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Where We Are Headed

Airplane Flying.

We have made great progress since introducing the first elements of NextGen, and we have consistently leveraged our investments to deliver benefits to the NAS. Air traffic controllers already have better information to track and separate aircraft safely and efficiently. Pilots have more aeronautical, traffic, digital communications and weather information inside the cockpit.

Airlines fly more direct routes to get passengers and cargo to their destinations more quickly, while burning less fuel and producing fewer emissions. We will deploy additional elements of the NextGen ground infrastructure, including new processes and procedures, improved airport surface operations and common weather information. We will ensure operational integration of the modernized systems and remain up to date by injecting advanced capabilities as they become available.

By 2020, the communications, navigation, and surveillance infrastructure enabling NextGen operations will be complete, allowing us to begin the next leap in aviation history with the transition from distance-based to time-based air traffic management. Modernizing the NAS will depend on partnerships with the aviation community. When airlines and individual operators properly equip their aircraft, they will realize the full benefits of NextGen and the NAS will achieve the efficiency, capability and safety improvements the FAA anticipates in its NextGen concept of operations.

One example is ADS-B In. While ADS-B Out equipage is mandatory, operators who also choose to equip with ADS-B In gain further operational benefits, potentially including software applications that allow for reduced separation. Airlines and business aviation operators will see increasing benefits from Data Comm as more of their fleets are equipped. The same is true of PBN equipage, as highlighted in the FAA's PBN NAS Navigation Strategy 2016. This document charts a course that will allow the public and private sectors to advance the NAS collaboratively and constructively for the benefit of aviation stakeholders, including aircraft operators, the travelling public, and new entrants, such as UAS and commercial space vehicles. We look forward to continuing our path toward the modernized NAS.

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