American Shipper

FAA gets 4 years of funding certainty

President Obama signed legislation on Feb. 14 redefining the roles, responsibilities and funding priorities of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration after more than four years of delay that hindered progress on new fronts. The four-year reauthorization bill will accelerate deployment of a modern air traffic control system, dubbed NextGen, that relies on much more precise satellite-based GPS tracking than ground radar to monitor flights. The accuracy of the system will allow planes to taxi and fly closer together, and fly more direct routes rather than conforming to the location of radar stations, which is expected to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, improve on-time performance, and mitigate noise.