recommended reading

Airline industry and FAA vow cooperation on multibillion satellite program

Airline industry officials on Wednesday said the Federal Aviation Administration should seek their input on its far-reaching plan to replace the nation's aging radar-based air traffic control system.

A group of mostly aircraft dispatchers from the country's major airlines discussed NextGen, the $20 billion satellite-based network the agency has developed, during an annual conference this week featuring Victoria Cox, FAA's senior vice president. Cox said in an interview after a presentation that collaboration and information-sharing across the aviation community were at the heart of NextGen -- a message that resonated with attendees at the 2010 Airline Dispatchers Federation's safety symposium.

"It is imperative in order for NextGen to become a reality you have the participation of all players included," said Joseph Miceli, a United Airlines dispatcher in Chicago and president of Airline Dispatchers Federation, an advocacy group. Mark Spence, manager of dispatch for Hawaiian Airlines in Honolulu, said including dispatchers in the early stages of NextGen is important to ensure the program's success.

Cox's remarks echoed those made by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt in April, who said NextGen is "only going to happen if we continue to work together. . . . Partnership is an integral component of FAA's strategy for NextGen."

NextGen has faced criticism and delays. In September, Steve Bradford, chief scientist for NextGen at FAA said the "heavy lifting is still there," and the project "may not show as much momentum as I'd like."

"More times than not, they take our concerns into account," Matt Berg, a dispatcher for Continental Airlines and vice president of international relations for the federation, said of FAA. But, he added, it's also a balancing act for the agency to juggle various stakeholders.

"[We're] very encouraged, but skeptical," Miceli said. "We just need to be part of the process."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.