Presenters at an RTCA symposium in Washington, D.C., last week warned that the FAA’s ambitious NextGen overhaul of the ATC system in the U.S. faces daunting challenges that must be addressed now to avoid delays and cost overruns in the future. But FAA officials speaking at the event also pointed to progress in deploying ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) ground stations across the U.S.
Air Traffic Organization
President Obama announced in Milwaukee yesterday that airports and the Next Generation Air Traffic System will be part of a more than $50 billion investment in the U.S.'s transportation infrastructure in the next year, the first installment of a six-year transportation strategy that includes creating an “infrastructure bank.” White House officials said the cost will be offset by raising taxes on oil and gas companies.
A DOT Inspector General report warns that the FAA is facing several challenges that could delay its transition plan to NextGen. Most critically, the watchdog agency said, the FAA has not set realistic NextGen expectations and firm requirements for what can be achieved in the midterm and for assessing the associated risks.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the best part of a generation has been expended in talking up the promised benefits of the U.S. NextGen air traffic management system. But, like its counterpart Single European Sky program over here, NextGen is now becoming a reality and the ITT group is a big part of this reality.
The top official in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called on the nation to “acknowledge, recognize and deal with the conflicts between us all on the issues of general aviation and corporate aviation.”
Ask any politician or media person what NextGen is and what it will do,
and the chances are that the answers will include three common themes. First, you’ll hear that it uses satellites; second, it will be a boon to the traveling public; and third, it’s “on its way.” So far, so good. However, the devil is in the details, and NextGen has details in spades.
Separate testimonies late last month before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the DOT Inspector General raised serious issues concerning the FAA’s management of its NextGen project.
Debate on S.1451, a bill that would reauthorize FAA spending and programs for two years, began this morning on the Senate floor.
Humans beware. Computers want your job, and considering that they’re smarter, better looking and will work for no pay, they’ll probably get it someday. For professional pilots that could mean preparing for the day when the captain is a software app and you’re just along for the ride.
The FAA last month responded to the RTCA Industry NextGen Implementation Task Force’s recommendations for the transition to NextGen. The agency had earlier invited the group–300 people recruited from all segments of the aviation industry–to propose optimum solutions to the mid-term, 2010 to 2018, transition to the full implementation of NextGen. The task force published its consensus recommendations last September.