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Congress To Hold Hearing On NextGen Air Traffic Control Modernization
By Mike Mitchell

September 12, 2012 - A Congressional hearing today will examine the status of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) air traffic control modernization program known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), and whether the FAA is implementing recent requirements in this year’s FAA reform law intended to ensure progress of the program. 

The Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, will receive testimony from federal government and aviation industry witnesses regarding the management and status of NextGen.  


This modernization effort will transform the national air traffic system by transitioning from a ground-based radar system to a satellite-based surveillance system; developing data communications capabilities between aircraft and the ground to reduce controller and pilot workload; improving aviation weather forecasting and monitoring systems; and creating shared and distributed information technology architectures. 

NextGen will also benefit many communities, as well as passengers and operators, by reducing the environmental impacts of aviation, providing greater system efficiencies, and improving safety. 

The hearing will focus in part on concerns that the FAA has not yet taken several steps required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act to improve NextGen accountability, as well as a recent Department of Transportation Inspector General (DOT IG) report highlighting concerns over delays in NextGen implementation. 

Witnesses will include John D. Porcari, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, Calvin L. Scovel, III, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation and Dr. Gerald Dillingham, Director, Physical Infrastructure Division, Government Accountability Office. 

The panel will include  Sue Baer, Director of Aviation, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mr. David J. Barger, President and CEO, JetBlue Airways, Ed Bolen, President and CEO, National Business Aviation Association and Paul Rinaldi, President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association.


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