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Discusses the Federal Aviation Administration plan to modernize and eventually automate the US air traffic control system over the next 20 years. The plan calls for replacing IBM 9020 computers with more powerful systems, automating ground-air communications systems and replacing very high- and ultrahigh-frequency instrument landing systems with microwave landing systems. After 1990, all critical ATC functions are to be fully automated. A number of questions and criticisms of the plane were raised by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Rand Corp.