stood; and stakeholders should be identified and acknowledged, including individuals who are accountable or responsible.
Currently, there is no coordinated support for wake turbulence research, nor is there an apparent champion, spokesperson, or leader held accountable for achieving the goals. Such a leader would be able to provide and defend a business plan that can accomplish the complex requirements of research, applied technologies, and procedural changes while demonstrating that the value of the endeavor is clear, even when compared to the many programs competing for the same limited funds. A recognized priority is a valuable asset for obtaining adequate and predictable funding and for protecting important programs in the face of budget cuts. The leader would help determine which federal government and civilian organizations or other resources are most appropriate and necessary for accomplishing the goal. He or she would be responsible for creating an effective and efficient program leadership structure. If multiple agencies or organizations are involved, the funding should have a common source rather than be contingent on the individual budgets of the participants. The leader should be highly respected and well known in his or her field and therefore able to attract and support the best research, technical, and operations personnel available.
Historically, NASA and the FAA shared leadership of wake turbulence research. This arrangement was successful when budgets were not so tight, but it is no longer feasible. While NASA has the technical expertise to support this leadership, wake turbulence research now lies outside its priority research funding focus. The FAA is responsible for the establishment of civil aviation safety standards and implementation of air transportation system changes, and therefore has an interest in all phenomena that affect safety, including wake turbulence. The JPDO has the ability to coordinate research, but as a planning agency it does not have the necessary executive power or budget authority. NOAA and DOD occasionally contribute to wake turbulence research, but their efforts are motivated by their own needs, not by the goal of increasing the capacity of the air transportation system. Without a leader, the alignment of these efforts depends on the relationships between individual researchers and on temporary partnerships between agencies. This is sufficient leadership to ensure success in projects and programs that take place over a few years, but not enough to tie those successes together into solutions.
Finding 2-1. There is no champion, spokesperson, or leader held accountable for goal achievement across the nation’s wake turbulence research and development efforts.