FAA on Monday released its NextGen Implementation Plan (NGIP), laying out the agency's progress and goals for implementing new capabilities and new technologies in the mid-term to 2018.
The 2010 plan update supports many of the recommendations issued last September by the RTCA NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force, including sharing surface movement data. The plan also reiterates the agency's support of wider use of technologies and procedures, particularly in light of increasing air traffic and the introduction of very light jets, unmanned aircraft systems and commercial space flights. Technologies cited include Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), data communications, performance-based navigation and safety management systems.
"Policy, procedures and systems on the ground and in the flight deck enable the mid-term system," according to an executive summary of the plan. "We make the most of technologies and procedures that are in use today, as we introduce new systems and procedures that will fundamentally change air traffic automation, surveillance, communications, navigation and the way we manage information."
In an introduction to the NGIP, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt calls 2010 a key year for the Next Generation Air Transportation System. "With this agency, this industry and this country now firmly committed to this path forward, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and work together to maintain the NextGen momentum achieved over the past year," he states.
According to the agency's latest estimates, NextGen will reduce total flight delays by 2018 by about 21 percent, providing $22 billion in cumulative benefits to the traveling public, aircraft operators and FAA. During this same period, FAA said it expects to save more than 1.4 billion gallons of fuel from air traffic operations alone, cutting carbon emissions by nearly 14 million tons.