Problems dogging new high-tech air traffic system

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The FAA hasn’t had a full-fledged leader since December, when Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned after a drunken-driving arrest. President Obama nominated Michael Huerta, who had been heading up NextGen for FAA, to replace Mr. Babbitt, but his confirmation has been held up in the Senate. With Mr. Huerta serving only in an acting capacity, the FAA hasn’t made management changes called for by the bill that Congress passed in February.

“Those changes will not occur until a permanent FAA administrator is in place,” the GAO’s Gerald Dillingham said.

Others, including the air traffic controllers group, the National Business Aviation Association and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, planned to tell the House subcommittee that they’re working constructively with the FAA to put in place the system as quickly as possible.

The CEO of the low-cost air carrier JetBlue Airways, Dave Barger, said in prepared remarks that the new GPS technology is being installed on 35 of his airline’s jets and will be completed by the end of the year.

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