U.S. SENATE — Building off their efforts from the 114th Congress, U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced legislation to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) measure performance goals for new technology shaping America’s air traffic control system.
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) will make air travel safer by moving from a radar-based system with radio communication to a satellite-based one.
NextGen deployment has been bogged with delays and cost overruns since it was first congressionally mandated in 2003. The final implementation is to be completed by 2025. Daines’ and Booker’s bill would create measurable performance goals and hold federal officials liable annually for these goals through implementation.
“Creating more transparency and accountability at the FAA is beneficial for those who travel,” Daines stated. “This bill will help to improve the safety and efficiency of air travel for pilots and passengers.”
“Swift and successful implementation of the NextGen program will increase safety, reduce congestion, and ensure our air traffic control system keeps pace with new innovations,” Sen. Booker said. “Our bill will ensure a more open process and give the ongoing task of modernizing our aviation network the urgent attention it needs to succeed.”
On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed the FAA reauthorization that included Daines’ amendment to hold those Federal employees responsible for NextGen implementation accountable for poor performance and delays.
In order to facilitate deployment and accountability of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) air traffic control systems, the bill would:
- require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish quantifiable annual NextGen performance goals for existing performance matrices,
- require the FAA to add to existing reports progress made on meeting these annual goals; and,
- codify that the Chief NextGen Officer’s bonuses must consider performance in meeting the annual goals.