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Jenn Lemmon
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Making the Playing Field More Even Benefits Everyone

Last week, key members of the aviation community took a great step forward in resolving that issue with widespread agreement and consensus. The NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) recommended a “Minimum Capabilities List” that tells users how to best equip new-purchase forward-fit aircraft to better achieve NextGen benefits. Our agency will continue to work with the NAC on ways to ensure that industry – including manufacturers, airlines and others -- voluntarily adopt the capabilities.  

While we began these discussions as part of our efforts to fix bottlenecks in the Northeast Corridor and with a focus on regional carrier equipage, this is going to benefit the entire NAS and all stakeholders.

The list covers capabilities in communications, primarily Data Communications; navigation, focused on Performance Based Navigation; navigation resilience; and of course surveillance, focused on Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out, which has the spotlight this year as the mandate draws near in January.

Direct operating costs for airlines, for example, would be reduced if we increased PBN and Data Comm equipage as well as establish new procedures and routes.

The Minimum Capabilities List will help us mitigate the risk of not being able to realize the most benefit from the operational improvements we have made. It is also going to make it easier for our controllers to manage traffic and throughput efficiently if they are sequencing more aircraft with advanced equipage and fewer equipage differences in a complex environment.

This is a positive development for us as we move closer to operationalizing remaining NextGen components and reach trajectory-based operations.

I want to commend our team who worked on this collaborative initiative, especially our colleagues in the NextGen organization who have led these efforts. Great job, everyone!



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