NextGen Independent Assessment and RecommendationsOctober 2014
Topics: Air Traffic Management, Airports, Airspace, Air Navigation
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is a transformation of the nation’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) system developed in response to the Vision 100—Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation community have made considerable strides toward this transformation, it is time to take stock of where NextGen is today, and refine plans and expectations for further development. Consequently, the FAA directed The MITRE Corporation’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD) to conduct an independent assessment of NextGen and provide recommendations to achieve a realistic set of capabilities by 2020, reset NextGen expectations for 2020, and influence planning for post-2020 NextGen operations. The assessment first determined progress made to date toward achieving NextGen capabilities and infrastructure as documented in the FAA’s “NextGen Mid-term Concept of Operations” and NextGen Implementation Plan of 2009. Next, MITRE assessed what NextGen capabilities could reasonably and realistically be implemented by 2020. Our assessment did not consider detailed cost information. However, our recommendations include FAA cost-effectiveness as an objective. The recommendations were developed using the results of the assessment and MITRE’s insights into the status of FAA and aviation community activities toward NextGen and the needs and priorities of the FAA and the aviation community. Achieving NextGen benefits will take many years, and the assessment and recommendations are intended to inform the FAA and stakeholder community deliberations on needed actions. This report summarizes the findings and documents the recommendations.