The FAA has finished implementing most of the foundational infrastructure to modernize the National Airspace System (NAS). Those major components include the Traffic Flow Management System, Time Based Flow Management, and En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM).
The Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) is being implemented and scheduled to be finished at all locations in 2019. While ERAM and STARS are not NextGen systems, themselves, they enable critical NextGen capabilities at all phases of flight. The Terminal Flight Data Manager is in development and expected to be operational at 89 sites starting in 2020.
On top of that foundation, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast and System Wide Information Management are available nationwide, while the first phase of Data Communications became operational at 55 airports in 2016 and is expanding to seven more sites in 2019. More than 9,000 Performance Based Navigation (PBN) routes and procedures are available across the country and new ones are introduced regularly. PBN work has been completed at four metroplex locations and efforts continue at seven other sites.
The NextGen Weather Processor and Common Support Services–Weather are scheduled to be operational nationwide in 2022. Improved multiple runway operations benefit dozens of airports, and improved low-visibility operations are available to operators nationwide.
These and other components of NextGen that are still in development will work in concert to transition air traffic control from a system based on knowing where an aircraft is at any given moment to one based on knowing where an aircraft will be at critical points along its flight path for improved capacity and efficiency. This modernized approach is known as trajectory-based operations.
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passengers fly every day