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March 2006 News


NGATS Institute Announces Public Meeting

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The Institute will host a Next Generation Air Transportation System Public Meeting on March 28, 2006. This meeting is open to public at no charge and will take place at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel, 999 Ninth Street NW, in Washington DC, starting at 2:00 PM.

Contact information for the Institute and future information for the Public Meeting is found on the Institute's website: http://www.ncat.com/ngats/index.html. The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) is holding its Annual FAA Budget Conference in conjunction with the Institute Public Meeting. Additional registration information for this informative aviation conference can be found on the ATCA web site at the following URL: News.

In addition, the Institute is in search of telecommunications and multi-media experts to support the Shared Situational Awareness IPT and airport operations to support the Global Harmonization IPT. To find out more, go to NGATS Institute.

Capitol Hill Day
Leaders Speak Out on America’s Future Air Transport System

The House Committee on Science/Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Aviation sponsored the first "Next Generation Air Transportation System Day on Capitol Hill" on March 15th.

Click here for coverage of the event!

First NGATS Progress Report Sent to Congress

On March 10th, the JPDO delivered its first Progress Report to Congress. It lays out in detail the many milestones achieved in 2005 towards creating the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

These include the operational vision, NGATS roadmap and portfolio, and a detailed evaluation of the vision. The Progress Report also describes what the JPDO and its partner agencies hope to achieve in FY 2007 and beyond.

Click here to download the report >

The Next Generation System: Gridlock Buster

Lisa J. Porter, NASA Assoc. Administrator for Aeronautics Research Credit: NASA
To download, Click Here

There's an old expression, "the handwriting is on the wall." This time it's on the skies and we cannot ignore it. On February 28th, the FAA held its annual commercial aviation forecast conference and announced that we are still on track for one billion passengers by the year 2015.

Indeed, the entire industry has changed and continues to change with low-cost carriers and regional carriers redefining the market. "Following the leader is no longer a safe game to play. For the FAA, as the plane size continues to shrink and overall passenger numbers are on the rise, all of this means more flights, which means more workload," Blakey told the conference.

The Administrator's warning was then amplified by Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. "Looking at this year's aviation forecast, it is clear that we had better prepare to expand capacity if we are going to keep from being snowed under by gridlock and congestion. The storm clouds are gathering," he said.

The Secretary went on to describe the department's short-term and long-term strategies to help keep pace with soaring demand, and when it comes to the long-term, the Secretary turned everyone's attention to the NGATS:

"If you have heard me talk about the Next Generation Air Transportation System, then you know that our-long term strategy is to take full advantage of the digital environment to accommodate a potential tripling of capacity over the next 20 years. Investment has already begun in NextGen technologies like the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), which will replace ground-based radar systems and revolutionize air navigation and surveillance."

The Secretary was upbeat about the future of commercial aviation. However, delivering on that promise makes the right investments, the right technologies and the right financing all the more important. "By preparing now, we will have the airspace and airport capacity to accommodate growing demand and keep gridlock from clouding the skies," he concluded.

Hey Taxi!

Lisa J. Porter, NASA Assoc. Administrator for Aeronautics Research Credit: NASA
Eclipse 500, ready for takeoff.
Credit: Eclipse Aviation Corporation
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