Accelerating Benefits: How are NextGen industrialists supporting the realisation of early benefits for stakeholders?

Neil PlanzerNeil Planzer, Boeing: Boeing is helping the FAA to implement early programmes and is actively supporting the FAA’s approach to establish performance metrics – these metrics measure success of the outcomes of NextGen not just the programme management. Having performance metrics will ensure our airline customers understand the benefits of NextGen and are encouraged to equip accordingly. Boeing is working closely and extensively with the NexGen Advisory Committee (NAC) to establish early benefits in key metroplexes.

Fred Messina, Booz Allen Hamilton: Delivering improved service and increase operational benefits in airport surface movement areas is a top priority for the FAA.  Through Booz Allen’s technical support to the FAA Surface Operations Office, we are helping coordinate the implementation of the policies, procedures and equipment necessary to achieve increased efficiencies that result in reduced fuel burn, reduced airframe time, maintenance costs and more without requiring any new equipage on the aircraft.

Steve FultonSteve Fulton, GE Aviation: GE Aviation is demonstrating its value to the FAA as a procedure design resource that can augment the agency’s ability to rapidly deploy PBN instrument procedures that create economic and environmental benefits.   Separately, GE is investing in new technology and processes to accelerate the transformation of airspace from reliance on a ground-based infrastructure to a PBN-based, 4DTBO (four-dimensional trajectory based operations) concept of operations.

Brian Davis, Honeywell Aerospace: Most NextGen technologies require significant development before they are ready for integration into aircraft and ground systems. Honeywell is investing R&D capabilities and working closely with the FAA, the aircraft manufacturers and other industry partners to make sure that aircraft can be fully equipped to take advantage of plans for best equipped, best served when initial operational capability dates are reached.

Our role involves taking the conceptual objectives of a future air traffic management system and pushing the operational boundaries through technology advancements. Whether it’s SESAR across Europe or NextGen in the US, we are working to develop an ecosystem of technologies that work in harmony to deliver the tangible benefits described in the preliminary conceptual stages of both initiatives.

The ultimate goal sounds simple – through technology we are aiming to move aircraft around the world in a faster, more efficient and safer way. But in reality it’s only possible through a complex combination of technology advancements that include on board traffic awareness and management as well as accurate satellite routing and approach guidance in the form of Ground-Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS). We also employ Required Navigation Procedures (RNP), and have technology that will support lower decision heights through enhanced and synthetic vision capabilities.

We have also proven we can enable optimal bad weather routing from our IntuVue 3D weather radar, which gives pilots a precise three-dimensional view of where the most powerful storm cells and turbulence exist, as well as predicting both lightning and hail before they ever occur. By combining the benefits of all of these technologies, you end up with an infrastructure that not only improves safety, passenger experience and increases airspace capacity, but also saves operators money.

SayedianEd Sayadian, ITT Exelis: ITT Exelis is supporting benefits acceleration on several fronts including our on-time, on-cost performance on ADS-B, our involvement on the NextGen Equipage Fund Private-Public partnership initiative to accelerate equipage and our Integrated NAS Design and Procedures Planning (INDP) SE2020 R&D task aimed at identifying accelerated benefit opportunities for NextGen-equipped aircraft.

The research focuses on mid-term capabilities, including interval management, precision-based navigation such as RNP Radius-to-Fix turns, required time of arrival, and early DataComm and Collaborative Decision Making applications.

ITT Exelis is leading a team comprised of commercial airlines, avionics manufacturers, ATC systems integrators, FAA ATC SMEs, and operational researchers.  Collectively, the team will build future NAS scenarios where equipped aircraft are able to use advanced procedures supported by transformational air traffic systems. The result being more efficient fuel burn, shorter flight time or distance, efficient separation requirements, better schedule predictability and increased capacity. 

Sandy Samuel, Lockheed Martin: Lockheed Martin is involved in all aspects of supporting the realisation of early benefits for stakeholders.  We participate in industry working groups to help stakeholders and the FAA better understand and define their operational needs.  For example, we recently partnered with an airline representative to co-chair RTCA’s Trajectory Based Operations Working Group.

We are also very active with Standards Committees, like RTCA and EUROCAE, where standards must be defined for air and ground systems to be deployed that will work globally to provide benefits. We co-chaired the RTCA Special Committee 214 to develop the technical standards for Data Communication. Lockheed Martin also invests heavily in Research and Development (R&D) to prototype new capabilities, work with stakeholders to develop concepts, and show feasibility of these new capabilities.

For instance, Lockheed Martin’s Logic Suite tools have been developed by working directly with stakeholders, and they share information with the FAA, airports and airlines to increase predictability in the system, which saves fuel and delivers early benefits.

Alan BloodgoodAlan Bloodgood, Metron Aviation: The best way to realise early benefits for stakeholders is to maximise the capability of existing aircraft and air traffic control (ATC) systems. The full capability of current aircraft and air traffic technology systems is not being fully utilised. Metron Aviation is focused on airport, airline and air navigation service provider (ANSP) automation tools that will bring immediate efficiencies to the air transportation industry. Though CDM, ANSPs, airlines and airports can implement procedures to maximise the use of airspace and airport capacity, reduce fuel burn and environmental emissions and improve safety.

Ken Kaminski, Saab Sensis: Saab Sensis is focused on delivering decision support tools for platforms that are currently in use to provide stakeholders with new benefits and improvements today. Some examples of this approach are a Departure Management function now in use for our Aerobahn airport surface management system and new tools for Three Dimensional Path Arrival Management (3DPAM) capabilities.

Bobby SturgellBobby Sturgell, Rockwell Collins: We’ve been a strong advocate of accelerating the benefits of NextGen for as long as conversations about the need to modernise the airspace have been taking place. We regularly speak about the need for acceleration at industry events, we’ve published several eBooks on the topic of NextGen and we’re extremely involved in a number of industry groups to make NextGen happen. The passing of the FAA Reauthorization Bill earlier this year marked a key milestone for us, but we still have a ways to go in terms of how to fund these initiatives moving forward. We believe that public-private partnerships will be critical to maintain momentum.


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