The NextGen priorities list developed by an RTCA advisory committee was announced on Friday at the annual NextGen Institute meeting in Washington, D.C. The RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) approved the list one day earlier, assigning “Tier 1A and 1B” priority to 11 capabilities that are considered equally important.
Tier 1A capabilities, deemed to have higher readiness status, include performance-based navigation (PBN) operations; data-sharing on the airport surface; time-based flow management; re-categorization of wake separation standards; and PBN through the FAA’s optimization of airspace in the metroplex effort.
Tier 1B priorities, which the committee believes should be accelerated, are collaborative air traffic management and decision-making; ADS-B Out separation management; data communications for separation management and weather rerouting; and en route PBN.
While some speakers expressed concern that NextGen priority setting could undermine the overall effort, GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce welcomed the exercise. He related that on a recent attempt to fly an RNP approach overlaying the ILS into Chicago Executive Airport, controllers directed him to a different fix and vectored him “with five different radio transmissions” to the ILS approach. “We’re almost there,” he said. “We have to stay with this and we really have to focus our efforts. I think what the NAC has been working on is really good because we can prioritize.”