Inspector General to assess NextGen progress

Is the FAA moving as it should in decisions and actions relating to the Next Generation Air Transportation System — NextGen — and if not, why not? That is what the office of Inspector General of the Department of Transportation will try to determine in an audit of the FAA’s progress on the program.

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Contract towers equal in safety, less in cost

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 250 air traffic control towers operated under contract to the FAA handle 28% of all operations, but cost only 14% of the budget, according to statements before an aviation subcommittee whose members expressed concerns about possible severe cuts in operations if the President’s threatened automatic budget sequester goes into effect in January.

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Garmin introduces ADS-B lineup

Garmin has introduced a suite of certified and portable ADS-B solutions, providing options for any aircraft owner to satisfy the U.S. NextGen mandate for ADS-B Out and also gain access to the benefits of ADS-B In, including  traffic and subscription-free weather information.

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ADS-B’s two-for-one deal

This is the 11th in a series of articles looking at the impact of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) on GA pilots.

Sounds like a sale doesn’t it? Well, not really. Instead, it’s a reference to the FAA’s decision as part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to use two different “systems” within the ADS-B environment, so everyone on both sides of the aisle would be happy.

This is how it came down: The big boys on top, the transport carriers, have been using the newer Mode S 1090ES (Extended Squitter) transponder system that we discussed last month for some time know. Perfectly understandable since they have all the necessary attributes to work in the proposed ADS-B system environment.

But — don’t you just hate those buts? — the Mode S transponders have some limitations.

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The transition to ADS-B

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

ADS-B is the system that literally allows NextGen to become “The Next NextGen.” It stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast. But what does that all mean?

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Controllers say realignment OK if they are part of plan

WASHINGTON, D.C — Congress is taking a look at the FAA’s plans and efforts to consolidate air traffic control facilities and the controllers’ union says it supports the changes, but only if safety, efficiency, and service are improved.

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Hearing Thursday to examine FAA consolidation plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Congressional hearing on Thursday will examine the FAA’S efforts to consolidate air traffic control facilities to provide long-term cost savings and help U.S. aviation transition to the NextGen air traffic control system.

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Embry-Riddle gains access to real-time flight data for NextGen research

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and ITT Exelishave entered into a licensing agreement for Exelis to provide its real-time integrated Next Generation flight-tracking data for ERAU’s academic research and analysis.

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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...]

NextGen update now available

The FAA’s NextGen Implementation Plan is now available. The 100-page report chronicles the accomplishments of NextGen in 2011 and outlines plans for the current year and moving forward.

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