dependencies and trade-offs. The environmental strategy should also include a global perspective, because commercial aircraft are manufactured for a global market and buyers expect them to be compatible with the global air transportation system.

Research to improve the environmental performance of aircraft will likely remain the domain of domestic and foreign aircraft and engine manufacturers, research institutions, and government agencies, such as NASA and the Department of Defense. The environmental strategy should recognize that aircraft and engine manufacturers generally respond to four major drivers:

  • safety and reliability issues

  • legislation and regulatory standards, including standards for noise and emissions

  • competitive and economic pressures on fuel consumption, noise, maintainability, etc.

  • customer needs and field service issues

The assessment committee received a five-page summary of plans under development by the Environmental Protection IPT for FY 2007 to 2011. This summary, which appears in Appendix G, describes a strategy that is well thought out, appropriate, and consistent with the above guidance. Although the information contained in the summary is preliminary, it describes a credible way forward and should be incorporated into future editions of the Integrated Plan. Further, the Environmental Protection IPT is to be commended for adopting a process that begins by defining initial goals, key uncertainties and risks (including uncertainties in the NGATS architecture), programmatic priorities, and the other topics included in its plan.1 The general processes employed by this IPT and the structure of its plan would serve as useful models for the other IPTs.

GLOBAL HARMONIZATION

Global harmonization of NGATS will require that harmonization issues be considered in the development of each operational concept and each IPT. A willingness to maximize the use of existing technologies and procedures, including foreign technology, even when that technology must be licensed for use by the U.S. air transportation system, would facilitate the development of new capabilities by reducing costs and schedule (relative to an approach that duplicates research that has already been completed overseas) and by building in harmonization (to the extent that technologies and procedures already in use by other countries are adopted into the U.S. air transportation system). Failure to collaborate would reduce the international competitiveness of U.S. aircraft and ATM technology if standards sponsored by foreign organizations became the global standard. Global harmonization is a high priority and cannot be accomplished by a small interdepartmental office such as the JPDO without the active involvement of other federal agencies, including the FAA and NASA, and the support of both the administration and the U.S. Congress.

Finding 4-4. Global Collaboration. U.S. leadership in fostering a substantial increase in collaboration with foreign organizations in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere would facilitate development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System and help ensure the competitiveness of U.S. aircraft and air traffic management technology.

Recommendation 4-3. Global Collaboration. The FAA administrator and the secretary of transportation should immediately undertake a more vigorous effort to lead development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System in collaboration with foreign governments and institutions. This should include jointly funded, collaborative research to define NGATS operational concepts suitable for global implementation.

REFERENCES

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 2004. Capacity Needs in the National Airspace System. Washington, D.C.: FAA. Available online at <www.faa.gov/arp/publications/reports/index.cfm>.


General Accounting Office (GAO). 2000. Aviation and the Environment—Results from a Survey of the Nation’s 50 Busiest Commercial Service Airports. Washington, D.C.: GAO. Available online at <www.gao.gov/new.items/rc00222.pdf>.

1  

The Environmental Protection IPT has also estimated funding requirements for FY 2007 to 2011, but that information was not provided to the assessment committee.



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