Aviation - Next Gen Infrastructure

Apr 28, 2009

Maintaining and modernizing our nation's critical transportation infrastructure should be a national priority, especially when it comes to our aviation industry.  The health of the U.S. aviation system is of critical importance to the business community because it facilitates the movement of goods and people through commercial, business and private travel.  Unfortunately, the U.S. aviation system is in bad repair and in need of critical investment and modernization. On April 29, industry leaders will gather here at the Chamber for the 8th Annual Aviation Summit to discuss the future of the aviation system and industry.  

Speakers at the Summit will address a host of aviation issues, but the need to rebuild the nation's aviation infrastructure and deploy the Next Gen Air Transportation System to modernize the air traffic control system will be paramount.  Much of the technology and infrastructure that make up the nation's air traffic control network and aviation system were put in place over fifty years ago and will not be able to accommodate the projected 36% growth in airline passenger traffic by 2015.  In order for this system to support the projected increases in passengers and cargo and facilitate U.S. economic growth, it must be modernized and expanded. Building new runways and terminals, improving electrical systems, and creating better access for passengers and businesses will all be necessary. 

This year, Congress can take a number of critical steps to bring the U.S. aviation system up to 21st century standards. First, the Senate must act swiftly to confirm J. Randolph "Randy" Babbitt as the next FAA Administrator. This demanding position must be filled to ensure proper oversight and management of air traffic modernization, also known as Next Gen Air Transportation System (NextGen), which will transform the National Airspace System from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system of air traffic management. Congress must also provide the framework for the long-term investment in our aviation system by passing FAA reauthorizing legislation as soon as possible. 

The Chamber recently joined the National Alliance to Advance NextGen―a broad-based coalition created by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey―to urge federal action. With more reliable and efficient technologies in place, air traffic can be navigated more quickly, safely allow for more flights with fewer delays, and enable the aviation industry to be more globally competitive.

Join us for the aviation summit and help send the message that Congress and the Administration must make investing in the U.S. aviation system a national priority.

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