NextGen Could Face Delays, Says DOT IG

 - June 24, 2010, 12:09 PM

The DOT Inspector General warned in a recently released report that the FAA is facing several challenges that could delay its transition plan to NextGen. Most critically, the DOT watchdog said, the FAA has not set realistic NextGen expectations and firm requirements for what can be achieved in the midterm and for assessing the associated risks. In addition, the agency faces hurdles in getting partner agencies to adjust their plans and budgets to accommodate NextGen efforts. To date, the DOT IG said the FAA has failed to fully leverage research and development activities at these agencies that could enhance NextGen development and reduce costs. Despite making some progress in engaging the private sector to help develop NextGen and shape policies, the FAA should do a better job of defining the role of the NextGen Institute and ensuring demonstration projects are more outcome-focused, according to the IG report. ìAlthough the FAA considers NextGen to be one of the most complex systems ever developed by the U.S. government, [it] has not yet acquired the necessary [skills] and expertise to successfully implement NextGen,î the report concluded.