Implementation and Supporting Portfolios

This section summarizes the goal of each portfolio.

Improved Surface Operations focuses on improved airport surveillance information, automation to support airport configuration management and runway assignments and enhanced cockpit displays to provide increased situational awareness for controllers and pilots.

Phases of Flight

This section shows the operational improvements in the implementation portfolio by phases of flight. The numbered hexagons correspond to the operational improvements listed below.

A diagram depicting the Phases of Flight: Flight Planning; Pushback, Taxi, Takeoff, Domestic and Oceanic Cruise, Descent, Final Approach, and Landing, Taxi.  OI 1: 102406 applies to both Taxi Phases of Flight.  OI 2: 103207 applies to the Pushback and Final Approach Phases of Flight.  OI 4: 104207 applies to both Taxi Phases of Flight.  OI 5: 104209 applies to the Pushback Phase of Flight.

Timeline for Achieving OIs and Capabilities

This section contains the timelines for achieving the operational improvements and capabilities included in the portfolio. Color-coded timelines indicate whether a capability is in the concept or development phase, or when it will be operational or available to NAS users. Operational improvement timelines depict when the majority of the work necessary to develop and deploy the associated capabilities will be completed. The airplane arrow indicates that the improvement or capability continues.

Graphic Depiction of Timeline for Achieving Improved Surface Operations OIs and Capabilities.

Capability Timeline

Graphic Depiction of Timeline for Achieving Improved Surface Operations OIs and Capabilities.

Operational Improvement Timeline

Graphic Depiction of Timeline for Achieving Improved Surface Operations OIs and Capabilities.

RTCA NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force recommendation to which increment corresponds

Graphic Depiction of Timeline for Achieving Improved Surface Operations OIs and Capabilities.

Status color-code key

Portfolio changes

1 Formerly Airport Surface Surveillance Capability (ASSC).

2 Surface Indications/Alerts (SURF-IA) is in the concept maturity phase and the implementation time frame is being revisited.

3 Timeline updated to reflect contract award.

4 Departure Routing Increment 1 2012 has moved to Collaborative ATM portfolio, name changed to Route Availability Planning 2013, timeline updated to reflect program baseline.

5 New capability added for 2015 timeframe to provide initial surface traffic management.

6 Airport Configuration Management, Runway Assignments, Scheduling and Sequencing, and Taxi Routing capabilities associated with this OI have been updated to reflect current agency plans.

Selected Work Activities

This section highlights selected NextGen work activities for operational improvements in the portfolio. It includes activities completed in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 and planned for FY 2013 and beyond.

4 OI 104207: Enhanced Surface Traffic Operations (2014-2018)   Operational Improvement

Budget*   Budget line that fully or partially funds the selected work activity

  • Supported by NextGen Data Communications (Data Comm)

FY 2012  Work activities completed in FY 2012

  • Completed: Achieved final investment decision for Data Comm tower service

FY 2013  Work activities planned for FY 2013

  • Complete Revised Departure Clearance (DCL) trials procedures and training development

FY 2014+  Work activities planned for FY 2014+

  • Deploy revised DCL via Data Comm for operational use to suitably equipped operators operators

Descriptions of OIs and Capabilities

In this space, we list and describe the operational improvements and supporting capabilities in the implementation portfolio. We also indicate where the operational improvement/capability supports a recommendation of the RTCA NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force.

In Concept
at least one site
3 OI 103208: Improved Runway Safety Situational Awareness for Pilots
Runway safety operations are improved by providing pilots with improved awareness of their location on the airport surface as well as runway incursion alerting capabilities. Additional enhancements may include cockpit displays of surface traffic, e.g., vehicles and aircraft, and the use of a cockpit display that depicts the runway environment.
In Concept Exploration

Improve Low-Visibility Taxi (EFVS)
The FAA and industry are partnering to develop a taxi benefit for aircraft equipped with certified enhanced vision systems. Currently, Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS)-equipped operators can use their EFVS only for approved situational awareness and safety while on the ground. Some operators have requested that they be authorized taxi benefits when their company's weather minimums are lower than an airport's weather operating minimums and if their aircraft are equipped with EFVS. The FAA is evaluating the feasibility of this request in concert with other activities related to improved low-visibility surface operations.

Concept Maturity and System Development

The Concept Maturity portfolio is organized by NextGen budget lines.

Arrivals/Departures at High Density Airports (HD)  ← NextGen budget line focuses on increasing the arrivals and departures in areas where demand for runway capacity is high, where there are multiple runways with airspace and taxiing interaction, and where airports are in close proximity with potential for airspace/approach interference.

All NextGen milestones are contingent on pending budget decisions.

Activity: Trajectory Management - Surface Tactical Flow

Operational Improvement   Operational Improvements supported

  • 104209: Initial Surface Traffic Management

Task Force   RTCA Task Force operational capabilities supported

  • 40
  • 43
  • 38
  • 41


  • Focuses on the development of surface-based trajectory operations and provides a roadmap for the development of a collaborative Surface Traffic Management System.

FY 2012

  • Completed: Completed the evaluation report on the field assessment conducted at MEM in 2011 on the feasibility of queue management in the surface tactical flow arena for flight operators and the air traffic control tower
  • Completed: Completed a technical transfer of queue management concepts to the Program Management Office and support artifacts

FY 2013

  • Develop an initial shortfall analysis to identify possible gaps of airport configuration management

FY 2014+

  • Conduct field evaluations at MEM to validate the airport configuration concept
  • Continue technical transfer of mature surface capabilities to the Program Management Office