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Areas of Practice: Air Traffic Management


GRA has been involved in examining how air traffic management services are provided worldwide. The firm has supported major modernization initiatives, including FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, and also conducted the first study of a single air traffic system in Western Europe for the Association of European Airlines, which led to the SESAR initiative.

GRA has participated in every major review of the structure of the U.S. air traffic control (ATC) system, including:

  • Corporatization of FAA ATC Services: GRA provided support to the FAA in a comprehensive analysis of shifting the provision of air traffic control services to a government corporation. GRA assisted an inter-agency Executive Oversight Committee and supported task forces in budget and finance, governance, personnel and procurement.
  • National Civil Aviation Review Commission: GRA assisted the Mineta Commission in developing models for estimating the incidence of potential user fees and taxes to provide funding for the ATC system under alternative mechanisms.
  • 2007 FAA Reauthorization: GRA participated in the development of an activity and cost modeling system for FAA’s ATC services. The model was used in the most recent agency proposal to establish independent financing for major components of the system.
  • 2015 FAA Reauthorization: GRA is supporting the FAA and aviation industry stakeholders in analyzing the impacts of potential changes to the FAA’s financing and governance structure.

To support the work noted above, GRA developed, and currently maintains, the FAA’s integrated Air Traffic Organization activity measurement and cost analysis system, the Air Traffic Services Business Model. The model tracks all costs and activity at the air traffic service delivery point level (i.e. individual towers and centers); it also estimates the costs of maintaining individual National Airspace System facilities, such as radar, communications, and navigation and landing systems.