So is NextGen really NextGen?

This is the ninth in a series of articles looking at the impact of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) on GA pilots.

What the heck is this all about? NextGen really not NextGen?

Over the course of the last 10 months we have reviewed quite a few navigation techniques that always brought something new to the table. It could be in hardware, procedures, rules, or even just seat of the pants know how. Each and every addition added improvements in safety, efficiency, or speed.

So were these previous developments considered NextGen? You bet they were. [Read more…]

By demand: More on WAAS


This is the eighth in a series of articles looking at the impact of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) on GA pilots.

First I would like to thank all the readers who have responded to the NextGen series. Feedback is always beneficial in providing a clearer understanding of each article’s content. It also allows us to modify and improve the content by way of specific requests and additional information from you, the reader. We thank you for that.

With that, we have received a fair amount of mail asking to provide more information on WAAS before we dive into ADS-B. WAAS is a more involved GPS system and does deserve more attention than just a mention since it will play a part with ADS-B and NextGen.

[Read more…]

Trilateration: A must for NextGen and ADS-B

Fig 2a,b,c,d

This is the seventh in a series of articles looking at the impact of NextGen on GA pilots.

Last post we discussed where GPS came from and how its implementation was successfully completed by using ground base pseudolites.

We also reviewed how triangulation was used for navigation. Triangulation basically emulates what we in aviation have used for years with VORs and ADFs. Pick two or more transmitters, home in on their intersection and, boom, you found your location.

Now we will home in on GPS a bit more and begin to see what role GPS will play in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and Automatic Dependent Survelliance-Broadcast (ADS-B), the cornerstone of NextGen.

[Read more…]

GAO: NextGen over budget and behind schedule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After causing the FAA to limp along on 23 temporary funding extensions, Congress finally passed a four-year authorization last month. A question now facing FAA watchers is: Will this steadier funding mean a smoothing of the turbulence the agency has seen in developing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)?

A report released Feb. 16 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that of 30 major NextGen programs studied, costs for 11 have increased from initial estimates by a total of $4.2 billion and 15 programs experienced delays ranging from two months to more than 14 years. Of the 15 programs experiencing schedule delays, 10 also had cost increases. The WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) program, which the FAA estimates will be completed in 2013, is the one experiencing the 14-year delay.

[Read more…]