The Agony and Ecstasy of NextGen

To maintain a competitive advantage in the international marketplace, the United States’ national airspace system (NAS)—which is composed of the entire air- and ground-based infrastructure, including air traffic control surveillance and communication, navigation, airports, aircraft, vehicles on the surface, and others—must be modernized.  Read more about ALPA’s views on NextGen in our Leveling the Playing Field White Paper here.

The Agony and Ecstacy of NextGen: The Air Traffic Control System Of The Future

Jack Olcott, Business Aviation

Considering the importance of air transportation to our nation, Congress and opinion leaders who shape national policy are disappointingly shortsighted regarding NextGen, the omnibus program to upgrade the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system.  Without a fresh attitude that identifies ATC modernization as a national priority of fundamental importance, the U.S. will fall behind in an industry that facilitates domestic as well as worldwide commerce and affects our nation’s trade balance.

Perhaps our leaders in Washington take air transportation for granted, simply assuming that a technology that has served our nation well in the past and is responsible for nearly 10 percent of our gross domestic product today will continue to evolve suitably in the future. Failing to appreciate how greatly the ebb and flow of commerce depends upon an efficient and safe aviation system, and possibly insensitive to the aggressive competition from foreign aerospace manufacturers seeking advances in ATC modernization, they argue there are more pressing problems that demand attention and dollars.

Such thinking places our nation’s economic well-being at risk.

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