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NGATS Day on Capitol Hill

March 15, 2006 – It was standing room only!

Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

The Next Generation System is more than a vision about the future of aviation. It’s about breaking new ground. It’s about asking and answering key question. It’s about collaboration and building relationships with our many stakeholders. It’s about good government. To this end the JPDO and its partner agencies held the first-ever “NGATS Day on the Hill” on March 15th in the House Science Committee hearing room. And by any measure, including an audience that spilled out the door, it was a great success.


The Honored Congressional Hosts for the event:

Senior Policy Committee Speakers:

Photos from the day

Chmn. House Sub. on Aviation John L. MicaAssoc. Administrator for Aeronautics/NASA Lisa J. PorterAdministrator of the FAA Marion C. BlakeySec'y of Transportation Norman MinetaChmn. House Comm. on Science Sherwood L. BoehlertSec'y of the Air Force Michael W. WynneHouse Sub. on Space and Aeronautics Chmn. Ken CalvertDep. Undersec'y of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere John J. Kelly, Jr
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The joint commitment to the Next Generation System initiative was also demonstrated by the strong showing of solidarity by the Senior Policy Committee. It was clear by both their presence and remarks that there is unprecedented cooperation and everyone is pulling in the same direction - towards the NGATS vision. Place your cursor over the face of people pictured to see their names and titles.

Congressional Committee Hosts

Chairman Boehlert spoke about the tremendous impact that aviation has on the economy in terms of both GDP and jobs. However, he noted to continue that growth ATM (Air Traffic Management) must be fundamentally changed to allow for more aircraft. The Chairman said that "new technologies must be embraced" and new ways to manage air traffic "must be devised" if we are to accommodate the projected growth in demand.

Chairman Calvert of the House Science Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics announced that the subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the JPDO/NGATS on March 29, 2006 to explore both the progress that has been made and the challenges that need to be overcome for the timely implementation of the Next Generation System.

Chairman Mica called the Next Generation System an “unprecedented undertaking” and a “race unlike any other we have had in the past” to develop the technology, procedures and air systems that will be used and adopted by the rest of the world. He concluded that we need a system that deals with the problems that we have now, and the problems we will face in the future.

Senior Policy Committee Speakers

Secretary Mineta did not mince his words. He said that the Next Generation System initiative is unlike anything he has seen or been involved with. The Secretary characterized it is as "bigger" and "bolder" and has implications regarding travel and commerce far beyond any transportation project undertaken by the U.S. Government since the Interstate Highway System. Indeed, he saw great similarities between the two efforts both in terms of breadth of mission and the vision itself, although "this time it will be technology, not concrete that will be connecting this vast transportation network." Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta
Secretary of the Air Force Wynne observed that one of the purposes of the defense of America is to facilitate smooth commerce and said that "it was with great pleasure that we joined the NGATS team" and partnered with the other departments and agencies. He also noted that the DoD brings some special expertise and knowledge to the table, particularly in the area of situational awareness which it can share with the rest of the team. The Secretary concluded that the NGATS is the next step to "keep America strong" and a "leader" in aviation.
Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta
Administrator Blakey picked up where the Secretary left off. She said that the overarching NGATS goal is to create a flexible system that can handle anything that is thrown at us but with "no slack in safety and efficiency." The FAA Administrator pointed out that without technology we have no place to start. "And we are ahead of that game - that's the great news." She pointed out that the Administration is now proposing targeted investments to accelerate the development of key projects with Next Generation System capabilities - ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) and SWIM (System Wide Information Management). Administrator Blakey also thanked the NGATS Institute for its solid commitment and support. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta
Dr. John Marburger called the Next Generation System initiative a "Herculean task" and will require the cooperation of the many JPDO member agencies. He also said that in addition to cooperation there are big system challenges. The OSTP Director described an "intricate dance" of phasing in technology over time while working towards the future vision. He said that the White House is following the NGATS progress.

Dr. John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Dr. Porter said that NASA's role is to provide the "long-term cutting edge research" that will benefit the broader aeronautics community and directly address NGATS' needs. She observed that the future ATM system must be scalable, flexible and increase capacity to accommodate the wide variety of air vehicles that will fly within the system. The NASA Associate Administrator argued that new processes and technologies must also be conceived and developed that will completely transform the overarching structure that will coordinate the thousands of vehicles operating within the NAS at any given time. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta

The Booth Displays


Following the remarks, guests were able to visit not only the NGATS booth, but FAA's ADS-B display and NASA's booth which included video presentations on the Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) and the Advanced Airspace Concept.

Links to the full text of the speeches will be posted as soon as they become available.

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