TABLE B-1 Comparison of Future Goals and Visions for Civil Aeronautics

NASA Goals and Objectives


Next Generation Air Transportation System




National R&D Plan

2050 Vision

NASA Aeronautics Blueprint

European Aeronautics: A Vision for 2020


  • Accident rate reduced 90% in 25 years

Safety and Security

  • Protect air travelers and the public: Decrease the aircraft accident rate and mitigate the consequences of accidents

  • Efficiently decrease aviation system vulnerability to threats

  • Mitigate consequences of hostile acts

Safety and security

  • Risk management

  • Prevention of accidents and incidents

  • Reduction of injuries when accidents occur

  • Reduction of casualties, system disruption, and damage when incidents occur

Safety and security

  • No fatalities or injuries

  • Human-centered systems to compensate for human error

  • Education and training for operators and users (lifetime learning)

  • Accident prevention

  • Reduction of injuries when accidents occur

  • Prevention of incidents: reduction of casualties when incidents occur without disrupting normal operations

Safety and security

  • Decentralized air transportation system to improve safety in case of system failure, human error, or terrorist attack

Safety and security

  • Improved situational awareness in all weather

  • Aircraft health monitoring systems, self-healing systems, and adaptive fault-tolerant controls to respond to system failures and human error

  • Aircraft hardening to withstand explosions

  • Improved monitoring of projected flight paths to prevent aircraft collisions and detect unauthorized diversions

  • Prevention of malicious or ill-advised pilot actions from causing an accident

  • Automated passenger identification and threat assessment


  • Reduce accident rate by 80%

  • Aircraft systems that lighten the burdens on the crew, help them make correct decisions, and reduce the impact of human error

  • Higher standards of training

  • Monitoring systems that react to technical problems a they occur


  • Reduce intercity door-to-door transportation time by 67% in 25 years

  • Reduce long-haul transcontinental travel time by 50% in 25 years


  • Triple the capacity of the air transportation system in 25 years

Technology innovation

  • Revolutionary technologies to enable fundamentally new system capabilities

Engineering innovation

  • Advanced tools, processes and cultureto enable rapid, high-confidence, and cost-efficient design of revolutionary systems


  • Enable more people and goods to travel faster and farther, anywhere, anytime, with fewer delays

New aerospace missions

  • Pioneer novel aerospace concepts to support earth and space science missions

National Airspace System

  • Improve system capacity, capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and services

  • Architecture definition and evolution

  • Architecture implementation

  • Improving air traffic operations

  • Involving air traffic controllers in developing new systems and associated training

  • Human factors research for controller operations, system maintenance, and improved weather services

  • Developing break-through technologies to meet growing demand


  • Integrated

  • Intermodal

Advanced technology

  • Improved transportation system definition tools and vehicle design tools and methods

  • Optimized vehicle and system operations

  • New classes of superefficient, intelligent, reliable, and environmentally friendly vehicles


  • Automated management of the airports and airspace for all types of aircraft, day and night, in all weather conditions

  • Cultural and institutional changes

  • Radically new air transportation management systems

  • System definition tools

National Airspace System

  • Weather

  • Reduced impact of low visibility

  • Better observation and prediction of adverse weather and vortices

  • Traffic optimization

  • Automated, distributed air traffic management

  • High-capacity airports

  • Integrated arrival, departure, and surface decision-support tools

  • Synthetic vision systems for aircraft

  • Airport design and operation models

  • Smart nontowered airports

  • CNS

  • Satellite-based CNS systems

  • Active and passive precision navigation/surveillance systems

Revolutionary vehicles

  • Global range

  • Supersonic speed

  • Vertical lift and extremely short takeoff and landing

  • Long-duration uninhabited aircraft

  • Nanotechnology, variable aerodynamic shapes, and advanced propulsion and power systems

Educated workforce

  • Motivating the next generation to work in aviation

  • Lifetime learning for the existing workforce

  • Multidisciplinary research using virtual laboratories

Air transportation system

  • System capacity increase 200% in all weather condition

  • Sophisticated ground-and satellite-based CNS systems

  • Free Flight

  • Airports freed of noise-related operating restrictions

  • Air transportation integrated into an efficient multimodal transportation system

  • Integrated ATM system that is so effective it become the de facto world standard

Educational policies to provide skilled aeronautics workforce

Aircraft design and production

  • Integrated design, manufacturing, and maintenance systems

  • Large-capacity aircraft (~1,200 passengers)

  • Supersonic speed

  • Innovative vertical takeoff and landing

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement