What’s your take on NextGen?

What do you think about NextGen — the Next Generation Air Transportation System — and its impact on general aviation pilots? Think it’s the best thing to happen to flying in a while? Or is it just more government-mandated expense to keep airborne?

Do you plan to take advantage of the services offered through NextGen? Have you already equipped your plane? If so, what has been your experience so far.

Leave your comments below.


  1. says

    ADS-B (aka NexGen) is a fantastic system EXCEPT for two major issues. (1) The uplink NWS Radar imagery is late and too old to be of any value. (2) Worse, the FAA decided to BLOCK uplink under you are ModeS’ing. Their reason is that they want to FORCE you to take advantage of the new technology. In other words, the FAA DOES NOT CARE ABOUT FLIGHT SAFETY. Any pilot who sees what ADS-B provides WILL DECIDE TO TRANSMIT. and make the necessary expense to do so. Just like the FAA’s “the iPAD is a new and revolutionary device for aviation” statement, clearly indicates their lack of knowledge. There have been tabletPC’s for nearly 15 years that do what the iPad does at half the cost.

  2. says

    I am a retired air traffic controller and a big supporter of the NextGen program. If the FAA follows through with the concepts the benefits will be worth the change. We have to embrace change as technology allows.

  3. Waleball says

    As a day good weather VFR pilot I don’t see any benefit for me and my type of flying. Being based in mid-Michigan the only traffic we see is at 30k ft. For the IFR guys that fly in the system it may make sense, but for average VFR GA pilot not much added value. Besides the cost currently to equip my plane exceeds it value by 2 to 1! I guess unless the FAA will foot the bill to equip my plane I’ll just have to give the major airports a wide berth if I get close!

  4. Jim Klick says

    My “Day-VFR Only” Pitts S1S is based at an airport (KLOT), that is 1 NM inside the Chicago/O’Hare Class B airspace. As I understand it,
    my choices are: Move to an airport at least 10 miles further from home, or: find space (Ha!, there is none) to install equipment
    that costs more than the airplane did. Oh, one other choice:
    Anyone interested in buying a beautiful piece of history? It is the first factory built, certificated Pitts S1S. Look for it in
    Trade-a-Plane and on Barnstormers.

  5. Ed Watson says

    NexGen must be considered as an AID, not the end-all and be-all just as any other of our “modern” aids like radar, wx, even radio’s and other avionics. These aids make the airplane more useful as did the controllable pitch propeller, the retractable landing gear, flaps and reliable engines.

    BUT, NexGen can be an excellent aid in support of see and be seen operations as well as IFR as there are many areas of the country where radar is quite limited for GA aircraft flying under 10,000 feet. Thus it would provide a very significant margin of safety both in the air and and could provide more safety for SAR operations. If I were active these days I’d go for it in a short minute.

  6. Old Flyer says

    I agree with Planehook that the devil is in the details. And, one significant devil is the cost to equip an airplane with ADS-B. Considering the majority of privately owned GA aircraft are 30+ years old, the cost to equip these planes becomes 25% – 30% of the value of the plane. In these cases I believe many of these owners will simply be forced to vote with their wallet, and not install ADS-B. It simply makes no econimical sense.

    If a sigificant portion of the GA fleet does not equip with ADS-B, then the whole system will be marginalized. The FAA needs to make this equipment affordable to the vast majority of owners.

  7. says

    ADS-B is dependent upon GPS. The protection of the broadcast frequencies of our orbiting navaids will have to be ironclad. There can be no political indulgences granted for those wanting to test the compatibilities of new communication technologies in or near the frequency ranges of a GPS signal.

    The NTSB posted general aviation safety on its Most Wanted List (http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl.html). They should be one of many agencies that require the FCC coordinate more regularly with the FAA on potential navigation frequency interference in the interest of flying safety.

    ADS-B is a promising technology with many potential benefits. But as always, the Devil is in the details.

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