October 23, 2011
By: Joel Borton
The Future of the Next Generation Air Transportation System
Since the Wright brother’s first flight over Kitty Hawk 108 years ago, the accomplishments of the human race in aerospace have been nothing short of miraculous. The United States aerospace and aviation industry has developed into a crucial element of the global infrastructure. It is an industry that moves people and goods quickly and virtually anywhere in the world. However, aerospace and aviation is an industry at risk. While there may be a temporary pause given the current economy, the steady increase in air traffic will continue, increasing pressure on aircraft operations and Air Traffic Control. Despite some improvements in efficiency, the air transportation system is still not managed as effectively as possible, resulting in delays that expand throughout the network. A safe, secure, and efficient air system is vital to U.S. prosperity and competitiveness in the global economy. Replacement of our 1960’s era system with the 21st century Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is essential.
Next Generation Air Transportation System – An Introduction There are several ways of how NextGen will lead to advances in technology and more closely integrate aircraft into the system of the future. NextGen represents an all-encompassing transformation of the entire national air transportation system. It has become apparent that there are three main benefits to integrating NextGen. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website for NextGen, the three main benefits in which they hope will meet future demands is to reduce aviation’s environmental footprint, decrease delays, and avoid gridlock in the sky and airports. In order for NextGen to run smoothly there are several parts of the NextGen system that has to be put into effect that include ADS-B, (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) GPS, (Global Positioning System) and certain equipage that have to be installed in the Aircraft and in the air traffic control towers. The key is that NextGen will be moving current technology away from ground-based surveillance and navigation to new and more dynamic satellite-based systems and procedures, that introduces new technological innovations in areas such as weather forecast, digital communications, and networking. With all this information we will be able to have a safer more reliable transportation system through the use of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Going green in today’s society is one of the major issues our world faces today. In the Aviation world over busy airports, planes often circle decreasing their altitude, speeding up and slowing down to get into a proper landing sequence, this wastes fuel. The Federal Aviation Administration understands that there is a problem with the environmental impact aviation has on our atmosphere. With the future of NextGen, the effect will be a substantial decrease in aviation’s environmental impact. Today’s big corporations are really striving to go green and if NextGen wants to last and economically prosper they are going to need to go green.
The “Implementation Plan” is a government article describing how NextGen along with other new technologies will enter the aviation world. It describes how NextGen is urgently needed because America’s air transportation system is stretched to the limit. Federal government estimates suggest that the current system will reach full capacity by 2022. (FAA, 2010) Radar is rapidly becoming too slow for modern times, air traffic controllers see a new dot from planes on their scopes every six or seven seconds, to land and take off, the pilots depend on controllers who are talking to every plane in a stream of nonstop...