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NGATS Day on Capitol Hill

Wednesday, March 15, 9:30 – Noon (Schedule Details)

Where: (Click for Details)
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

The House Committee on Science/Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Aviation are sponsoring the first “Next Generation Air Transportation System Day on Capitol Hill.”

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) is about the future of aviation. It is a cross cutting interdepartmental and private sector initiative that facilitates and guides the future development of our national air transportation system.  

We are working to assure Americans that with this system, in future years, they will have the freedom of mobility through their air transportation system that they have come to expect. The vision of NGATS is “giving Freedom its Wings.”

Our special guests will be:

  • The Honorable Sherwood Boehlert
    Chairman, House Committee on Science

  • The Honorable John Mica,
    Chairman, Subcommittee on Aviation, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • The Honorable Ken Calvert,
    Chairman, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, House Science Subcommittee
  • The Honorable Norman Mineta,
    Secretary of Transportation 

  • The Honorable Marion Blakey,
    Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration

  • The Honorable Dr. John H. Marburger,
    Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

  • The Honorable Lisa J. Porter,
    Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • The Honorable Michael W. Wynne,
    Secretary of the Air Force

    Other invited guests include:

    • The Honorable Michael D. Griffin,
      Administrator, National Air and Space Administration
    • The Honorable Michael P. Jackson,
      Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
    • The Honorable Dr. David A. Sampson,
      Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce

    Schedule Details:

    • Doors will be open at 9:00 AM in room 2325 (note, room is on 3rd floor)
    • Remarks and comments by our special guests and sponsors will be at 9:30 AM
    • Display booths present throughout the morning.
    • NGATS and departmental representatives available to answer questions throughout the morning.

    Photos from the day:

    S. Boehlert, M. Blakey
    K. Calvert, L. Porter, J. Mica
    J. Mica

    The honored congressional guests and speakers, who hosted the event, included House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (NY) and Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairman Ken Calvert (CA) and House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (FL).

    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 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 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 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.


    N. Mineta
    M. Wynne
    J. Mica
    Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta
    Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne
    Dr. John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

    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.

    In attendance were: Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta; Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne; FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey; Dr. John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Dr. Lisa Porter, NASA's Associate Administrator of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

    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."



    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 and SWIM. Administrator Blakey also thanked the NGATS Institute for its solid commitment and support.

    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.



    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.

    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.

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


    Stay Tuned for NGATS Day on Capitol Hill Speach Transcripts

    Click Here for more photos>
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