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Thu, May 14, 2009

AIA/Blakey To Senate: Accelerate NextGen

AIA has just finished weighing in on the current hearings surrounding a next-generatuion Air Trafic Control System. 'The administration's commitment to recapitalize our nation's transportation infrastructure and FAA reauthorization is an opportunity to accelerate the Next Generation Air Transportation System,' AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said Wednesday.

"We should take advantage of our current economic situation to build the world's best air transportation system," Blakey said in testimony before the Senate Aviation Subcommittee. "NextGen will be a huge shot in the arm to the civil aviation sector and provide welcome relief to harried air travelers by reducing delays and shortening travel time."

The three significant challenges ahead for accelerating NextGen are building infrastructure, publishing system-wide satellite-based procedures wherever possible and equipping aircraft to take advantage of NextGen benefits as soon as possible. Blakey stressed the importance of establishing a solid funding regime to support NextGen including long-term FAA authorization and increasing the annual contribution from the General Fund to the FAA.

"Underlying the funding discussion is a basic question of whether the U.S. is committed to retaining its global leadership position in civil aviation or will cede the gold standard to the EU, Australia or Canada," said Blakey.



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