TABLE 4-1   The Six Air Transportation System Technology Areas and NASA's Eight Air Transportation-Related Goals

 

Models to predict the impact of new technologies and procedures

Upwardly compatible aerospace information systems

Methodologies for the development of high integrity software

Advanced human-automation systems

Precision air traffic management/aircraft operations

Mitigating constraints in terminal areas

Emissions

H/M

L

L

L

L

L

Noise

H/M

M

L

M

H/M

M

Safety

H

H

H

H

H

M

Throughput

H

H

H

H

H

H

Travel Cost

H

M

M

M

M

M

Design Time

M

M

H/M

General Aviation

M/L

M/L

H

H

H

M

Travel Time

L

L

M/L

L

M

L

L = Low impact on achieving the goal. M = Moderate impact. H = High impact.

Some new technologies and procedures have been mandated to improve the safety of the overall air transportation system. The adoption of the Traffic Alert/Collision Avoidance system by all U.S. commercial transport aircraft is a prominent example. However, regulations intended to promote safety can sometimes become barriers to technological and procedural changes.1

Predicting the impact of technical or operational/procedural changes on a comprehensive basis will require improved methods and models for evaluating the safety of potential changes to the air transportation system. As a basis for the development of methods and models that encompass the technical, procedural, and socioeconomic complexity and dynamism of the system, NASA, industry, and the FAA should prepare a formal representation of existing rules and procedures that govern system operations. The representation should include the rationale for the current rules, how they relate to safety objectives, and how they interact with each other.

1  

For example, many commuter aircraft were designed as 19 passenger aircraft simply because FAA safety regulations require a flight attendant on aircraft designed for 20 or more passengers. This factor impacted aircraft design decisions more than performance or economic improvements that may have been possible from the development of slightly larger aircraft.



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