NextGen Benefits at Salt Lake City International

On 16/08/2016, in NextGen, by steve

NextGen is bringing new benefits to Salt Lake City International Airport through a technology called Data Comm. Data Comm revolutionizes communications between air traffic controllers and pilots by replacing some traditional voice communications with digital information exchanges. 


Voice communication is labor intensive, time consuming and can lead to miscommunications known as “talk back, read back” errors. Data Comm, by contrast, enables streamlined, two-way data exchanges between controllers and flight crews for clearances, instructions, advisories, flight crew requests and reports.


By exchanging digital messages, air traffic controllers, pilots and airline operations centers can communicate more clearly and efficiently. Better communication improves controller and pilot productivity, improves safety, can reduce flight delays and can help aircraft fly more direct routes, which saves time and fuel while reducing aviation’s impact on the environment. Several U.S. carriers are benefiting from Data Comm capabilities at Salt Lake City, including Southwest, FedEx, UPS, American, Delta and various general aviation operators. 


The FAA began testing Data Comm capabilities and benefits in 2014 at Newark and Memphis with UPS, FedEx and United Airlines, as well as select international operators. The FAA started deploying Data Comm in air traffic control towers in the fall of 2015 and aims to have it in more than 50 towers by the end of 2016.  The technology will be installed in air traffic control facilities that manage high altitude traffic beginning in 2019.


For more information, visit the FAA NextGen site here or follow #FlyNextGen on Social Media.


NextGen Update 2016, now available

On 07/05/2016, in NextGen, by steve


In Europe it is SESAR, in the US, NextGen. The two mega projects aiming to bring much needed improvements to air traffic management in the biggest aviation markets of the world. As we all know, they are not without problems but there are also important developments that we all need to know about. Here is the NextGen update from the FAA.

The NextGen Update is all new for 2016! We’ve completely refreshed the site to bring you the latest news and information on how we’re collaborating with our aviation community partners to deliver NextGen. In this year’s Update, you’ll find:

  • The latest on how NextGen’s top programs, including Data Comm, ADS-B, and PBN, are delivering a better travel experience for the flying public
  • An overview of NextGen’s environmental and safety initiatives
  • Updates on the tools controllers are using to help inform their decisions
  • Information to help the general aviation community prepare for the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate

In a new series of videos, you’ll hear directly from aviation community leaders who are reaping the benefits of NextGen today, as well as an overview of NextGen progress from FAA Chief NextGen Officer Michael Whitaker.

There’s never been a more exciting time to learn about NextGen. The NextGen Update: 2016. It’s all you need to know.

Source: FAA


Charlotte Leads in NextGen Air Traffic Improvements

On 18/01/2016, in NextGen, by steve

North Carolina was “first in flight” when the Wright Brothers took to the skies at Kitty Hawk, and now it’s leading the way to the next generation of air traffic control. NextGen procedures are helping flights operate more efficiently at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), improving on-time performance and decreasing emissions. 


The Charlotte Metroplex project includes new arrival and departure procedures for CLT and surrounding airports in North Carolina, South Carolina and southern Virginia. Procedural changes in Charlotte are at altitudes between 3,000 and 14,000 feet and do not affect the airport’s voluntary noise abatement procedures. 


Metroplex initiatives such as this are a key element of the FAA’s NextGen air traffic control modernization, which is replacing decades-old ground-based navigation with more precise procedures based on satellite navigation. Similar projects are in place or underway in 12 major metropolitan areas nationwide.  


Based on July 2015 data, the FAA estimates the changes in Charlotte will result in 28,000 fewer metric tons of carbon in the air each year, which is equivalent to removing more than 5,000 cars from the road. Airlines will consume 3.3 million fewer gallons of aircraft fuel, valued at about $9.4 million.  

  Click here to read the full article


FAA, EU Plan to Extend, Expand NextGen Pact

On 19/06/2015, in NextGen, by steve

The FAA and the European Union have announced their intention to extend and expand their cooperative work toward providing seamless air traffic services for aircraft flying between the United States and Europe.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and the EC’s Director General for Mobility and Transport, Mr. Joao Aguiar Machado, signed a Letter of Intent on air traffic management modernization at a  ceremony in Paris.

“I’m extremely proud of our partnership with the European Union,” said Administrator Michael Huerta. “Today’s signing validates the collaborative work that began three years ago and confirms our commitment to enhance our relationship even further.”

“Modernizing air traffic management is vital for the future of European aviation,” said EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. “We need to invest in innovation in order to improve ATM performances. This means cheaper flights, increased safety, a lower impact on the environment, and better capacity to manage traffic. We share these objectives with the U.S. We are already doing a great job with the FAA by cooperating on SESAR and NextGen. Now that we are both heading towards deploying new systems, I fully support the idea that we should explore the possibility to extend this excellent cooperation to all phases of ATM modernization. That’s the change in culture that will take global ATM systems into the future, and will help cope with the expected traffic increase.”

The extension and expansion of the current agreement would help to ensure that passengers will enjoy safer, on-time flying over the Atlantic thanks to the benefits of NextGen and its European counterpart, the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR).

The Memorandum of Cooperation, which was originally signed in March 2011, would be expanded to enhance collaboration on the deployment and implementation of NextGen activities. It would also maintain ongoing research on the interoperability of avionics, communication protocols and procedures, as well as operational methods under NextGen and SESAR.

The Letter of Intent reflects the strong commitment from the United States and the European Union to harmonize air traffic technologies and procedures involving NextGen and SESAR. This supports the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Global Air Navigation Plan, which aims to harmonize air traffic systems throughout the world.


FAA Announces NextGen Upgrade for Washington Airspace

On 23/11/2014, in NextGen, by steve

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that the Washington, D.C. Metroplex is the first in the nation to have three, state-of-the-art, satellite-based highways in the sky running side by side by side, each dedicated to one of the three major airports in the region.


“The national capital region is reaping the benefits of NextGen and this announcement further highlights how the federal government is making a difference,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These new and improved highways in the sky mean increased safety, more on time arrivals and departures, reduced fuel consumption, and reduced pollution-causing emissions.”

Estimates predict airlines will burn at least 2.5 million fewer gallons of fuel each year in the skies above Washington, while emitting at least 25,000 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide. Using the Environmental Protection Agency’s energy calculator, this is the equivalent of annual greenhouse gas emissions from 5,263 passenger vehicles or 8,961 tons of waste taken to landfills.

Click here to read the full article


Portland, Oregon Flights to be Cleaner and Greener

On 11/12/2012, in NextGen, by steve

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that pilots will start using new NextGen technology and procedures that will enable aircraft to fly more efficient, environmentally-friendly flights into Portland International Airport (PDX) beginning next year.

The NextGen (Next Generation Air Transportation System) program uses cutting-edge technology, including new Area Navigation (RNAV) approach procedures, to create a modern, satellite-based air traffic control system, transforming the national airspace system to make it even safer and more efficient for the traveling public, airports and operators, and facilitating economic growth.

“These new procedures in Portland are the building blocks of NextGen,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “NextGen initiatives underway in major regions across the country are helping deliver more on-time flights for consumers, reducing fuel consumption for airlines and creating an even safer aviation system.”

RNAV enables aircraft to fly safely on any desired flight path within the coverage of ground-based or space-based navigation aids. NextGen GPS technology is the basis for new RNAV approach procedures, which replace procedures that do not have the benefit of precise, satellite-based navigation. Aircraft approaching Portland can now power back sooner, saving fuel, making less noise and emitting fewer pollutants.

Click here to read the full article


New NextGen Technology Improves Safety and Efficiency in Western Colorado

On 03/12/2012, in NextGen, by steve

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) have announced the activation of new NextGen technology that will help pilots address inclement weather around Montrose Regional Airport in western Colorado.

The technology, known as Wide Area Multilateration (WAM), improves safety and efficiency by allowing air traffic controllers to track aircraft in mountainous areas that are outside radar coverage.

“Safety is our highest priority, and this is an excellent example of state and federal governments working together to not only improve safety and efficiency, but also provide immediate economic benefits,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The new technology will help local businesses that depend on private and commercial aviation.”

The WAM deployment around Montrose is part of the Colorado Surveillance Project, which is a partnership between the FAA and CDOT, which began providing radar-like service to the mountain communities of Craig, Hayden, Steamboat Springs and Rifle in 2009. The FAA and State of Colorado expect to complete the project by deploying WAM around Durango, Gunnison and Telluride in summer 2013.

“This system will allow pilots to fly search and rescue missions in weather conditions that would have previously kept them grounded,” said Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “It also will support Colorado’s tourism by enabling pilots to land in conditions that previously caused diversions or flight delays.”

Click here to read the full article


Garmin Leads the Way to ADS-B Future

On 20/07/2012, in NextGen, by steve

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., the global leader in satellite navigation, has announced a comprehensive suite of certified and portable ADS-B solutions, providing options for any aircraft owner to satisfy the U.S. NextGen mandate for ADS-B Out and also gain immediate access to the benefits of ADS-B In, including high-integrity traffic and subscription-free weather information.

“No matter what type of aircraft you fly, where you fly or what you’re looking to get out of ADS-B, Garmin has a solution to meet your needs,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “NextGen represents a significant opportunity for pilots to fly with greater safety, efficiency, flexibility and situational awareness. Our solutions go further than meeting the minimum requirements for ADS-B. They offer a full range of traffic, weather and other datalink display capabilities to give pilots the most complete picture of their operational environment. Our full line up of ADS-B products, along with our comprehensive ADS-B Academy website, support Garmin’s commitment to making the ADS-B transition easy and affordable for all aircraft owners.”

Garmin unveils the industry’s first dual-link ADS-B solution for certified aircraft

Garmin has introduced the industry’s first dual-link ADS-B solution for certified aircraft, the GDL 88 series. The GDL 88 provides a simple, rule-compliant solution for aircraft operating in the U.S. and below 18,000 feet. The GDL 88 also brings the added benefit of access to advanced traffic information and subscription free weather for aircraft flying at any altitude. The innovative dual-link capability allows the GDL 88 to receive both the 978 MHz UAT and 1090 MHz frequency bands to provide the most comprehensive level of traffic situational awareness. Advanced traffic awareness features include TargetTrend™ relative motion technology, which helps the pilot visualize the trend of the traffic threats as it relates to their aircraft, and SURF technology, which detects other aircraft or ground vehicles on runways and taxiways that may pose a threat while taxiing or on approach.

Click here to read the full article


Effective Data Communications for NextGen

On 09/05/2012, in NextGen, by mike@boeing

Beneficial Capabilities

Air traffic service (ATS) data communications provide benefits in terms of increased airspace capacity and improved operational efficiency while also enhancing the existing high level of safety.

Increased airspace capacity. In continental/domestic airspace, capacity is primarily increased through basic controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) that reduce controller and flight crew workload as well as voice frequency congestion associated with routine communications. More specifically, basic CPDLC offers information exchange between the controller and flight crew for vertical, crossing constraint, lateral offset, simple route modification, and speed change clearance request and delivery. Effective strategic management of predictable and accurate aircraft trajectories in the future is also expected to increase continental/domestic airspace capacity; for example, delays due to convective weather will be mitigated by the ability to quickly supply complex route modifications to a large set of affected aircraft before departure. In oceanic, polar, and remote airspace, capacity is primarily increased through manual and automated reports that enable reduced aircraft separation by reliably providing surveillance data for separation assurance, flight plan conformance monitoring, and trajectory planning purposes.

Figure 1. Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure

Improved operational efficiency. Operational efficiency is primarily improved through trajectory-based operations (TBO) that decrease aircraft fuel consumption and/or flight time, particularly in the face of constraints that would otherwise increase those parameters. Parallel integration of ATS provider ground automation, aircraft operator ground automation, and avionics (aircraft automation) and of controller, dispatcher, and flight crew operations enable TBO for rapid and accurate trajectory definition, coordination, and monitoring. TBO can be used, for example, to reduce flight time through user-preferred complex route modifications for in-flight aircraft as seen with Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedures (see Figure 1) and to perform environmentally-friendly fuel-saving optimized profile descents as demonstrated by Tailored Arrivals (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Tailored Arrival

Enhanced safety. Safety is primarily enhanced through accurate machine-to-machine exchange of precise data, such as complete three- or four-dimensional complex routes and latitude/longitude coordinates that resolve duplicate waypoint identifiers. These exchanges prevent gross navigational errors that could otherwise be caused by the flight crew manually transcribing detailed information.

Click here to read the full article


FAA/NextGen Bashing on the other Side of the Pond

On 12/12/2011, in NextGen, by steve

If you thought we were occasionally unkind to SESAR, read this post. Then make up your own mind. While doing that, do not forget that what you are reading was put together before FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt was charged for driving under influence and subsequently quit the top-job of the FAA. Babbitt is a veteran pilot who flew 25 years for Eastern Airlines… But back to the article.

You will read things like “ERAM is the dead elephant in the room” and “How will the headless bureaucracy handle a doomed program that must succeed?”

What about this one: “In order to cost-justify NextGen, they have cooked the books on all future budget plans.”

The article is interesting, even if in places it fees a bit over-stressed, because it highlights what is probably a true problem for NextGen: basing it on ERAM, the En-Route Automation Modernization program, which is evidently struggling and might very well pull NextGen as originally envisaged down with it.

May be, just may be, there is also a lesson here for SESAR. Sorry… there we go again.


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