Future NAS

We are continuing to operationally integrate — or “operationalize” — the elements of NextGen and improve their function and performance. The FAA has demonstrated global leadership through the international harmonization of NextGen technologies. Operationalizing maximizes benefits and achieves FAA goals. Simultaneously, we continue to prepare for a future NAS revolving around information.

Trajectory Based Operations

Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) is a major goal of NextGen. It will transform the NAS by expediting aircraft movement between airports by using improved knowledge of the flight path. Air traffic controllers and pilots can assess how to best balance capacity and demand and minimize the effects of disruptions, such as severe weather. Expected benefits of TBO are enhanced flight efficiency, increased throughput, and improved operational predictability and flexibility.

Time-based management and Performance Based Navigation, along with supporting technologies such as Data Communications and System Wide Information Management, are necessary to operationalize TBO. Initial TBO implementation is underway in several NAS operating areas, which group interdependent air traffic facilities serving key airports of interest.

Info-Centric NAS

The FAA is implementing a future vision of the NAS that will be flexible and inclusive of all stakeholders. As we operationalize NextGen and realize TBO, we will build on these two foundations to bring the NAS of the future: an information-centered — or “info-centric” — system built for diverse operations and supported by a resilient and evolving infrastructure to enhance safety and efficiency.

The NAS Enterprise Architecture (EA) provides the blueprint to mature the FAA's vision of the future. Systems engineering is the FAA's mechanism to move from “research to reality.” NAS EA and systems engineering technical products support the future NAS as the FAA makes the Info-Centric NAS vision a reality.

Learn more about our vision for the future and how we are moving from research to reality.

Last updated: Thursday, March 14, 2024