Very light jet air-taxi operator DayJet today signed an agreement with the FAA to start a five-year, phased implementation of proven NextGen technologies throughout Florida in collaboration with the Florida DOT Aviation Office and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
In a briefing sponsored by the Flight Safety Foundation in Wash- ington last month, David McMillan, director general of Eurocontrol, told aviation media that the European Union’s Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) program must have similar systems to the FAA’s NextGen to ensure interoperability.
Looking ahead to the introduction of very light jets (VLJs) into its airspace over the next 10 years, Eurocontrol has established two initiatives to understand the effect of VLJs in the ATC system. The first is the VLJ Integration Platform (VIP), a group of air navigation service providers (ANSPs), manufacturers, regulators and operators with a meeting planned for October 14 and 15.
A recent FAA briefing note concluded, “The future of ATC is all about data communications,” and government and industry officials, both in the U.S. and overseas, are in complete agreement with this view. The problem facing aviation is that these same officials seem to be in agreement on precious little else.
There are signs that Washington has acquired a sense of urgency (long past due, some would say) about the disarray that has thus far stalled progress on ATC modernization. Last month’s appointment of former FAA ATO v-p of operations planning Vicki Cox to the new position of senior v-p for NextGen and operations planning raised some questions about the agency’s desire to be more involved in planning the future airspace system.
Buoyed by the success of its three-year ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) operational evaluation project, named Capstone and centered on Bethel in western Alaska, the FAA plans next year to increase the number of participants and to implement a second, broadly similar project centered on Juneau, Alaska.
The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) program to define and implement a new air traffic management system for the Single European Sky (SES) presents an opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to develop a common concept of operations (ConOps, in Eurocontrol jargon).
The FAA’s Operational Evolution Plan (OEP) is moving to regain the momentum lost following September 11. Introduced last June, the OEP was aimed at transforming today’s air traffic system into a more efficient, expanded-capacity operating environment by the progressive introduction of advanced ATC and aircraft systems over the next 10 years.
Eurocontrol has decided to delay by two years the deadline for operators to install upgraded mode-S equipment to meet the agency’s so-called elementary surveillance requirements in Europe.
While the FAA moves forward with its operational evolution plan (OEP) to increase National Airspace System capacity by the end of this decade, a major consideration will be how many aircraft are equipped to take advantage of the resulting improvements in efficiency.