transportation system. To better support the core goal of meeting increased demand in each phase of operation, the JPDO’s IPT structure should be realigned and simplified. All of the current IPTs (except for the Master IPT) should be disbanded and replaced with three new IPTs, one for each of the above operational concepts. Safety, security, weather, and other elements of the existing IPTs should be embedded in each of the three new IPTs, as appropriate, and the JPDO should establish goals related to cost, schedule, and level of performance that can be quantified using appropriate figures of merit.

Adequate support for all core technologies and processes that will be included in NGATS is crucial to validate the Integrated Plan. In particular, the NASA administrator should continue—and the Senior Policy Committee and the JPDO should advocate for continuation of—research on core NGATS technologies and processes. Likewise, the JPDO itself must receive adequate resources. The members of the Senior Policy Committee should ensure that the federal agencies they direct or represent allocate funding and staff to (1) provide the JPDO with the resources it needs to define NGATS and draw up an appropriate implementation plan and (2) ensure departmental and agency research in civil aeronautics is consistent with plans developed by the JPDO and endorsed by the Senior Policy Committee to enable and implement new operational concepts.

The first edition of the Integrated Plan has little to say about implementation other than to acknowledge that the IPTs will need to address implementation and transition issues. Successful implementation of NGATS requires an Integrated Plan that does the following:

  • Clearly addresses the needs of the traveling public, shippers, and other system users, which vary with fluctuations in the economy.

  • Establishes a source of stable funding suitable for development, implementation, and operation of NGATS, including capital improvements.

  • Proposes reforms in governance and operational management that assure accountability and limit the effect of traditional external influences. The interests of individual stakeholders should be balanced with the common good in a way that expedites the deployment of optimal technologies and procedures and achieves the primary goal of meeting increased demand.

  • Defines an NGATS that efficiently interfaces with the rest of the global air transportation system.

The secretary of transportation, as chair of the Senior Policy Committee, and the FAA administrator, as a member of the Senior Policy Committee, should help the JPDO accomplish each of the above goals by, for example, supporting jointly funded, collaborative research to define NGATS operational concepts suitable for global implementation. They should also lead the development of a proposal to adequately fund the development, implementation, and operation of NGATS.

The assessment committee’s overall guidance is summarized in the following recommendation:1

Summary Recommendation. The secretary of transportation, the FAA administrator, the rest of the Senior Policy Committee, and the JPDO should invigorate development, implementation, and operation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, especially with regard to the development of core technologies and processes, as follows:

  • Focus the work of the JPDO on development of a systematic, risk-based approach for achieving the primary objective, which is to resolve demand issues and increase capacity while also satisfying enabling, interrelated requirements for safety, security, environmental effects, consumer satisfaction, and industrial competitiveness.

  • Restructure the JPDO as a product-driven organization with three coordinated operational concepts and three IPTs focused on (1) airport operations, (2) terminal area operations, and (3) en route and oceanic operations (plus the Master IPT for systems integration and oversight).

  • Consistently provide the JPDO and its IPTs with strong, fully involved leadership and program management capabilities, along with more full-time staff.

  • Draw up a plan to establish a viable source of stable funding and a governance structure suited to the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

  • Undertake a more vigorous effort to collaborate with foreign governments and institutions, to include jointly funded, collaborative research to define operational concepts suitable for global implementation.


A complete list of the committee’s findings and recommendations appears following Chapter 6.

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