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NextGen Goes Before House Subcommittee Wednesday

October 4, 2011 – FAA’s NextGen system, the proposed national satellite-based airspace and navigation ATC system, will be reviewed before a Congress during a House hearing on Wednesday, October 5.

The House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) – whose district includes EAA’s headquarters and AirVenture grounds – will hold the hearing. FAA envisions the NextGen system to be installed in the nation’s busiest airports by 2014 and nationwide by 2020. It would replace the current radar technology that has existed for more than a half-century. Congress has been generally receptive to the NextGen proposal until discussions begin on how to pay for the estimated $22 billion system.

Even near-term funding continues to be a challenge, as FAA has been forced to rely on 22 temporary continuing resolutions for its operating budget in lieu of a full multi-year reauthorization package. There are also significant financial hurdles for GA, as the ADS-B and associated equipment requirements for aircraft flying in controlled airspace could cost recreational pilots many thousands of dollars to upgrade individual aircraft technology to comply.

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