Everybody in aviation has heard about NextGen, the buzzterm that stands for the ponderous Next Generation Air Transportation System. But what is it, exactly? Ask 10 people and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. And don’t ask the popular media or tv or a politician: all they’ll tell you is that it’s “satellite-based” and coming soon.
Air Traffic Organization
The FAA on Tuesday awarded a $437 million contract to Raytheon to support the agency in training air traffic controllers.
The House of Representatives on July 22 unanimously approved a bipartisan aviation bill that tightens the FAA’s airline maintenance oversight procedures and creates an Aviation Safety Whistleblower Investigation Office.
A shortage of controllers at Chicago Center and an uptick in air traffic in that sector are a prescription for disaster that the FAA has so far ignored at the expense of public safety, claim officials for the air traffic controllers union.
Although the FAA has finally commissioned its first standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), the agency has drastically reduced the number of systems it plans to install at the nation’s airports. And that has caused some people to question the FAA’s commitment to ATC modernization.
American Airlines Capt. Russell Chew, managing director of systems operations control for the carrier, has been chosen to be the chief operating officer (COO) of the long-gestating Air Traffic Organization (ATO) within the FAA.
Both the House and the Senate passed their own versions of an FAA reauthorization bill last month, so differences between the two measures–and the threat of Presidential veto–must be resolved by a House/ Senate conference committee before Congress casts its final vote.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has designated the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center an AIAA Historic Aerospace Site for its pivotal role in creating the nation’s ATC system over the past 50 years.
The Transportation Department’s plan to manage congestion at New York’s three area airports drew criticism from industry witnesses and members of Congress last month, and the head of the airline lobby once again used the forum to blame business aviation as a “significant contributor” to delays in the Northeast corridor.
The issue of controller staffing is intensifying the long-running debate between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca). During a House aviation subcommittee hearing last month, Hank Krakowski, COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, and Natca president Pat Forrey debated the FAA’s current plan for controller hiring. Transportation Department inspector general Calvin Scovel III and Dr.