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.