NextGen Institute meeting spotlights road ahead

The NextGen Institute, a U.S. government-private sector partnership, held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.,  Sept. 21, where government officials and industry representatives gathered to highlight accomplishments in the development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and to discuss the road ahead. A report at Rotor.com, the website of the Helicopter Association International, quotes Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari: “NextGen will affect the global aviation system for the better. NextGen is the United States’ chance to continue to lead the world in aviation.”

But the report continues, quoting former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, who noted that if the Jan. 2 sequestration process indeed happens, it would be a “blow at a very critical point” in the NextGen implementation program and “delay, diminish, and jack up the price” of equipage. Read the entire report here.

GA already benefiting from NextGen

General aviation is benefiting from changes to the switch to NextGen — think WAAS instrument approaches and T-routes — but the FAA needs to lay out a clear case for equipping aircraft with affordable systems to offer new benefits. That’s what the National Business Aviation Association’s Ed Bolen told a Congressional panel last week, according to a report at AOPA.org. “The FAA could alleviate lingering user uncertainty about costs and benefits of equipping aircraft early in the transition by laying out a clear case that firmly establishes system requirements, incentivizes early adoption, and provides accountability through the establishment of a comprehensive timeline and budget,” the report quotes Bolen.

NextGen getting on track but problems persist

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After long delays and high cost overruns, development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is starting to get back on track, but because of program problems, users of the system are reluctant to invest in equipment for their aircraft.

The FAA has been spending about $1 billion a year since the program was launched almost nine years ago. Expenditure for the completed project is forecast to be $20 billion to $27 billion, making it one of the largest single projects undertaken by the federal government.

[Read more…]

Status of NextGen focus of Congressional hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Congressional hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 12, will examine the status — and delays — of the FAA’s  air traffic control modernization program known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

The Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), will receive testimony from federal government and aviation industry witnesses regarding the management and status of NextGen. [Read more…]

NextGen Institute slates annual public meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NextGen Institute, a partnership between the government and private sector to work on the development and implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), will hold its annual public meeting Sept. 21 at the Department of Transportation headquarters. The meeting, “NextGen: Great Promise and Challenges Remain for Government and Industry,” is from 9 a.m. to noon. Speakers include House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri and Ranking Member Jerry Costello, and Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari. To register, click here.

Could NextGen be hacked?

Computer security experts worry that the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen, is vulnerable to hackers. Reporters from NPR talk to one hacker who says he could place “ghost planes” in the system, essentially causing chaos. They quote him: “If you could introduce enough chaos into the system — for even an hour — that hour will ripple though the entire world’s air traffic control.” Check it out here.