FAA, industry to speed NextGen tech deployment

FAA, industry to speed NextGen tech deployment

Federal Aviation Administration announced that the agency and the aviation community have agreed on a plan that accelerates the delivery of key NextGen technologies over the next three years.

The agency and industry share responsibility to meet specific milestones, locations, timelines and metrics for “high priority, high readiness” initiatives, including multiple runway operations, performance-based navigation as well as surface and data communications, the FAA said in its statement

According to the NextGen Priorities Joint Implementation Plan, the FAA will

Institute multiple runway operations at 36 airports nationwide to increase airport efficiency and reduce flight delays. 

Deploy performance-based navigation at three key metropolitan areas – Northern California, Atlanta and Charlotte. This satellite-based navigation will provide more direct flight paths, improved airport arrival rates, enhanced controller productivity, increased safety due to repeatable and predictable flight paths, fuel savings and a reduction in aviation’s environmental impact.  

Increase surface operations data sharing in order to increase predictability and provide actionable and measurable surface efficiency improvements at our nation’s airports. 

Prioritize its work on data communications services, which upgrades communication between pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers from voice to digital, providing enhanced safety and efficiency of the airspace system, especially under bad weather conditions.

Importantly, industry stakeholders are responsible for ensuring pilot awareness of new runway and airspace procedures, equipping aircraft with data communications technology, collaborating with the FAA on performance-based navigation airspace redesign and data sharing.

In addition, the FAA released a study by MITRE Corp. that took assessed NextGen’s current status and recommended ways to refine plans and expectations for the future.  In the report, MITRE provides examples of areas where technology has been or is in the process of deployment, but some of the complementary activities have not been achieved, such as full transition to decision support tools for traffic flow management.   

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