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Highlights

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead implementer and planner for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)--an ambitious, multiyear, multibillion-dollar overhaul of systems, procedures, aircraft performance capabilities, and supporting infrastructure that will create an air transportation system that uses satellite-based surveillance and navigation and network-centric operations. NextGen was designed as an interagency effort to leverage expertise and funding throughout the federal government. The Senior Policy Committee--the overall governing body for NextGen, chaired by the Secretary of Transportation--consists ocabinet-level officials from each of the partner agencies. The initial planning for NextGen, which began with Vision 100 in 2003 and was carried out by the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) within FAA, focused on improvements to the air transportation system that would be implemented through 2025. JPDO produced three key planning documents--a Concept of Operations, a NextGen Enterprise Architecture, and an Integrated Work Plan (IWP). Recently, FAA has shifted its focus from the longer term (i.e., beyond 2018) and emphasized improvements that can be implemented in the near term and midterm (2010 through 2018). The shift responds, in part, to concerns expressed by stakeholders and Members of Congress about the lack of progress in FAA's implementation of NextGen, which they view as reminiscent of the schedule delays and other issues that plagued FAA's previous air traffic control modernization efforts. This shift is embodied in FAA's 2010 NextGen Implementation Plan, which responds to priorities put forward by stakeholders for NextGen implementation by the NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force (the Task Force).

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