Huerta urges ‘full and honest’ NextGen review

Now is the right time to be asking critical questions over alternative approaches to modernising the US air transport system, according to the FAA chief Michael Huerta.

Speaking today at the US Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration said he was “eager to engage in a full and honest review of the path we have travelled” at a time when the US aviation community was strong and the nation’s ATM systems are being safely and effectively modernised through NextGen modernisation initiatives.

“While I’ll be the first to acknowledge that we’d all like to move faster, I also firmly believe that any fair review of the past few years makes clear that our work together has been critical to the success of the tremendous progress we have made to revamp our air traffic system with the latest technologies.”

“The FAA can demonstrate that it has already delivered more than $2.72 billion in benefits under the NextGen modernisation umbrella. We expect that number to climb to $160 billion by 2030. And for programmes already underway, we expect to achieve $13 billion in benefits by 2020, at which time the benefits will exceed the projected investment in NextGen.”

Huerta’s five-year term as FAA administrator lasts until January 2018.

US president Donald Trump is reported as expressing support for changes to the government’s air traffic control system and placing a pilot at the head of the Federal Aviation Administration after meeting with airline and airport executives at the White House in January.

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