same time. And it would be a pittance compared to what it will wind up costing us in the end.
Meanwhile, enjoy watching history repeat itself. No matter how many times they shuffle the deck, they’re still playing with the same cards.
October 21, 2011