To prepare for forecasted air traffic growth, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in partnership with other federal agencies and the aviation industry, is planning and implementing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), a new, satellite-based air traffic management system that is expected to increase the safety and enhance the capacity of the air transport system. NextGen will replace the current radar-based air traffic control (ATC) system. Within FAA, the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) is responsible for implementing the transition to NextGen, and ATO's Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) is coordinating efforts to plan for this transition, including developing a 20-year research and development (R&D) agenda for NextGen. JPDO has drafted three basic planning documents for NextGen--a Concept of Operations, an Enterprise Architecture, and an Integrated Work Plan (IWP). This testimony responds to six questions about NextGen and JPDO raised by the House Committee on Science and Technology, and addresses two related challenges identified by GAO. The statement is based on recent related GAO reports and testimonies, including a report issued today that reflects GAO's analysis of interviews with 25 key NextGen stakeholders about progress and challenges involved in the transition to NextGen.
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