Aircraft operators, passengers, air traffic controllers, and the FAA all benefit from the enhanced safety, efficiency, and capacity that modernization offers.
Because air travel is so complex and interconnected, it's tough to measure the accumulated benefits of every single improvement in our modernization efforts. That said, here are some highlights:
- Fewer travel delays and flight cancellations
- Reduced passenger travel time
- Additional flight capacity
- Reduced fuel consumption and aircraft exhaust emissions
- Decreased air carrier and FAA operating costs
- Fewer general aviation injuries, fatalities, and aircraft losses and damages in areas such as Alaska, where radar coverage is limited
Airlines and the flying public enjoy the biggest benefits of modernization. We measure the effects of modernization using two key metrics: aircraft direct operating costs and the passenger value of time. The FAA's official aircraft direct operating cost values include fuel, crew, and maintenance expenses per hour of operation for passenger carriers, cargo, military, and general aviation operators. Each hour of a passenger's time is valued per U.S. Department of Transportation guidance.
Using those and other measures, the FAA's modernization efforts have delivered $4.7 billion in benefits to passengers and the airlines based on achieved benefits through 2017.
Here's how much these NextGen programs, technologies, and procedures have saved so far: