How does a Cub driver prepare for NextGen?

Anybody reading our Fly the Distance with NextGen series knows that we took the series to the streets and performed a one-hour event at this year’s SUN ’n FUN.

To be perfectly honest, we really did not know just how much interest there was in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), nor did we have any preconceptions as to what to expect at the show.

I would have to say we were pleasantly surprised at the turnout.

[Read more...]

NextGen still facing unresolved issues

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The FAA’s program for the Next Generation Air Traffic Control system (NextGen) has made some progress, but still lacks major planning decisions and actions that can both delay implementation and substantially increase the cost.

[Read more...]

Delays in NextGen to be focus of hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), will hold a hearing next Wednesday on the ongoing delays in the FAA’s air traffic control system modernization program, known as NextGen.

[Read more...]

ADS-B already benefiting pilots

Over the past year, this series has covered just about all there is to know about the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

We have received a fair amount of mail, with many in the general aviation community seeking information on ADS-B hardware. The question that comes up most often is the current state of ADS-B installations throughout the U.S.

[Read more...]

Want to learn more about NextGen?

The FAA’s NextGen system is scheduled for launch by the end of the year. Are you ready for this change?

[Read more...]

Going to SUN ’n FUN and want to learn more about NextGen?

The FAA’s NextGen system is scheduled for launch by the end of the year. Are you ready for this change?

Matchbox’s Jeffrey Boccaccio, NextGen columnist for General Aviation News,  will offer a free presentation demonstrating how easy this transition will be for general aviation pilots, [Read more...]

NextGen: Where do we go from here?

Over this past year this series has covered just about all aspects of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and what it will do for General Aviation.

In addition, we went even further, delivering an historical perspective of the entire National Airspace System. We believed it was necessary to remind each aviator that our way of life will always be in a state of change.

[Read more...]

Quantum Leap: NextGen and the GA pilot

For all the talk about NextGen — the Next Generation Air Transportation System — there are many pilots who still think it’s somewhere far off in the future. Think again.

“People are starting to see that we’re way beyond the drawing board or the science experiment stage,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Many components of NextGen are in place, and NextGen is showing results today.”

[Read more...]

What do GA pilots think about NextGen?

We asked our Facebook fans and subscribers to The Pulse of Aviation about their take on NextGen. Is it the best thing to happen to flying in a while? Or is it just more government-mandated expense to keep airborne?

Here are just a few of their comments:

  • Best thing to happen. But the cost will have to come down before it is widely accepted by individual operators.

  • More expense to satisfy Big Brother!

  • I want no part of it…invasive and too expensive.

  • The only reason anyone in GA should know anything about NextGen is to keep the sport of aviation from being screwed by it.

  • 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. 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.

  • I agree 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 economical sense.

  • If a significant 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.

  • 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 tabletPCs for nearly 15 years that do what the iPad does at half the cost.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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 radios 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.

So what do you think? Add your comments below.

Time to get familiar with NextGen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It has been said by FAA officials that moving from the present air traffic control system to a satellite-based one is like trying to replace a flat tire on a car while it is speeding down the highway.

And while implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) may be behind schedule and over budget, it is moving along and pilots need to get familiar with it.

[Read more...]