The Inspector General recently issued a report entitled “FAA Made Limited Progress in Implementing NextGen Provisions of the FAA
Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 Federal Aviation Administration”.
The IG’s good news:
“As of August 2013, FAA implemented or is on target to implement 11 of the 24NextGen provisions that we identified in Title II of the act, including
appointing a Chief NextGen Officer and completing a multi-agency NextGen Integrated Work Plan. “
The IG’s headline is FAA implemented less than half of the Act’s provisions, including two key provisions intended to advance NextGen. The bad news is longer and perhaps involves more significant aspects of the FAA’s job:
· “initiating rulemaking activities requiring use of the Automated Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In system for enhanced satellite-based air traffic surveillance..
· reports explaining the requirements for using performance-based navigation at the Nation’s airports…
· technical complexity of NextGen initiatives…
· the collaboration required with other Government and aviation stakeholders to complete the initiatives and
· financial concerns, such as meeting the provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011.”
The report takes the FAA to task, in particular, for the first two failures, both of which will expedite the delivery of the benefits of the investments to users.
User consensus on NextGen has been a point frequently made here . The existence of doubts about what “aviation” (airports, GA, air carriers, repair stations, aircraft manufacturers, NextGen OEMs, etc.) really wants, is willing to equip and will tolerate taxation is one hypothesis for the absence of any mention in the President’s State of the Union .
The IG’s conclusions about how the FAA may address the critiques in this report may provide some guidance which will help draw the industry together:
1. Implement a process for regularly updating stakeholders on its progress in meeting the act’s NextGen provisions, to include priorities, revised target action dates for missed deadlines, and reasons for delays.
2. Communicate planned actions to Congress and other stakeholders to address the challenges the Agency faces in meeting the act’s provisions.
Such communications between and among the users and the legislators may facilitate the development of a unified position and support for the authorizing legislation needed to move NextGen toward systematic implementation.
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