FAA drafts a plan for the future

 - August 11, 2008, 8:51 AM

Saying aviation faces the “one-two-three punch” of terrorism, ATC modernization requirements and tenuous global economic conditions, the FAA has drafted an ambitious 20-year plan for confronting such challenges head on.

Simply called The Flight Plan, the 46-page document outlines the problems confronting aviation and offers ideas for dealing with them. Developed for initial implementation in the 2004 through 2008 time frame, the plan’s major goals are to increase air safety and capacity while more closely coordinating modernization efforts with the rest of the world and keeping a tighter lid on costs.

At the same time, the FAA said it must reinvent itself as “a world-class enterprise” for the 21st century, working more closely with NASA and the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Commerce to make needed improvements.

“Today, the challenges facing aviation demand nothing less than transformation of the system itself,” the report states. “This will require a willingness to embrace change on both the part of the industry and the FAA.”

Topping the list of areas that in the FAA’s view demand more attention are airline fatal accident rates, runway incursions, modernization of ATC infrastructure, capacity and costs. Targeted for full implementation by 2025, the plan lays out a number of objectives and suggests initiatives for meeting its goals. To view the draft proposal, visit www2.faa.gov/apo/strategicplan/FAADraftFlightPlan2003_2008.pdf.