• innovation in managing the safety effects of changes

  • responding to future demand and complexity

  • creative treatment of a mixed legacy and future fleet

  • assessing the merits of transformation

The Integrated Plan continues by describing an approach to transformation that includes changes in government– private sector interactions and changes within government, such as establishment of the JPDO and the Senior Policy Committee.

The Integrated Plan’s chapter “Approach to Transportation” describes specific IPT responsibilities, including the following:

  • managing the planning and execution of all relevant work to complete the assigned strategy

  • conducting analyses and trade studies to select and validate implementation alternatives

  • analyzing changes currently under way, identifying gaps, and establishing the required government and/or industry research and development activities to close the gaps

  • identifying nontechnical approaches such as policy, regulation, and operational procedures

  • establishing detailed requirements for individual mission areas

  • conducting advanced concept and technology demonstrations

  • creating a transition plan for implementation of products

  • creating public–private partnerships

The most detailed part of the Integrated Plan revisits the eight transformation strategies (see first page of this chapter). For each strategy, the Integrated Plan describes (1) how the strategy ties into the overall objectives, (2) the mission of the IPT that has been assembled to implement the strategy, (3) the transformation direction, and (4) linkages with other strategies.

The Integrated Plan concludes with a one-page summary of next steps. The summary states that, during fiscal year (FY) 2005, the IPTs will focus on

identifying those on-going efforts that are essential to the success of the program. Through the IPT activities we will determine how to leverage the existing resources from all activities by coordinating and restructuring the programs of record, consistent with the developed architectures and identified requirements so as to maximize the return on the investments. The need for funding augmentation will be determined as part of the Senior Policy Committee oversight of the program activities during fiscal year 2005/2006 and addressed as part of the administration’s budget process. The initial actions of the IPTs will be to refine the options for future solutions, assess existing programs and plans, leverage what is available, and identify gaps and key questions for further research and development. System engineering/ integration work will begin in earnest to support the architecture and IPT planning. These more detailed plans will be reflected as annexes to the second edition of this plan, and will be reflected in the fiscal year 2007 budget submission. (NGATS JPDO, 2004, p. 35)


The Integrated Plan provides a comprehensive description of the future challenges faced by the air transportation system and the actions necessary to address these challenges. Given the wide scope of the challenges and the limited resources available, the assessment committee believes that the effectiveness of the Integrated Plan would be enhanced if future editions prioritized the challenges to make sure that the key goal of satisfying future demand is adequately addressed. Research efforts should be limited to what is necessary and sufficient, even if that means passing up the opportunity to conduct research that is interesting but expected to be of limited value. In particular, the committee concurs with another NRC report that examined the future of the U.S. air transportation system: Securing the Future of U.S. Air Transportation: A System in Peril. That report concluded that “increased demand is the most critical long-term issue facing all aspects of the air transportation system. Issues associated with safety and security, capacity, environmental protection, and consumer satisfaction are all exacerbated by greater demand” (NRC, 2003, p .9). Vigorous new research in each of these areas is needed to create an NGATS that can satisfy future demand. The report warns that “business as usual is likely to result in an air transportation system where growth in demand has been greatly curtailed by undercapacity, environmental effects, customer dissatisfaction, and/or factors related to safety and security” (NRC, 2003, p. 10).


National Research Council (NRC). 2003. Securing the Future of U.S. Air Transportation: A System in Peril. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Available online at <http://books.nap.edu/html/system_in_peril/final_report.pdf>.

Next Generation Air Transportation System Joint Planning and Development Office (NGATS JPDO). 2004. Next Generation Air Transportation System Integrated Plan. Washington, D.C.: JPDO. Available online at <www.jpdo.aero>.

NGATS JPDO. 2005. Next Generation Air Transportation System Joint Planning and Development Office Aviation Industry and Community Workshops. Washington, D.C.: JPDO. Available online at <www.jpdo.aero/site_content/nationalplan.html>.

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