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August 2005


Executive Director Named to Lead NGATS Institute

Dale G. Goodrich, a commercial airline pilot and Air Force reservist in the Pentagon, was appointed as the first executive director of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Institute.

Goodrich will oversee and manage the daily activities of the Institute, which will serve as a bridge between government and the private sector for the new air transportation system.

The Institute will appoint industry representatives to the JPDO's Integrated Product Teams to directly engage the government on subject matters of

importance to NGATS, including airport infrastructure, security, air traffic, national defense, environmental protection. The Institute is part of the National Center for Advanced Technologies, a non-profit corporation affiliated with the Aerospace Industries Association.

Mr. Goodrich is a United Airline pilot and Air Force reserve colonel. He has been a Boeing 737 captain and 737, 777 and Airbus A320 first officer. He also serves as the military director of the Department of Defense Air Traffic Services Cell and the Deputy Associate Director of Airspace, Ranges and Airfield Operations on the Air Staff at the Pentagon.

In other news, 15 Industry Leaders have been named to the NGATS Institute Management Council (IMC). James C. May, President and CEO of the Air Transport Association, and Paul P. Bollinger Jr., President of the Air Traffic Control Association, are the co-chairmen of the IMC.

Senior Policy Committee Briefed on NGATS Concepts

Last month, Joint Planning and Development Office Director Charlie Keegan briefed the NGATS Senior Policy Committee on the JPDO's progress and next steps. Among the discussion: overviews of the concepts that will shape air transportation in the future. Here is a brief description of the concepts. If you would like to review the entire presentation, click here.

System-Wide Transformation
Changes in the air transportation system will be fundamental. Transforming the current system will require not only technology, but organizational structure, policy and culture, such as different roles and responsibilities for pilots and controllers.

Network-Enabled Operations
Today, an enormous amount of information is generated – from aircraft position to weather to potential security threats. However, there’s no “big picture” where it’s all pulled together, giving decision-makers quick access to the information they need. That’s where Network Enabled Operations come in: giving the right information to the right person at the right time.

Performance-Based Services
Today’s system – with its rules and regulations dating back to the 1950s – handles a state-of-the-art jetliner much as it would an old Cessna. The future system will give high-performance aircraft greater operating flexibility, enhancing their ability to get travelers where they want to go on time.  

Layered, Adaptive Security
The challenge: moving people and goods quickly and efficiently while still improving security. The solution: embedded and interwoven security layers that operate seamlessly and adapt to changing situations. Airport security screening will be far less intrusive so you can keep safe while keeping on your shoes.

Finally someone is doing something about the weather. More accurate forecasts and real-time observations – including those from aircraft – will be integrated into a single national database and automatically updated. The future system can look into the future and plan around the weather. Pilots can then pick the smoothest ride possible.  

Broad-Area Precision Navigation
Precision satellite navigation and a web of sky information will allow pilots to make precision landings at airports that don’t have control towers or radar. This new capability opens up thousands of small, underutilized airports to a new generation of very light jets, easing pressure at congested airports and bringing air service where there was none before. 

Dynamic Airspace
Today’s rigid system doesn’t allow us to adjust to user needs. However, in the “dynamic” Next Generation System, users will “contract” for airspace access and services months in advance. Resources will be matched to demand and updated hourly. Weather and other uncertainties will be accounted for.

“Equivalent Visual” Operations
Through sensors and satellites, the system will allow for precise navigation and other critical information directly into the cockpit. For the first time, pilots and controllers will see the same picture, and controllers can start delegating tasks. One big technological benefit will be reducing separation between aircraft in low-visibility conditions, thereby increasing capacity without compromising safety. 

“Super Density” Operations
Peak performance from our busiest airports is a necessity. Equivalent visual operations, and reducing jet wakes on runways, can reduce the separation between aircraft taking off and landing. More runways can be used at near full capacity – and without harming the environment.   

Airport 2025: Mineta Talks Security

Travelers do the “security shuffle.”

(Washington, DC, June 28th) Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta opened up the Airport 2025 conference – hosted by the JPDO, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Safe Skies Alliance – by focusing on charting the course of aviation safety and security for the next generation.

The Secretary observed that this will not be the usual tweaking of a system to make it work better. For decades, new layers of security were added to respond to changing circumstances, such as a rash of skyjackings in the 1970s and the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

These efforts succeeded in restoring the faith of the traveling public, which is returning to the skies in record numbers. More Americans will fly this summer than ever before. It is expected that there will be more than one billion passengers by the year 2015.

“Demands on our aviation system are increasing at a dizzying pace,” the Secretary said.  “The pressure is on to transform our system to handle the growing – and changing – air traffic that lies ahead, and to make sure that the system is secure and that our country is safe from terrorist acts from the air. That, in a nutshell, is what President Bush’s Next Generation Air Transportation System initiative is all about.”

Secretary Mineta went on to speak to the magnitude of the Next Generation System. “It may, quite frankly, have a more far-reaching impact than just about anything that I have been involved with in my more than 30 years of public service,” he said.

The Secretary told the conference that the traveling public may never fully understand the complexities of an integrated air transportation system. “But Americans are certain to appreciate being able to bid a final farewell to the “security shuffle” – that’s when you kick your carry-on a couple of feet forward every few minutes as you inch your way through the line.”

By contrast, security in the Next Generation System will be woven into its very design, not overlaid on top an ad hoc basis. As a result, it will operate seamlessly, providing better protection and fewer hassles as people and goods move efficiently from curb to curb. It will integrate airport security screening with other processes such as check-in, customs, and immigration – and begins before the passenger even gets to the airport.

The Secretary wrapped up his remarks by noting that, “We don’t have to wait until 2025 to see changes. By focusing current investments on Next Generation systems, we are making an operational difference today. These are truly exciting times, and I look forward to working with you in the days, months, and years ahead as we design and build the Next Generation system.”

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