The Federal Aviation Administration executive who leads the agency’s NextGen ATC modernization effort said the FAA will sign off in October on an industry-generated plan for achieving results in the next three years.
Joint Planning and Development Office
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) tapped Jonathan Archer, a 24-year aviation industry veteran, as its new director of engineering and airworthiness. Archer most recently provided key support for the FAA and the Joint Planning and Development Office as an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton. His work included facilitating an FAA aviation certification service pilot study implementing a voluntary safety management system for select Part 21-approved design and manufacturing organizations.
The Federal Aviation Administration has created a new interagency office to coordinate federal investment in the ambitious NextGen ATC modernization effort following the elimination of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO). Congress erased funding for the JPDO earlier this year, 10 years after it required the Department of Transportation to establish the office under the Vision 100-Century of Aviation legislation that launched NextGen.
Delivery of the $40 billion NextGen ATC modernization will likely remain highly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of politics unless those charged with implementing the system work to protect its funding streams, senior industry leaders told the recent Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) conference and exposition.
Prominent aviation industry figures fear that a list of priorities developed to keep the NextGen ATC modernization effort on track during a time of funding pressure and ongoing “sequestration” budget cuts in the U.S. could undermine the ambitious, two-decade effort.
The RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) has recommended a list of priorities for the Federal Aviation Administration as it rolls out the NextGen ATC modernization in the U.S. against increasing budgetary pressure.
Several decades ago there was an advertisement with three elderly ladies in a fast-food joint. They look at a burger and ask, “Where’s the beef?” One panelist at a NextGen symposium hosted by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) International and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) in late June suggested that selling NextGen to the end users may present a similar perception problem. “Where is the hype?” he asked. “I just don’t see the hype.”
Ten years into the NextGen ATC modernization effort, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration faces ongoing cost, schedule and technical risks in achieving its objectives of managing increasing air traffic more efficiently, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT) inspector general’s office.
Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators in the U.S. would have to file and fly instrument flight plans and equip their aircraft for position reporting with transponders and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) transmissions based on GPS.
The FAA’s NextGen air traffic control modernization program will require a consensus among all aviation segments to succeed, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said yesterday at a House aviation subcommittee hearing on the progress of NextGen initiatives. Bolen was invited to appear before the subcommittee to represent RTCA, an organization charged with providing consensus-based recommendations to the FAA for NextGen. He is a former RTCA chair and currently serves as its vice chair.
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