Contention 1 Aviation

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1AC – Aviation Advantage

Contention 1 --- Aviation

Airlines won’t equip NextGen technology because of lack of cash and confidence

Hinton 11 (Christopher, Reporter – MarketWatch, “Airlines Uneasy Over Costly Bid to Replace Radar”, MarketWatch, 5-19,
Help was supposed to come by scrapping the 1950s-era ground-based air-traffic control system in favor of a 21st-century satellite-based tracking technology. GPS-assisted aircraft could then fly closer together, react faster to changing flight conditions and optimize their landing approaches.

It’s an upgrade that could save the airlines hundred of millions of dollars a year.

But the U.S. plan to achieve that, estimated to cost $40 billion, is stuck on the ground.

Poor planning and the politics of fiscal austerity have left the system only partially installed. Now, airline executives are so disillusioned that they’re balking at buying additional cockpit gear for a program they say isn’t delivering on its promise.

Even avionic suppliers with rich contracts at stake in the plan came up with a novel way of making their equipment more affordable, aircraft operators haven’t changed their position.

“Many carriers — Delta, Southwest, American, United — we have all made significant investments in equipage for our existing fleets that we are not using,” said Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) Chief Executive Richard Anderson, during a recent conference call with reporters. “We want to leverage the technology we have today before we add more technology and more cost.”

For the Federal Aviation Administration, which is overseeing the so-called NextGen plan, the loss of confidence is another black eye for an agency still smarting from the furor over napping air-traffic controllers and a sharp rise in close calls of mid-air collisions.

In a watchdog report last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general criticized the FAA for not coming up with an “integrated master schedule” for NextGen, and highlighted design decisions that put the entire program’s cost and schedule targets at further risk.

Growth goals

In the long run, such uncertainty threatens to undermine the program and its broader economic benefits.

Local officials in the New York area have been hopeful that NextGen would not only drive down delay times, but also allow more aircraft to land at its airports and help spur more than $5 billion in growth by 2030.

For the FAA’s part, agency officials have shrugged off the concerns and defended NextGen phase-in as being on schedule since work began in 2004.

Once it’s online, NextGen is supposed to replace a radar system that first took shape in the aftermath of World War II.

Essentially a GPS system, NextGen is designed to be more accurate than radar and allow computers to track aircraft. Instead of flying in easy-to-monitor “skyways,” pilots could go “off road” and fly more efficient trajectories, supporters say.

The system would also help pilots plan their flight times and plot optimal landing approaches, and it allows dispatchers to narrow the space between arriving aircraft to less than a mile compared with the roughly three miles now maintained. Such optimizing is estimated to reduce flight delays by 35%, lowering fuel use and cutting pollution.

With the price for jet fuel up four-fold in the last decade, it’s a system the airlines can’t start using soon enough. But higher fuel prices have also squeezed profit margins, and some airlines say they can no longer stomach NextGen upgrades done haphazardly or subject to delay.

At the same time, the program’s potential $160 billion in build-out costs over 15 years represent a lucrative target for aerospace and avionics companies like ITT Corp. (USC:ITT) , Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) , Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) , Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) , and General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) .

Last month, avionic companies acted to soften airlines’ hardened position by having Congressional allies propose a public-private partnership as part of an FAA funding bill. The arrangement aims to lease avionic equipment to aircraft operators, with options to buy.

Loan guarantees

Called the NextGen Equipage Fund, it would be financed with $1.5 billion in private capital, with ITT as the lead investor, and largely guaranteed by the federal government.

Backers say the fund’s advantage is that it can equip the airlines without a large cash outlay or taking on more debt, and payments would be deferred until the FAA delivers the related services, according to Russell Chew, managing partner of Nexa General Partnership Capital, which would manage the fund.

The deferred payments are an important selling point to airlines that are short on cash, or have been burnt by the U.S. in past attempts to upgrade the traffic-control system,” Chew said.

Some of that equipment would include Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, which gives pilots highly accurate data on an aircraft’s position in relation to others. That would allow pilots to fly more efficient trajectories between airports and closely line up their planes on final runway approaches, shortening the times between individual landings and saving fuel.

It could also include revamping communications with a data-exchange system between air traffic controllers and pilots, decreasing the reliance on voice communication and reducing the chance of error. It would also streamline departure clearances, airborne reroutes and taxiway information.

“The fund is enough to equip up to 75% of the retrofit-able aircraft,” Chew said. “And the airlines need the majority of other airlines to get equipped; otherwise you have a mix of planes that burdens air traffic control and reduces NextGen use.”

The House passed the FAA funding bill in April, and it now awaits reconciliation with a version cleared in the Senate.

If the fund did pass, it would certainly benefit us significantly,” said Clay Jones, CEO of Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE:COL) , which builds some the cockpit equipment. “The fund would accelerate airlines’ move to NextGen.”

The ground equipment for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast should be in place by 2013, the FAA says.

This undermines successful NextGen roll-out --- overall effectiveness depends on commercial upgrades

Dyment 11 (Michael J., General Partner – NextGen Equipage Fund, “Transitioning to Satellite-Based Air Traffic Control”, Geospatial Today, 9-15, Lexis)
The US airline position on NextGen

Airline scepticism of the FAA's ability to deploy, as well as implement, NextGen infrastructure remains high. Al-though FAA procurement reforms have produced significant improvements by using more solid contracting practices that better balance risks, airlines remain concerned about the long lead times between required capital investment, and net benefit realisation. While US airlines seek ATC modernisation and are generally supportive of the NextGen program, vexing challenges remain:

* NextGen architecture requires an extensive investment in aircraft equipage, from antennas to black box avionics, displays, and ongoing software upgrades. It is widely accepted, for example, that the cost savings afforded by ADS-B "Out" reside primarily with the FAA and its ability to phase out expensive secondary radar systems, while airlines bear most of the cost. This comes when US airlines can little afford to make such nonproductive investments.

* Major NextGen benefits can be delivered only when more than half of the air transport fleets are equipped and running the new systems. For example, enroute airspace congestion today causes delays from ATC workload saturation and radar-based separation standards. Capacity is limited by controllers' ability to handle multiple aircraft in a given congested enroute sector with delays from excessive miles-in- trail spacing, inefficient vectoring, and airborne holding. A substantial benefit of DataComm for airlines is the reduction in operating costs associated with reducing these delays. Regression analysis shows a 90 per cent correlation between capacity expansion and equipage level.

* Aircraft equipage issues aside, FAA controllers will need ATC display changes, new procedures, and training in order to cut over to NextGen operations, to realise the benefits. But details remain in the cut-over to NextGen, and will require close cooperation between FAA and airlines.

* Global interoperability with these new systems and architectures will be essential, and while many working groups are seeking solutions to harmonisation challenges, questions remain about the end-state architectures, requirements and investment costs for both airlines and ATC service providers.

NextGen equipage costs

While FAA infrastructure cost estimates have produced stable figures, not much is agreed upon with respect to exact aircraft equipage costs. Consequently, NextGen Equipage Fund conducted a detailed domestic turbine fleet forecast from 2009 through 2020 to provide estimated aircraft population and demographics as the foundation for the Fund's performance and capacity.

Accurate depiction of the equipage environment requires categorisation of the existing domestic fleet since there are various configurations of avionics within the aircraft fleet currently in service. The NextGen Fund developed a list of categories with the assistance of industry experts. These categories ("Families") are based on aircraft production year and the ARINC engineering standards in operation.

Target equipage segments in the turbine aircraft category and associated unit costs range in estimated cost from about $100,000 to as much as $1 million per aircraft. These estimates are subject to continued equipage cost updates from the analysts at NEXA in surveys of the supply chain vendors hoping to sell into the market in coming years. Assuming that fully NextGen-equipped aircraft from OEMs are not expected to be available until about 2017, it is expected that nearly all deliveries over the next few years will still require some form of retrofit, update, or up-grade.

The forecast used these Families to construct an equipage cost outlook with each existing avionics configuration and the new equipment required to achieve NextGen DataComm, ADS-B, and Air-SWIM capability, including varying com-binations of required equipment.

The NextGen Fund prepared this information to project the cost of equipage for eligible retrofit aircraft within the domestic US fleet. The results from this fleet and cost forecasting process show that the NextGen Fund is expected to equip up to 75 per cent of the commercial air transport retrofit fleet. To address this total cost, the Fund antic-ipates a mix of investment proceeds from the debt and equity raise and future cash flows generated from NextGen Fund operations.

Equipage risk sharing partnership

A plan to share the capital investment risks among key stakeholders is the best way to ensure NextGen equipage targets are met. Figure 5 summarises costs and benefits of participation and risk-sharing by the major stakeholder groups.

Discussions with airlines and FAA have pointed to the need for the parties to enter into agreements to memorialise these shared risks. It is anticipated that a Memorandum of Agreement ("MOA") would commit the three parties to certain obligations and to incur costs as certain capabilities come online, and by extension can begin to produce benefits such as reduced delays, lower fuel costs, greater aircraft utilization, and related incremental new revenues.


Without a large and well-funded equipage financing solution capable of addressing key stakeholder risks, there will be no NextGen system for the United States.

The NextGen Fund intends to remove barriers to equipage that could impede or threaten the long-term success of NextGen program, and to otherwise accelerate airline equipage through a carefully designed financial incentive pack-age , and a business infrastructure to administer equipment purchases and inventories. With the ground-based NextGen infrastructure build-out proceeding, stakeholders now recognise that properly equipping the nation's aircraft fleet stands on the critical path to realising the benefits of a fully functioning NextGen system.

Current ATC is extremely outdated. Air traffic will double by 2025, crashing the system.

Williams 9 (Genevra, J.D. Candidate – Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and B.B.A. –University of Iowa, “GPS For The Sky: A Survey of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-(ADS-B) and its Implementation in the United States”, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Spring, 74 J. Air L. & Com. 473, Lexis)
DESPITE ALL of the modern technological advances that everyday consumers enjoy, the United States' air traffic infrastructure is relatively antiquated. A typical college student very well may carry a cell phone with a broadband internet connection, email, a camera, and Global Positioning (GPS) technology, 1 and yet air traffic controller technology is so basic that it can only get an accurate read on an aircraft's position once every six to twelve seconds. 2 "Your child's Xbox video game system is more advanced than the air traffic control system that has been guiding aircraft in and out of increasingly crowded airspace since the 1950s." 3 Demand for air travel is on the rise. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects passenger traffic to double by 2025, and the World War II-era radar technology that currently manages air traffic in the national air space (NAS) will be incapable of handling it. 4 The ineffectiveness [*474] of radar impacts air safety, 5 air capacity, and the environment. 6 The solution is Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), the central component to the U.S. government's planned overhaul of the entire aviation infrastructure. 7 ADS-B promises to improve safety by allowing aircraft to be precisely and continuously located in the sky, both by air traffic controllers and by other aircraft. 8 This greater precision in air traffic monitoring may lead to improved air capacity by allowing planes to takeoff, fly, and land in tighter formation and in a greater range of weather conditions. 9 This, in turn, will lead to less fuel waste and, consequently, fewer emissions polluting the environment. 10 These benefits have already been proven in both passenger and cargo aircraft, and today we stand at the brink of mandatory use of ADS-B in most U.S. aircraft. 11

This survey of ADS-B technology aims to give aircraft owners and their counsel a comprehensive understanding of current air traffic control challenges and of the FAA's push to implement ADS-B nationwide. Section I discusses today's problems with air traffic management and safety, how ADS-B could solve those problems, and the ways that ADS-B has already been deployed. The FAA expects aircraft passengers to double in the next twenty years. 12 The environment in which our current radar technology operates is chaotic, at best. Air traffic congestion problems are compounded by runway shortages. 13 Air traffic [*475] controllers, who are stretched thin 14 and embroiled in a bitter labor dispute, 15 rely on World War II 16 radar technology that is simply not equipped to handle such an increase. 17 By utilizing ADS-B, the aviation community can improve situational awareness both on the ground and in the cockpit, increase air capacity, 18 and improve safety. 19 Additionally, this improved efficiency may reduce fuel consumption and consequently reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 20 These benefits have already been demonstrated in Alaska, where there has been a forty-seven percent drop in fatal accidents among aircraft equipped with ADS-B, 21 and at United Parcel Service (UPS), which has enjoyed an increase in flight efficiency and a reduction in fuel costs. 22 Section II discusses ADS-B in the context of the FAA's much larger program to overhaul all aspects of the aviation infrastructure. The project, called Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), aims to transform the aviation infrastructure by integrating all parts of air transportation into a unified information system. 23 Because it will bring air traffic surveillance into the 21st century and provide substantial improvements to the accuracy of air traffic monitoring, ADS-B is a key piece of the broader NextGen program. 24 However, the FAA's poor track record with modernization 25 and an uncertain funding [*476] future for the FAA 26 mean that NextGen's success is less than certain. At a minimum, it is likely that the ADS-B portion of NextGen will be funded and implemented. Section III analyzes the FAA's proposed regulation to require ADS-B in most U.S. aircraft by 2020. The proposed rule, first released in October 2007, was met with an overwhelming volume of comment and criticism. 27 In response, the FAA convened a panel of stakeholders who analyzed and synthesized the comments into thirty-six recommendations. 28 The panel's recommendations cover a very broad range of topics. 29 Section III focuses on three of their key concerns, including congestion on the radio frequency over which ADS-B will operate, 30 a weak business case for adoption by the general aviation community, 31 and the need for the FAA to develop incentives which will encourage early, voluntary adoption of ADS-B. 32 The Aviation Rulemaking Committee's (ARC) recommendations are discussed with an eye towards how the final rule might be impacted or altered by the feedback. 33 And finally, Section Three discusses the new administration of President Barack Obama, and his newly appointed Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. 34 This section makes inferences about how President Obama's nascent administration may impact the ADS-B mandate and whether there will be funding for the program. Based on the Secretary's testimony during his confirmation hearing, 35 and based on the fact that installation [*477] of the ground system is already in progress, 36 one can be optimistic that funding for ADS-B will be supported by his department.


Delays at the airport have been the media story de jure for the past two years, 37 but the issues that challenge the most basic components of the U.S. aviation infrastructure are no passing problem. The number of aircraft passengers is expected to double by 2025 - up from 740 million today. 38 This will be fueled both by an increase in commercial aviation passengers and in the number of private aircraft. 39 Huge technological improvements are happening in the realm of private air travel; expansions in the charter plane and fractional ownership sectors have made private flight easier and dramatically more affordable. 40 While this is great news for consumers, it will further tax an already stressed air traffic control system. 41 "A shift of 2 percent of today's commercial passengers to very light jets that seat 4-6 passengers would result in triple the number of flights necessary [*478] to carry the same number of passengers." 42 "The current system cannot handle the projected traffic demands expected by 2015. Absent modernization, the consequences will be a total system collapse." 43

Even if the system survives, delays will escalate, bringing the economy to a stand-still

Toner 12 (Dr. Karlin, Director and Senior Staff Advisor to the Secretary of Transportation for NextGen, Joint Planning and Development Office, “NextGen Topics”,
650 Million Passengers and Growing

The demand placed on America's air transportation system has grown significantly over the past 30 years. In 1980, the system carried 281 million passengers. In 2008, it handled nearly 650 million passengers, according to the Department of Transportation. One of the most important benefits of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) will be the increase in airspace capacity. Many of the core technologies used in today’s system were first developed during World War II. If the system is to adjust to future demands, new aircraft types, and changing business models, then it has to be updated and transformed to make it more scalable and flexible.

Aviation is Vital to the Economy

Our nation’s economy relies on an air transportation system that moves both people and goods from domestically and throughout the world safely and efficiently. In fact, 5.6% of our economy is represented by the aviation industry, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In an October 2008 report entitled “The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation on the U.S. Economy”, the FAA estimates that by 2022, the failure to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) would cost the US economy $22 billion annually in lost economic activity. Even as early as 2015, an FAA simulation shows that without some of the initial elements of NextGen, there will be far greater air traffic delays than currently experienced, according to the “NextGen Q & A” fact sheet at

Independently, NextGen is key to ATC reliability --- otherwise, local failures will cause rippling disruption

Williams 9 (Genevra, J.D. Candidate – Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and B.B.A. –University of Iowa, “GPS For The Sky: A Survey of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-(ADS-B) and its Implementation in the United States”, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Spring, 74 J. Air L. & Com. 473, Lexis)
It is against this backdrop that radar technology from World War II currently manages flight traffic in U.S. airspace. 60 Radar works by line of sight and, consequently, an air traffic control center can only manage a plane for as long as it can see it. 61 Like a game of hot potato, air traffic controllers must pass an airplane from control station to control station across the country until it reaches its destination. 62 The technology is further limited in that it can take up to thirty-six seconds to accurately identify an aircraft's position, 63 and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between planes and other "clutter" like birds or heavy weather. 64 Furthermore, pilots do not even possess the situational awareness, albeit flawed, that controllers have. 65 In general, pilots in radar-controlled airspace must be steered by air traffic control, both to the necessary navigational direction and to the required horizontal position in the airspace. 66 They must ask "Mother may I?" if they ever want to deviate from their prescribed path. 67

The uncertainty and limitations of radar mean that air traffic controllers must build in a wide cushion between aircraft in flight; a minimum of five miles must be maintained between planes flying at the same horizontal level. 68 These "wide safety buffers" 69 reduce the number of planes that are allowed to travel in a given section of air space and slow down the takeoff and landing process. 70 This also means that pilots are confined to a [*481] network of "highways in the sky." 71 Rather than flying the most direct route between destinations, they must navigate our air space via a web of flight paths designed to keep airplanes separated, both vertically and horizontally. 72 Pilots generally must stick to these predetermined flight paths, and thus have little flexibility to fly a more direct route or to navigate around traffic jams. 73

These factors contribute to a flying environment which feels like it teeters at the brink of chaos every day. 74 For example, in August 2008, a computer breakdown at an FAA facility which processes flight plans caused hundreds of flights to be delayed, impacting all forty of the nation's major airports. 75 In another example from September 2007, the system that feeds radar data into the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Memphis, TN, brought a halt to all air traffic within a 250-mile radius, causing a "ripple effect in several airports" including Dallas, TX, and Nashville, TN, among others. 76 In July 2006, a vehicle crashing into a power pole caused a power outage at the Palmdale, CA, air traffic control facility, whose backup generator then malfunctioned, silencing the center for eighty minutes. 77 This caused an hour long delay of flights into and out of Southern California and triggered flight delays throughout the western United States and Canada. 78

That collapses the global economy --- NextGen solves

AIA 11 (Aerospace Industries Association, “Civil Aviation – Second to None”,
ISSUE: The U.S. civil aviation industry plays a vital role in the health of the world’s economy. BACKGROUND The most recent data show that the sale of goods and services tied directly or indirectly to civil aviation constituted $1.3 trillion, or about 5.6 percent of the nation’s total gross domestic product in 2009. Our industry directly and indirectly sustains nearly 12 million jobs. The U.S. aerospace industry remains the single largest contributor to the nation’s balance of trade, with $87 billion in exports and a $57.4 billion trade surplus in 2011. The global recession of the past few years has reduced demand for leisure and business travel and the shipment of just-in-time goods. Many of our nation’s aging aviation infrastructure limitations have been masked by the economic slowdown. Delays are down; aircraft CO2 emissions are 10 percent below 2005 levels. Yet, our 1960s-era air traffic control system will not be able to handle demand when it returns. Unless we invest in sorely needed transformational aviation infrastructure now, civil aviation generated economic growth will be stunted and the economic cost of system delay will likely eclipse $40 billion annually by 2012. FAA has already invested more than$3 billion in the Next Generation Air Transportation System and plans to spend up to $20 billion more. The contract to install ADS-B ground stations throughout the country is on time and on budget and should be completed by 2013. The economic and environmental benefits of NextGen, when fully implemented, are impressive. Routing and delay-reducing efficiencies will save billions of dollars annually and save more than a billion gallons of fuel. Those are conservative estimates which will provide an economic return on government investment in less than three years and will be the environmental equivalent of removing 2.2 million cars off the road. The global aviation industry has committed to improve overall fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent per year through 2020; achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020; and cut aviation’s net CO2 emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. One of the biggest impediments to confidence in the country’s commitment to implement NextGen expeditiously is that our National Airspace System has been operating without an updated program and funding authority (a FAA Reauthorization Bill) for nearly four years. This unprecedented delay in modernizing the statutes that govern the oversight and operation of the most complex aviation authority in the world has had numerous deleterious effects. New starts are prohibited. Programs are not anchored to long-term financial authority. And new concepts and technologies such as unmanned aircraft systems are held back while other nations march forward. AIA RECOMMENDATIONS Like our national defense, funding for the safety and efficiency of our nation’s aviation infrastructure should never be shortchanged. The safe and fiscally sensible course of action is to accelerate, not delay, the implementation of NextGen. By doing so, we invigorate the economy, generate jobs, save fuel, reduce CO2 emissions and, most importantly, improve system safety. To do this most effectively, AIA recommends that:  The Transportation Department swiftly review and implement the 23 recommendations of the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee;  Congress pass a multi-year FAA Reauthorization Bill as soon as possible; and  Congress ensure NextGen implementation stays on schedule by fully funding FAA’s capital and RE&D accounts

Global nuclear war

Auslin 9 (Michael, Resident Scholar – American Enterprise Institute, and Desmond Lachman – Resident Fellow – American Enterprise Institute, “The Global Economy Unravels”, Forbes, 3-6,
What do these trends mean in the short and medium term? The Great Depression showed how social and global chaos followed hard on economic collapse. The mere fact that parliaments across the globe, from America to Japan, are unable to make responsible, economically sound recovery plans suggests that they do not know what to do and are simply hoping for the least disruption. Equally worrisome is the adoption of more statist economic programs around the globe, and the concurrent decline of trust in free-market systems. The threat of instability is a pressing concern. China, until last year the world's fastest growing economy, just reported that 20 million migrant laborers lost their jobs. Even in the flush times of recent years, China faced upward of 70,000 labor uprisings a year. A sustained downturn poses grave and possibly immediate threats to Chinese internal stability. The regime in Beijing may be faced with a choice of repressing its own people or diverting their energies outward, leading to conflict with China's neighbors. Russia, an oil state completely dependent on energy sales, has had to put down riots in its Far East as well as in downtown Moscow. Vladimir Putin's rule has been predicated on squeezing civil liberties while providing economic largesse. If that devil's bargain falls apart, then wide-scale repression inside Russia, along with a continuing threatening posture toward Russia's neighbors, is likely. Even apparently stable societies face increasing risk and the threat of internal or possibly external conflict. As Japan's exports have plummeted by nearly 50%, one-third of the country's prefectures have passed emergency economic stabilization plans. Hundreds of thousands of temporary employees hired during the first part of this decade are being laid off. Spain's unemployment rate is expected to climb to nearly 20% by the end of 2010; Spanish unions are already protesting the lack of jobs, and the specter of violence, as occurred in the 1980s, is haunting the country. Meanwhile, in Greece, workers have already taken to the streets. Europe as a whole will face dangerously increasing tensions between native citizens and immigrants, largely from poorer Muslim nations, who have increased the labor pool in the past several decades. Spain has absorbed five million immigrants since 1999, while nearly 9% of Germany's residents have foreign citizenship, including almost 2 million Turks. The xenophobic labor strikes in the U.K. do not bode well for the rest of Europe. A prolonged global downturn, let alone a collapse, would dramatically raise tensions inside these countries. Couple that with possible protectionist legislation in the United States, unresolved ethnic and territorial disputes in all regions of the globe and a loss of confidence that world leaders actually know what they are doing. The result may be a series of small explosions that coalesce into a big bang.

NextGen maximizes efficiency, solves congestion, and boosts airport capacity --- certain investment’s key

ACI 11 (Airports Council International – Global Association of Airports, “Air Traffic Modernization”, 11-12,

Maximizing the safe and efficient use of the airspace and airports is critical to accommodating future aviation demand. If the aviation industry is to meet the challenge of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecasts that predict one billion passengers by 2015 and a doubling of today’s passenger levels by 2025, it will require substantial improvements and investments in the air traffic control system, just as it will require federal and local capital investments in airport infrastructure. Airports believe that these investments require that the FAA have a stable and predictable funding system to ensure sufficient capital resources are available.


The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) includes a set of FAA initiatives that will apply new technologies, set standards and develop new procedures that together will transform today’s ground-based air traffic control system to a system based on a combination of ground and satellite navigational capabilities having far greater precision and capability. Once the core elements of NextGen are in place, air carriers, general aviation and the military will be able to use the airspace and airport operating environments in a safer, more sustainable and efficient manner, helping to enable the FAA and aviation industry to continuously improve performance and meet the challenges of the future.


NextGen would increase capacity in the enroute and terminal environments, particularly in weather conditions that today cause en route and terminal airspace capacity to drop, resulting in delays and cancellations and less than desirable passenger experiences. If investments are not made, and the full benefits of NextGen are not realized, airspace capacity will be insufficient to meet forecasts and system disruptions will become routine.

Following are three areas where air traffic modernization and NextGen can play important roles:

• Airport Safety: As aircraft traffic increases, surface movements of aircraft and other vehicles on the airfield grows significantly. This raises the potential for accidents and equipment damage on runways and taxiways as well as for traffic gridlock on the airfield. It is vital that both air traffic controllers and air crews have updated information available to them that accurately determines the position and identification of aircraft and surface vehicles so that safety and airfield throughput can be maintained.

• Airspace: Today, much of the airspace surrounding our nation’s most intensively used airports is congested, limiting system capacity. Without modernization, this challenge will only increase as the projected numbers of commercial and general aviation aircraft accessing congested airspace is forecast to grow significantly. By reducing aircraft spacing and separation requirements and better managing traffic in, out and within busy terminal airspace, NextGen will safely permit more aircraft to operate in these areas and be routed to the appropriate airports in the region.

Airport Capacity: Many of busiest airports today have runway configurations that do not permit independent arrival and departure streams when aircraft are operating under Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) and flight minimums must be raised. As a result under IMC conditions aircraft spacing and separation must be increased, airport arrival and departure rates drop, and the system is forced to queue, divert, delay or cancel flights. By enabling pilots and controllers to more accurately identify the exact position of aircraft, more precise routes in and out of airports can be flown, increasing throughput during almost all weather conditions.

NextGen boosts general aviation

Toner 12 (Dr. Karlin, Director and Senior Staff Advisor to the Secretary of Transportation for NextGen, Joint Planning and Development Office, “NextGen Topics”,
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) will benefit the General Aviation (GA) community in the following ways:

Preservation of Small Airports

The JPDO recognizes the importance of the 5,000-plus airfields that support the GA community and the valuable capacity that they add to the National Airspace System (NAS).

Better Weather Information

Better weather information will help disseminate weather situational awareness and create a common weather picture for all pilots.

Equivalent Visual Operations in Marginal IMC

With NextGen, bad weather will have less of an adverse impact on flight. In most situations, pilots and controllers will collaborate in real-time to adjust routes and maneuver around storms.

Greater Access to Terminal Airspace

Flexible management of the airspace, coupled with improved weather forecast accuracy, new communications, and surveillance and navigational capabilities, allows access to more airspace, more of the time, with reduced impact on traffic flows. This will maximize access for all traffic, while rewarding those aircraft with advanced capabilities that support the air traffic management system. In addition, because of the reduced "footprint" required for these operations, classic Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations will have more access around major airports.

Security Targeted to Risk

The assessment of risks under NextGen provides a prioritized list of vulnerabilities and potential mitigation. For example, external attacks on aircraft may be an issue at some airports, requiring mitigation. Fortunately, this means that most GA airports will not be as vulnerable to these risks.

It’s declining and ripples across the economy

NBAA 9 (National Business Aviation Association, “General Aviation Industry Hurting During Economic Downturn”, 3-30,
General aviation is an essential economic generator directly or indirectly employing over 1.26 million people nationwide according a 2006 economic study by Merge Global. These jobs generate $150 billion in economic activity across the United States, including states like California ($18B), Texas ($11B), Georgia ($9B), and Kansas ($7B). Our industry is continuing to build a strong American manufacturing and employment base that contributes positively to our national balance of trade. Congress recognized just how fundamental general aviation is to our nation's transportation system, rural economies, manufacturing capability, and balance of trade when it passed the General Aviation Revitalization Act a little more than a decade ago.

There's no question that in communities across the country, general aviation means millions of jobs: jobs in aircraft manufacture (the U.S. industry leads the world), jobs for people in small towns (where companies use airplanes to reach new markets), and jobs in flight support (including schedulers, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, pilots, training professionals, and airport employees to name just a few examples).

Unfortunately, the people and businesses in general aviation are weathering one of the worst economic storms anyone has ever seen. The impact of the flagging economy on the companies and communities that rely on general aviation is visible in all parts of the country. Following are some examples:

GA Manufacturing has been hit hard by the economy

The general aviation industry supports highly skilled, well-paying jobs for engineers and manufacturing line workers who design and build aircraft in places like Savannah, Wichita, and Little Rock and for hundreds of component manufacturers such as GE, Honeywell, and Pratt and Whitney that supply them with parts including many small businesses. GA is an important national industry that contributes greatly to the economy and to local tax bases. These suppliers also contribute extensively to aircraft produced by foreign companies like Dassault, Embraer, and Bombardier. The collective direct earnings of general aviation exceed $53 billion.


The industry started feeling the effects of the downturn last fall and since then US members of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (employing 144,000 people in the U.S.) have laid off over 12,155 people to adjust to the economy with thousands more among suppliers and additional layoffs pending. In addition, some general aviation manufacturers, including Adam Aircraft and Eclipse Aviation, have declared bankruptcy and ceased production.

Backlog and Loss of Orders

Our industry held a record backlog of $83 billion at the end of the third quarter 2008, but it is rapidly shrinking. Customers are not placing orders which results in the backlog shrinking by $6-7 billion each quarter. Customers are also cancelling or delaying orders as they manage their own finances and schedule for capital purchases.

At the same time, the used aircraft market is saturated with inventory levels for business jets reaching over 17%. Criticism of business aviation risks further flooding the used aircraft market and depressing prices.


Our industry is a strong contributor to U.S. exports with a total of 1,161 airplanes exported in 2008. The export billings reached $5.86 billion. The aggregate aviation industry, including GA has a positive impact on the US trade balance. Our exports accounted for 43.9 percent of the total value of U.S. manufactured general aviation airplanes in 2008.

GA Flight Activity is in Decline

According to FAA data, overall general aviation traffic volumes in January 2009 are down 23% compared to January 2008. The same data reports the change in business jet operations is a decline of 28.3 percent for January 2009 compared to January 2008 year-over-year.

Small airports are operating ‘in the red'

There are more than 5,000 public use airports located in communities across the country. Approximately 470 of these airports have commercial airline service – making general aviation a critical lifeline for smaller communities. Many of these smaller airports are seeing their revenues plummet as general aviation flight hours decrease. For example, Aviation International News recently reported that: "A decline of nearly 20 percent in jet fuel sales has helped drag the Salina Airport Authority's 2008 budget into the red. The airport authority gets 6.6 cents from every gallon of jet fuel sold at the airport. That surcharge provides almost an eighth of the authority's operating revenue. ‘It confirms that business jet use and travel is down,' said Tim Rogers, executive director."

The bottom line is that the people and businesses in general aviation are subject to the sluggish economy just like everyone else. And all the information available confirms that when a recession hits general aviation, the impact is felt all across America's economy.

Farm yields will plummet without general aviation

Maher 1 (Guy R., Business Owner and Aircraft Appraiser with 12,000 Flight Hours in General Aviation Airplanes and Helicopters, “Owner’s Handbook: Cream of the Crops”, General Aviation News, 1-1,
Light aircraft are trainers, check-runners, news gatherers, ambulances, taxis, tour guides, fire fighters, police patrollers and family haulers. That’s what general aviation is all about.

As aviation enthusiasts, I am sure we all share the same disgust when we hear the uninformed (mainstream media, non-pilots, etc.) make generalizations about aviation that are incorrect. Well, over the past six months, I have gotten an incredibly up-close and personal look into another industry that puts aircraft to work — and hard work, at that. This is the agricultural industry. And I found that my generalized perceptions about agricultural aviation were way off the mark.

Like all modern industries, today’s farmers use technologically advanced methods, equipment and products. These tools assist in providing food and fiber for the world’s growing population and protecting our natural resources. As part of this, aircraft are used to apply crop protection products in a safe, efficient, economical and environmentally friendly manner.

Without crop protection products to control insects, weeds and diseases, crop yields per acre would drop by more than 50%, according to the National Agricultural Aviation Association. It’s more than 1,250 agricultural operator members who accomplish more crop protection in one hour than ground equipment can in a day, the association claims.


Lugar 4 (Richard G., U.S. Senator – Indiana and Former Chair – Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “Plant Power”, Our Planet, 14(3),
In a world confronted by global terrorism, turmoil in the Middle East, burgeoning nuclear threats and other crises, it is easy to lose sight of the long-range challenges. But we do so at our peril. One of the most daunting of them is meeting the world’s need for food and energy in this century. At stake is not only preventing starvation and saving the environment, but also world peace and security. History tells us that states may go to war over access to resources, and that poverty and famine have often bred fanaticism and terrorism. Working to feed the world will minimize factors that contribute to global instability and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
With the world population expected to grow from 6 billion people today to 9 billion by mid-century, the demand for affordable food will increase well beyond current international production levels. People in rapidly developing nations will have the means greatly to improve their standard of living and caloric intake. Inevitably, that means eating more meat. This will raise demand for feed grain at the same time that the growing world population will need vastly more basic food to eat.

Complicating a solution to this problem is a dynamic that must be better understood in the West: developing countries often use limited arable land to expand cities to house their growing populations. As good land disappears, people destroy timber resources and even rainforests as they try to create more arable land to feed themselves. The long-term environmental consequences could be disastrous for the entire globe.

Productivity revolution
To meet the expected demand for food over the next 50 years, we in the United States will have to grow roughly three times more food on the land we have. That’s a tall order. My farm in Marion County, Indiana, for example, yields on average 8.3 to 8.6 tonnes of corn per hectare – typical for a farm in central Indiana. To triple our production by 2050, we will have to produce an annual average of 25 tonnes per hectare.

Can we possibly boost output that much? Well, it’s been done before. Advances in the use of fertilizer and water, improved machinery and better tilling techniques combined to generate a threefold increase in yields since 1935 – on our farm back then, my dad produced 2.8 to 3 tonnes per hectare. Much US agriculture has seen similar increases.

But of course there is no guarantee that we can achieve those results again. Given the urgency of expanding food production to meet world demand, we must invest much more in scientific research and target that money toward projects that promise to have significant national and global impact. For the United States, that will mean a major shift in the way we conduct and fund agricultural science. Fundamental research will generate the innovations that will be necessary to feed the world.

The United States can take a leading position in a productivity revolution. And our success at increasing food production may play a decisive humanitarian role in the survival of billions of people and the health of our planet.

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