The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is currently working on a new program known as NextGen. NextGen is a satellite-based traffic management system that is expected to replace the country’s aging ground-based radar traffic control system. The satellite-based traffic system uses GPS technology to shorten routes, save time and fuel, reduce traffic delays, increase capacity and permit controllers to monitor and manage aircraft with greater safety. The impact of this is that planes will be able to fly closer together, take more direct routes and avoid runway delays. This will benefit everyone involved in air transportation such as the aircraft companies, the flying public, the global economy and the environment.
We have already seen the positive effects of implementing NextGen. The majority of the cost savings will stem from lower fuel costs, more efficient routes and direct landings. NextGen is planning on being implemented by the year 2025. At Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, two carriers are using NextGen technology. Between only two carriers they are predicting to save a combined $6.4 million just this year. The FAA states that at any given time there are over 7,000 planes in the air. The total predicted savings through the year 2035 is predicted at an unbelievable $897 billion!