Raytheon: FAA IG criticism fair

Raytheon Co., the prime contractor for the Federal Aviation Administration's Integrated Terminal Weather System, said it agrees with an agency investigation that claims the program has suffered from delays and cost overruns caused by expansion of the system's original requirements.

In a Dec. 20 report, the Transportation Department inspector general's office blasted the FAA for its mismanagement of the project that has put the program over budget and behind schedule. The agency intends to extend the deployment through June 2008, nearly five years later than scheduled.

"It's unfortunate the FAA doesn't do a better job estimating what it's going to cost to do these systems," said Bill Marberg, director of business development at Raytheon Air Traffic Management Systems.

Raytheon of Lexington, Mass., was awarded the $286 million contract in January 1997. Marberg said the report was correct in blaming the delays and cost overruns on the FAA's expansion of its requirements for the system beyond what was originally planned.

"The amount of software that was developed changed, and the hardware configuration dramatically changed," he said.

While Raytheon agreed with the criticism, the company considered the $55 million in cost overruns insignificant. "We're really arguing about a relatively small amount of money; it pays for itself in less than a year," Marberg said.


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