RTCA Releases NextGen Implementation Plan
The FAA expressed enthusiasm about the RTCA’s final report of its NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force released last week. The recommendations focus on five operational areas: surface, runway access, congested metropolitan airspace, cruise and National Airspace System access. They also encompass two specific NextGen capabilities: automated digital communications and integrated air traffic management. In addition, the task force identified four areas that affect the successful integration of NextGen capabilities. These overarching recommendations include providing incentives for equipage, streamlining operational approval and certification, achieving existing three- and five-mile separation standards and establishing institutional mechanisms to continue transparency and collaboration in NextGen development and implementation. “This is great for the FAA and a positive step for the aviation community,” said Mike Romanowski, ATO director of NextGen Integration and Implementation. “It will help us further focus on our near-term NextGen priorities where they will have the most impact first.” The FAA has already identified several of the recommendations for accelerated development. For example, the agency is taking a more strategic approach to performance-based navigation to bridge near-term NextGen efforts.