On June 19, the Federal Aviation Administration published its 2013 update to the NextGen Implementation Plan, and it includes an entire section devoted to general aviation for the first time. Updated annually, the NextGen Implementation Plan is the FAA's primary outreach document explaining how NextGen is transforming the National Airspace System.
According to the report, the FAA’s “latest estimates indicate that by the end of the NextGen mid-term in 2020, NextGen improvements will reduce delays by 41 percent compared with what would happen if no further NextGen improvements were made beyond what we have done already.”
The report also stated that the FAA is “considering operational and financial incentives to tilt the business case for aircraft owners and operators toward equipping their aircraft to use NextGen capabilities and gain NextGen benefits.” While the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the agency’s four-year reauthorization act, allows for the establishment of an avionics equipage financial incentive program, federal credit laws require agencies to obtain specific authority to guarantee loans in an appropriations act.
In the executive summary, the report noted, “NextGen is providing major benefits to the general aviation community. The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) has improved general aviation access to more than 1,500 airports in all kinds of weather with no costly investment in ground infrastructure.
“Tens of thousands of general aviation aircraft are already equipped with WAAS receivers, which improve the availability, accuracy and integrity of GPS signals. Pilots are taking advantage of WAAS technology to fly approach procedures using Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) to altitudes as low as 200 feet before having to see the runway to land. The FAA has published 3,123 WAAS LPV approaches as of May 2013 and expects to publish 5,218 by 2016.
“ADS-B enhances the safety of general aviation. Aircraft owners who equip with an ADS-B transceiver and a cockpit display will be able to see the location of nearby aircraft, thus improving their situational awareness. In addition, pilots can receive weather and other aeronautical information from FAA broadcasts through their ADS-B transceivers, enhancing their situational awareness of in-flight hazards and helping to prevent accidents.”
The report is complete with valuable information pertinent to Aircraft Electronics Association members. It is available as a downloadable e-book, easily accessible on mobile and tablet devices as well as desktop computers, and as a full-layout PDF. To download the latest copy of the FAA NextGen Implementation Plan, visit www.faa.gov/nextgen/implementation.