AIA calls for avionics equipage-funding legislation for NextGen

ARLINGTON, Va. , 9 Feb. 2011. Officials at the Aviation Industries Association (AIA), say that a sound business case is needed for equipping aircraft with upgraded avionics systems for the transformation to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). AIA leaders recommend equipage-funding legislation that encourages private-sector investment capital and government-guaranteed loan arrangements, including outcome-based performance metrics to reduce investment risk. This will incentivize retrofitting of commercial and general aviation aircraft with NextGen compatible equipment, AIA officials say.

Posted by John McHale
ARLINGTON, Va. , 9 Feb. 2011. Officials at the Aviation Industries Association (AIA), say that a sound business case is needed for equipping aircraft with upgraded avionics systems for the transformation to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). AIA recommends equipage-funding legislation that encourages private-sector investment capital and government-guaranteed loan arrangements, including outcome-based performance metrics to reduce investment risk. This will incentivize retrofitting of commercial and general aviation aircraft with NextGen compatible equipment, AIA officials say.
NextGen is at the nexus of accomplishing two significant goals facing the U.S. civil aviation industry today -- expanding the national airspace system and addressing growing environmental and energy concerns, said Marion C. Blakey AIA president and chief executive officer at a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.
"Equipping aircraft is, as I’ve said before, the long pole in the tent," Blakey said. "It's an expensive undertaking, but it's as much a part of the infrastructure as GPS satellites. Quite frankly, without equipage there is no NextGen."
Blakey also recommended that the existing environmental review process -- the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA process -- be streamlined. The certification of thousands of new terminal area procedures are required for full NextGen implementation and including procedure development and certification in the Vision 100 Aviation Streamlining process will simplify that process.
Other areas addressed by Blakey in her testimony included establishing integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system, commercialization of sustainable fuels, and foreign repair station oversight. The testimony is available at: http://www.aia-aerospace.org/newsroom/speeches_testimony/.

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