Transportation's 2009 budget targets gridlock relief

President Bush’s fiscal 2009 budget would double the investment in next- generation technologies to transform the air traffic control system from radar-based to satellite-based to accommodate the growing demand for air travel.

The budget would inject $688 million to begin to develop the system, Transportation Department Secretary Mary Peters has said about one of her department's objectives.

Transportation’s proposed budget calls for $63.2 billion in discretionary spending, $6 billion less than in fiscal 2008, and $1.2 billion in mandatory outlays. Information technology spending would rise 7.8 percent to $2.9 billion. IT spending on development would increase to $1.6 billion, while spending for IT operations would rise slightly to almost $1.4 billion.

“This budget helps us move forward on a new course that delivers high levels of safety, takes advantage of modern technology and financing mechanisms, and eases congestion with efficient and reliable transportation systems,” Peters said Feb. 4 in announcing the Transportation budget.

Almost a third of the budget would go toward safety programs to help make travel safer by focusing on problem areas like runway incursions and near misses in the air, motorcycle crashes and pedestrian injuries. The budget would also provide funding to hire additional safety personnel, such as air traffic controllers and pipeline inspectors.

Peters said the budget also proposes to use $175 million in inactive earmarks and 75 percent of certain discretionary highway and transit program funds to fight congestion, giving priority to projects that combine a mix of pricing, transit and technology applications.

Among developing IT projects, the department’s Delphi financial management system would receive a boost of $21 million.

In addition to funding for the NextGen satellite-based system, the Federal Aviation Administration would target $33.5 million for Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X to prevent runway accidents and $207 million for the En Route Automation Modernization, less than was spent during the past two years. ERAM provides the hardware and software for interfaces, communications and support infrastructure for emerging capabilities in the nation’s airspace.

Transportation would receive $23.2 million for departmental IT infrastructure, including for the new headquarters building in Washington.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    OPM nominee plans focus on telework, IT, retirement

    Kiran Ahuja, a veteran of the Office of Personnel Management, told lawmakers that she thinks that the lack of consistent leadership in the top position at OPM has taken a toll on the ability of the agency to complete longer term IT modernization projects.

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

Stay Connected