One of the traditional buzz phrases in discussions about improving ATC has been the time-honored “system of systems” that envisions a National Airspace System in which everything meshes together smoothly. It will be some time before the U.S. realizes that vision with NextGen, according to Lockheed Martin’s Tom Dilenno, who spoke at last month’s Air Traffic Control Association Conference.
National Airspace System
According to NBAA, the implementation date for the FAA’s En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) program has been postponed from this Thursday, June 5, until June 29 to prevent conflict with the start of a new charting cycle and the transition to the West Atlantic Route System (WATRS).
The Transportation Department’s inspector general issued a report last month that contradicts general aviation’s claim that GA operators are only marginal airspace users. However, the report did support the assertion that GA user groups tend to avoid the large primary metropolitan airports.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) gave “Sentinel of Safety” awards to Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) to honor them for advancing aviation safety.
According to the controllers’ union, LoBiondo has been an outspoken leader on countless issues affecting the lives of working union members.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Transportation Department Inspector General are questioning whether the FAA’s safety inspectors and air traffic controllers will be able to cope with the introduction of very light jets (VLJ) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
In the ongoing debate about what the next generation air transportation system (NGATS) should entail, the Air Traffic Control Association held a symposium in Washington in late June to discuss “Rightsizing the NAS.”
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