FAA overhaul will change IT purchasing

A shake-up at the Federal Aviation Administration announced last week by Russell G. Chew, its new chief operating officer, will change the way the agency buys IT.

The new structure will alter how FAA handles major IT projects such as the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, an initiative to replace old air traffic monitors with modern displays that integrate weather and traffic data on the same screen. The project has been beset by major cost overruns and schedule delays.

'The acquisitions will be made by the people who will be using them,' Chew said. 'If you were going to buy a new stereo, you wouldn't have your neighbor buy it'you wouldn't get what you wanted.'

Charles Keegan, former associate administrator for research and acquisitions, once charged with overseeing all IT purchases, now is vice president of en route air traffic services and oceanic airspace services. His IT focus will narrow to systems such as the Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures and the En Route Automation Replacement Modernization, which will replace aging computer hardware and software.

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