Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)

NextGen, the Next Generation Air Transportation System, is the FAA’s ongoing multibillion-dollar infrastructure program to modernize the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS), which is the world’s busiest and most complex. Rather than simply making minor upgrades to aging infrastructure, the FAA and its partners are implementing major new technologies and capabilities, leading to a new way of managing air traffic using Trajectory Based Operations.

Recognized as one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in U.S. history, NextGen aims to increase the safety, efficiency, capacity, predictability, and resiliency of American aviation. Through research and collaboration, NextGen contributes to defining new standards and further advancing our global leadership in aviation.

NextGen is not defined as one technology, product, or goal. Rather, NextGen is a series of interlinked programs, portfolios, systems, policies, and procedures that are fundamentally changing aviation communications, navigation, and surveillance. Within its scope are airport infrastructure improvements, new air traffic management technologies and procedures, and environmental, safety, and security-related enhancements.

Our modernization initiative enables a more flexible—yet robust and resilient—aerospace infrastructure that will meet projected demand and support the administration’s goals. With an eye to the future, NextGen efforts continue to improve the safety of flight paths, ensuring the safe introduction of new users into aviation, such as commercial space and advanced air mobility.

Moreover, new technologies and procedures contribute to reducing harmful emissions. The FAA continues to support programs to facilitate sustainable aviation fuel uptake, new aircraft, and improved aviation operational efficiency. We engage with the public and share noteworthy practices with the aviation community to accelerate the adoption of innovation and technologies.

As a global leader in aerospace, the FAA also fosters safe innovation and international cooperation in evolving enhanced aviation infrastructure technologies that improve system safety and mobility.

Explore the past, present, and future of NextGen.


Background

The United States is home to the world’s busiest and most complex airspace system. The FAA leads NextGen, a multibillion-dollar infrastructure investment program, with a singular focus on NAS modernization to make flying safer, more efficient, and more predictable.


NextGen Today

NextGen comprises complex integrated and interlinked programs, portfolios, systems, policies, and procedures. NextGen has modernized air traffic infrastructure through fundamental changes in aviation communications, navigation, and surveillance. Within its scope are safety and security enhancements, air traffic management, and the environment.


Future NAS

NextGen looks toward the future of the NAS and continues to improve flight safety, ensuring the safe accommodation of non-traditional types of aviation, such as commercial space and advanced air mobility.

The FAA supports programs that facilitate sustainable aviation fuel uptake, new aircraft, and improved aviation operational efficiency. Besides engaging with the public, the FAA shares noteworthy practices with the aviation community to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies.


Performance Reporting and Benefits

NextGen improvements have realized benefits in safety, efficiency, and capacity. The FAA continues to operationalize NextGen and enable a more flexible, robust, and resilient NAS. Benefits will accumulate over time as NextGen pursues its integral contribution to the U.S. airspace, economy, and flying public.


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Last updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2022