The Federal Aviation Administration could have a tough time meeting its deadline for the Next Generation Air Transportation program, or NextGen – a 20-year, $40 billion initiative designed to modernize a decades-old U.S. aviation system by using satellite-based, digital technologies to make air travel safe, reliable, convenient and more predictable – according to the Transportation Department's inspector general.
A new working group comprised of the Federal Aviation Administration and aviation industry members is taking on the task of equipping avionics with next-generation technology by a mandated deadline.
Following successful tests at Boston's Logan International Airport, New York's LaGuardia Airport will be the next site to see how algorithms can improve air traffic management – by reducing the time passenger planes spend taxiing and idling.
FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker said he FAA needs to make sure that airlines and other operators comply with the mandate for implementing the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, equipment in their aircraft by 2020.
During an Oct. 8 meeting, Federal Aviation Administration officials, airlines, manufacturers and labor groups agreed on a plan that sets specific milestones, locations, timelines and metrics for completing what the group identified as NextGen's "high priority, high readiness" initiatives.
When a contractor last week started a fire at an air traffic control center near Chicago, one of America's busiest airspaces, thousands of flights were delayed or canceled. The Federal Aviation Administration's quick response to get the center operational again is indicative of the flexibility the industry needs, the agency's top official said.
The Transportation Department's inspector general recently said the implementation of an advanced system to help manage air traffic — which the watchdog warned in a previous report could fall short of capabilities, go over budget and over schedule — is still at risk.
The Transportation Department watchdog said it will review why some major airlines and their pilots are not using performance-based navigation- which is part of the Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen initiative- even though it can deliver significant benefits.
While some lawmakers find the Federal Aviation Administration's implementation of key 2020 NextGen program milestones slow, the Transportation Department's Inspector General says it's not due to inadequate funding.
The Federal Aviation Administration lacks the necessary authority to create an incentive program that encourages pilots to equip aircraft with technology critical to the success of FAA's 2020 NextGen program.