The U.S. FAA has asked the committee advising it on implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to outline more specifically the steps needed to begin ATC modernization.
Required Navigation Performance
Million Air Dallas completed the validation flight requirements to obtain authority to conduct RNP-AR (formally SAAAR) approaches in its Gulfstream G450. The Dallas FBO developed its own RNP-AR program without the help of any consultants, it added.
Southwest Airlines’ ambitious fleetwide implementation of required navigation performance (RNP) operations is making slow progress. Since initiating flights in January using the precision approach procedures to save track miles and fuel, the airline’s use of RNP represents just 1 percent of its daily operations, said Capt. David Newton, Southwest senior manager of airspace.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is organizing an industry vendors group to identify and advance export opportunities for Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) products made in the U.S. The NextGen Vendors Group (NVG) initiative was announced at the annual meeting of the NextGen Institute in Washington earlier this month.
The high-level industry and government committee tasked by the FAA with developing “a common understanding” of NextGen priorities has recommended a set of baseline airborne equipment and next will advise on operational or financial incentives that would help aircraft operators install that equipment.
Despite all the fits and starts, NextGen in the U.S. will eventually affect business aircraft operators, although perhaps not on the schedule that the FAA currently espouses. It is not too soon to start considering the impact of NextGen on business aviation and how it will drive equipment requirements.
The FAA’s March 2011 NextGen implementation plan is certainly a finely drawn view of what we should expect to see by 2018. Replete with charts, graphs, attractive photography and explanatory text, the document makes for exciting reading.
A high-level U.S. industry and government committee has recommended to the FAA that three capability areas requiring operators to equip their aircraft–automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), required navigation performance (RNP) and data communications–be prioritized in rolling out the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
A joint effort by the FAA and industry aimed at integrating airspace and deconflicting traffic flows over major metropolitan areas is making progress, according to participants.
Study teams have completed work at the first two of 21 identified “metroplex” sites–metropolitan areas with multiple airports and municipalities–designated by the FAA through the Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM) initiative.
As Honeywell’s Falcon 900 equipped with the new EASy II avionics upgrade flew solidly down the glideslope to Runway 23 at Morristown Airport in New Jersey, the two pilots and I (sitting in the jump seat) could see a clear view of the outside world on the PFD’s SmartView synthetic-vision system (SVS) display. Outside the world was murky white and it stayed that way down to minimums.