FAA Asked To Widen Choice for Nexcom Technology

 - April 23, 2008, 6:12 AM

To ensure that FAA’s final selection of technology for its next-generation communications (Nexcom) is the most cost effective, the General Accounting Office has recommended the agency assess the “potential impact of emerging technologies.” In March 1998, the FAA rejected five other technological approaches for Nexcom and selected VHF digital link mode 3 (VDL-3) as the preferred technology. Because users will be required to buy new radios and other equipment for Nexcom, the GAO is concerned that “emerging technologies” might shorten the 30-year useful life planned for Nexcom, thus reducing the usefulness of Nexcom radios. The agency plans to evaluate the operational merits of VDL-3 in a series of three demonstrations between this October and October 2004.