Airlines for America, the trade association for leading US passenger and cargo carriers, believes the Federal Aviation Administration hasn't met expectations is delivering the benefits of NextGen to airlines or their customers. "They've been working on NextGen for 10 years and spent $6 billion and they don't have anything to show for it," said Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president for policy and regulatory affairs at A4A.
Airlines for America CEO Nicholas E. Calio writes that the FAA should immediately certify critical procedures and policies enabling the NextGen program to deliver benefits to the traveling public, the environment and the economy. NATCA NextGen Now Newsletter (7/28)
Airlines for America hosted a transportation industry reception with rail and trucking groups at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. "We need to raise awareness of airlines, not only of the great service, but of how much better things could be if we had a national airline policy," said Sean Kennedy, a senior vice president at A4A. The group also sent representatives to the Republican National Convention last week.
The aviation industry's reliance on GPS will increase with the advent of NextGen. However, the weakness of GPS signals leaves them vulnerable to interference and jamming. Although jammers are illegal in the U.S. and U.K., they can be purchased over the Internet.
The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 will upgrade the current radar system for air-traffic control to NextGen. The radar system often creates indirect flight paths because the aircraft need to fly within tracking distance of control towers. NextGen relies on satellite-based GPS for tracking.