U.S. Senate Committee Holds Hearing on FAA Reauthorization

The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing on Wednesday, May 13, 2009, on FAA Reauthorization in which it sought information about

mplementing Next Generation Air Traffic Control System (NextGen), a satellite-based navigation and air traffic management system. NextGen will address the long ignored safety and economic shortcomings in civil aviation while fully integrating national defense and homeland security improvements. Moving to a satellite- based system represents a fundamental shift from our current system that has been in place since the 1950s.

Modernization of Air Traffic Control (ATC) will fundamentally transform the way we travel. More efficient use of airspace will cut costs for everyday fliers, while also accommodating millions of additional passengers with less congestion and fewer delays. It is imperative that we take this opportunity to reauthorize the FAA to make certain NextGen is adequately funded for implementing key programs.

Modernization is also absolutely critical in keeping America competitive, improving our economy, and providing billions of dollars in increased productivity to U.S. companies. Air carriers will see fuel costs reduced, more communities will have access to uncongested hubs, and more companies will be able to operate efficiently in these challenging economic times.

It goes without saying that safety is always the paramount goal in aviation. With a serious investment in NextGen, we can make the air traffic system significantly safer through modern tracking technology for controllers on the ground and pilots in the sky.

Reauthorization legislation must also address concerns regarding FAA’s oversight of airline maintenance operations and troubling trends in runway incursions and operational errors. As part of this commitment to safety, we are looking to develop a comprehensive package that will address the multiple issues raised by aviation experts and government agencies.

Statements

Witness List

Panel 1

Panel 2

Video

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