Clearly, NextGen will require participation by federal, state, and local governments. Furthermore, NextGen “is not solely a government program. To ensure that industry plays a role at every stage of NextGen’s development, Congress directed steps to create a close relationship with private sector partners.”4

The JPDO has the task of facilitating NextGen activities, “to create and carry out an integrated plan for NextGen.”5 The JPDO is governed by a Senior Policy Committee and Board of Directors. The Senior Policy Committee is chaired by the Secretary of Transportation and staffed by senior representatives of each of the participating agencies. The Board of Directors also is staffed by senior representatives of the participating agencies. Within the JPDO, there are six division directors, with responsibilities in systems modeling and analysis, enterprise architecture and engineering, policy, portfolio management, partnership management, and business management. Within those divisions are several working groups, each of which represents a key technology needed to enable NextGen. These working groups are staffed with government officials and industry representatives.


In mid-2007, the National Research Council (NRC) was asked by the JPDO to organize a workshop to discuss the JPDO’s research and development (R&D) plan for NextGen. The NRC formed an ad hoc workshop organizing committee, chaired by John K. Lauber, under the auspices of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB). The organizing committee’s statement of task is given in Appendix A.

On February 15, 2008, the JPDO issued version 0.2 of its Integrated Working Plan (IWP), reflecting “the NextGen vision as defined by the concept of operations and the Enterprise Architecture.”6 The IWP serves “as a master planning document that presents a summary view of what is required to achieve the NextGen vision.” IWP version 0.2 is “a preliminary draft version of the final document to describe how NextGen will improve safety, security, mobility, efficiency, and capacity to transform the nation’s air transportation system. It will continually be refined and enhanced to reflect current priorities, budgets, and programs.”7

On April 1-2, 2008, a workshop was held at the National Academies’ Beckman Center to provide a forum for observations on the research and development aspects of the IWP. The agenda for the workshop is given in Appendix B. Workshop participants included staff and speakers from the JPDO, members of the workshop organizing committee, and invited guests from government, industry, and academia who were familiar with air traffic management issues. About 50 people attended; see Appendix C for a list of the participants. The workshop was not a consensus-building activity. This report is intended to summarize the main points made in the workshop’s discussions and to capture the related themes. It does not provide consensus findings or recommendations.

The workshop provided an opportunity for the JPDO to present the R&D plans in the current IWP (version 0.2) and to solicit feedback on these plans from a broad audience. First on the agenda was an overview of the NextGen concept of operations, presented by Robert Pearce, deputy director of the JPDO, and Jay Merkle, chief architect, JPDO. Their overview was followed by a series of presentations by JPDO staff and working group members on the following topics:


See Next Generation Air Transportation System in Brief at Accessed May 16, 2008.


See Frequently Asked Questions at Accessed May 16, 2008.


For the latest revision of the IWP, see In addition, the JPDO has published several pertinent reports: NextGen Business Case, version 1.0; Enterprise Architecture, version 2.0; NextGen Concept of Operations, version 2.0; NextGen Security Annex, version 2.0; Weather Concept of Operations; and 4D Weather Functional Requirements for NextGen. See Accessed May 5, 2008.


For the latest revision of the IWP, see

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