NBAA’s Bolen: Flipped Switch Won’t Start NextGen ATC

 - April 8, 2008, 9:47 AM

The next-generation ATC system will not be turned on instantly with the flip of a switch, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 7th annual aviation summit last week. As moderator of a panel on “The Business of Aviation: A Five-Year Industry Growth Plan,” he explained that NextGen “is not a computer program that we’ll one day flip a switch for and find ourselves operating in a different environment. Instead, it’s already under way, and it builds on a number of initiatives that, taken together, will optimize the efficiency of system use.” Bolen said that NextGen, in essence, is the term used to identify a number of programs that are coming together to expand the capacity of the National Airspace System. One of the priorities that Bolen’s panel focused on is the need to transform the aviation system from its current radar-based surveillance to one based on satellite technology.