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To meet the challenges posed by today's aircraft and rising volumes of air traffic, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is undertaking a many-faceted developmental program for increasing the capabilities of its traffic control system. Referred to as the National Airspace System (NAS), the program is evolutionary in the sense that the projected goals are to be reached systematically through step-by-step changes. The system deals, on an unusually large scale, with all of the basic functions normally associated with real-time control: information gathering, data communication, data processing, man-machine interaction, and information dissemination. Contributing to the system as a whole are many FAA-defined subsystems; the devices and programs that implement these subsystems are provided by a variety of contractors.
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