Faster times from gate to the sky to the gate. Enhanced safety on runways and in the air. A reduction in aviation's impact on the environment. A better experience for millions of passengers crisscrossing the skies every day. NextGen delivers all of these benefits, and more.

Below, explore how NextGen could help your next flight, how it is translating to time saved and minutes shaved from flights, and how the Federal Aviation Administration is installing one of the largest public-works projects in our lifetime.

The NextGen Experience

Episode 02 Wheels Up

The engines go to full throttle and your flight starts its roll down the runway. Discover how we have reshaped the skies to open new departure paths that will allow more flights to take off every hour.

NextGen Near You


By redesigning the congested airspace above major centers of operations, we can create a more efficient and predictable system. New skyways are opened for flights to weave into, and the results are already starting to show.

Atlanta Metroplex (2012)


Commercial Air Carrier


General Aviation




Total Metroplex Operations (arrivals and departures)

The NextGen Narrative

  1. What is NextGen?
  2. Aviation's Economic Impact
  3. NextGen is Platform for Helicopter Flights
  4. FAA Wakes Up Separation Standards
  5. NextGen Tool Helps Aircraft Stay the Course
  6. More Stories

NextGen Programs

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)

In only a few years all cockpits in every airplane that crosses the sky will be equipped with this new technology. Automatic Dependent Surveillance — Broadcast, known as ADS-B — will enhance safety with precision monitoring of aircraft. The agency is already nearing completion of the necessary infrastructure investment required to make this vital technology a reality.

Data Communications

Currently, all communication between cockpit and controller is done through audio channels. This has served pilots well for many years, but with the growing number of flights that take to the skies every day and every year, there needs to be alternative solutions to meet that demand. Data Comm uses messaging services — a lot like texting — to deliver clearances, coordinates and commands. Pilots see the information, acknowledge, and act.

Common Support Services — Weather

Every cockpit in the sky will have access to the most up-to-the-second weather. With 75 percent of all delays forced by bad weather, that alone can reduce the number of problems and guarantee collaborative decision making that leads to fewer problems getting from your origin to your destination.

National Airspace System Voice System

This digital technology will help alleviate the information burden on older infrastructure. With multiple systems in place from decades of "fixes," the single NAS Voice System will provide crystal clear communications between air and ground and ground to ground transmission.

Collaborative Air Traffic Management Technologies

Did a weather pocket emerge while you were in the air? Is there a better approach path for your flight to take? What can historical data improve your specific flight and insure an on-time arrival … Improving traffic flow across the country is an important spoke of this evolutionary initiative. The FAA is using new tools and technologies that can help controllers re-route flights because of problems, guarantee the best arrival path and even examine the past to help the flights of today.

System Wide Information Management

This is the nucleus of the NextGen technology transformation. The information management service accesses all available data — weather, flights status, airport delays, departure and arrival paths — and builds the most efficient and economical flight path for each aircraft. The data exchange and the information sharing the system is founded on will help choreograph the roughly 87,000 flights that cross our skies every day.

NextGen Digest