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NextGen in Action

The FAA's ongoing modernization efforts help the safety, efficiency, and resiliency of the entire National Airspace System (NAS) and offer gate-to-gate benefits for the flying public, airlines, and airports. We are delivering improved infrastructure nationwide, enhanced air traffic control, Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and better digital communications. These videos explain how modernization improves your flight before takeoff, during takeoff, in flight, and arriving at your destination:

Before Takeoff

Preparations for your flight begin long before you board. Technologies such as enhanced digital communications and other collaborative surface tools are working to ensure more flights make on-time departures and arrivals. One game-changing technology is Data Communications, which enables aircraft preparing for departure to receive immediate digital flight plans instead of lengthy verbal exchanges between pilots and air traffic controllers. Other new technologies, including Airport Surface Detection Equipment — Model X and Collaborative Surface Tools, also help flights depart more efficiently while eliminating costly delays.


PBN, Equivalent Lateral Spacing Operations (ELSO) and more tools help your flight crew prepare for takeoff. We are making pushback times more predictable, reducing delays, saving fuel, and improving the overall flying experience for passengers. For example, ELSO reduces the angle between airplanes’ departure routes, which creates more capacity in the sky for additional departures. This has enabled eight to 12 additional departures per hour, which can mean the difference between a delay and an on-time departure.

In Flight

Every flight generates massive amounts of information to help the FAA better manage the airspace. We incorporate data on weather patterns, flight speeds, flight plans, and scheduled departures and arrivals in real time. Thanks to the new Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System and En Route Automation Modernization technologies, flight information is shared and analyzed more quickly and easily. When we provide pilots and air traffic controllers with the right information at the right time, we increase airspace flexibility and predictability. That leads to more-efficient operations, which save money and reduce fuel use.


As your aircraft nears its destination airport, Optimized Profile Descent procedures offer a smoother, quieter and more efficient approach to the runway than the traditional stair-step descent. Wake Recategorization research and technology safely allow less distance between certain aircraft near an airport, which can increase the number of takeoffs and landings per hour. At Memphis, Wake Recat has increased capacity 17 percent.

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