FIGURE 1-1 FAA air traffic organization, Technical Operations organizational chart.
SOURCE: FAA, 2012a:25.

Executive Order 13180 and deleted the term “inherently governmental function” from the original order (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002). This amendment allowed the FAA to contract some air traffic controller functions to private concerns, largely at smaller air traffic control towers (Wigfall, 2006). Maintenance and certification of NAS equipment, however, remained a strictly governmental function that is performed only by the FAA. Consequently, this study focuses only on employees of the FAA.

Airway Transportation Systems Specialists

President Obama’s 2013 FAA budget submission describes the responsibilities of the FAA Technical Operations branch, and specifically of ATSS, as follows:

Technical Operations ensures that thousands of systems, facilities, and pieces of equipment are operationally ready to manage our nation’s air traffic control system. Without system specialists and management teams working to complete preventive maintenance and repair down equipment, unscheduled outages can result in delays in the system, negatively impacting the flying public.

Another component of the Technical Operations organization that serves as a vital link in delivering air traffic control services is Aviation System Standards’ flight inspection operations. Technical Operations

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