Top regulators from the U.S. and Europe say cooperation is needed to develop satellite-guided air traffic control systems during a time of shrinking budgets and reduced airline service. "We really need to have a common set of equipment," said Eurocontrol's Patrick Ky, speaking at the annual meeting of the Air Traffic Control Association. "Especially in a time of economic uncertainty, it doesn't make sense to duplicate resources." James May, president and CEO of the Air Transport Association, added that the industry can't expect governments to make a "huge contribution" to NextGen in the near term. "We've got to find creative, innovative ways to incentivize people to equip [aircraft] and get this process started," he said. Meanwhile, the FAA announced yesterday that it has signed agreements worth $9 billion to begin testing and implementation of NextGen systems at three domestic airports.
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