Participation in the next-generation European airspace system will require business aircraft operators to invest in new equipment–to the tune of some $3.45 billion between now and 2024–as the concept of “first-come, first-served” is gradually retired, Patrick Ky, executive director of the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) Joint Undertaking, told EBACE attendees yesterday.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
Northrop Grumman (Stand 2321) announced here at EBACE that Cessna has chosen its navigation systems for the Citation Latitude business jet. One selection is the LCR-100 attitude and heading reference system, which uses both inertial navigation and GPS information.
“All of aviation, including general and business aviation, as well as the airlines, is working together really well to continually improve the environment,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen declared last month during opening comments on a panel discussion about the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. But he quickly added, “We are also working together to fight wrong-headed environmental regulations that don’t work.”
Last month AIN reported on the disturbing increase in reports of GPS interference and deliberate jamming and raised the question of continuing GPS reliability if these incidents (attributable to small portable jammers used by truckers to obfuscate their whereabouts) increase in numbers and transmitted power.
It’s clear that the final release of the FAA’s Authorization Act has given a new fillip to the agency’s NextGen implementation activity. The 2012 Plan, released in March, has a much more upbeat flavor than its 2011 predecessor, which essentially looked backwards at accomplishments in 2010, when most activities were still in their early stages. Back then, the potential future benefits of NextGen were just that–potential.
Although the FAA has begun hiring and training more than 12,000 air traffic controllers to offset the large numbers of impending retirees, a disturbing number of new hires fail to complete their training, according to a January report from the DOT Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
At the FAA, some say, program management has traditionally been an oxymoron. Several past and current programs attest to that assessment, one of them being NextGen’s En Route Advanced Modernization (Eram) system, which faces significant delays and cost overruns. Delivery of that system’s upgrade could now slip from 2010 to 2016, and its costs go from $2.15 billion to $2.65 billion.
On Tuesday, President Obama nominated acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to lead the agency for a full five-year term. He was tapped as the acting chief in early December, after now-former FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned in the wake of a drunk-driving arrest in Northern Virginia.
The FAA’s $550 million system-wide information management (Swim) program to fashion a unified information management system from the various flight data, weather and advisory systems used in the National Airspace System calls to mind a hub-and-spoke computer network exchanging digital signals with the big iron in the sky.
NextGen’s Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is at the heart of new airspace designs for Northern California. The new routes will improve the flow of air traffic into and out of San Francisco International, San Jose, Sacramento and Oakland.