Although a “road map” for the next-generation ATC system will be released June 23, members of the House aviation subcommittee at a hearing yesterday expressed some concerns about their efforts to date. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is worried about oversight, particularly ownership of ADS-B, the “backbone” of the NextGen system.
Joint Planning and Development Office
Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO John Douglass warned Congress that government agencies must redouble efforts to develop the nation’s next generation air transportation system (NextGen) or the nation will suffer serious operational–and economic–impacts.
Progress is being made toward the goal of rotorcraft taking their place in the national transportation infrastructure, according to presenters at January’s American Helicopter Society (AHS) infrastructure convention in Carmel, Calif. The most significant announcement was a congressional requirement in the 2004 federal appropriations bill for the FAA to prepare a document–a technology road map–to define how the U.S.
Unilaterally imposed work rules and the FAA reauthorization process are among the issues Pat Forrey, new president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), plans to address during his first year in office. Forrey took over the association’s reins in September after he defeated two-term incumbent John Carr.
Former Free Flight Phase 1 director Charles Keegan has been appointed vice president for operations planning in the FAA’s Air Traffic Management Organization (ATO), succeeding Norman Fujisaki, who is retiring. Keegan will continue as director of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), the interagency organization developing the long-term plan for the next-generation air transport system.
While Congress has acted on several recommendations from the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry, the group is still concerned about the lack of coordination and communication between executive branch departments having jurisdiction over the air-transportation system.
While most of NASA is reaching for the stars, the segment of the agency that conducts aeronautics research here on earth has taken a budget cut for the second consecutive year following President Bush’s initiative to expand the exploration of space.
At the FAA’s two-day New Technology Workshop last month, the focus was sharply on the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS). The key enablers to get there, according to Nick Sabatini, FAA associate administrator for aviation safety, will be “performance-based” navigation and Internet-like access to critical information such as near real-time weather.
While speakers at the Air Traffic Control Association’s annual convention in Washington in October discussed a wide range of ATC technologies, both current and future, several presentations touched on a common underlying theme: where will the money come from?
Following a review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of the Final Report of the Commission on the Future of the Aerospace Industry, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said it agrees with the GAO that challenges remain in addressing the recommendations.