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Your next laptop or tablet may have 3-D sensors that let it recognize gestures or augment a real scene with virtual characters.
Laptops with 3-D sensors in place of conventional webcams will go on sale before the end of this year, according to chip maker Intel, which is providing the sensing technology to manufacturers. And tablets with 3-D sensors will hit the market in 2015, the company said at its annual developers’ conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
To make sapphire screens, Apple would need to source high-quality raw material and be clever about incorporating it into devices.
At Apple’s latest product unveiling tomorrow, CEO Tim Cook may sing the praises of super-strong sapphire, and proclaim it as the perfect screen material for its new iGadgets.
My background is in transportation, so obviously, Im a huge fan of airports. And I have to tell you, this is a beautiful airport. We have a wonderful partnership here at T.F. Green Airport, and there is lots of potential to help Rhode Island grow economically.
As the Secretary will tell you, the airport grants that weve provided played a very, very significant role here. But all of that started here with a vision, a vision that the state of Rhode Island had, a plan for bigger and better, for growth for this airport. And were so proud to be partnering with you to leverage this airport and its role in this area. Youve shown a strong commitment to the flying public as well as to the community.
The airfield improvement program here is going to make a big, big difference. Lengthening the airports primary runway will improve efficiency and will enhance safety for the airlines and the traveling public. It will also allow T.F. Green to handle longer haul flights. The new runway safety areas and arrestor beds on the other runways provide an extra margin of safety in the very unlikely event that a pilot needs to use them.
In fact, theyre called EMAS Engineered Materials Arresting System and what they do is actually slow an airplane to a complete stop if it overruns the main runway area just as planned. And if you want to know what one looks like, there is an EMAS bed at the end of this runway right behind you. The EMAS at the end of Runway 34 will be done by the end of next year.
The sum total of all that brings us here today. Big things are in store for T.F. Green Airport. I am absolutely confident of that.
Now, its my pleasure to introduce the Secretary of Transportation. When the President nominated Anthony Foxx to be Secretary, he said, Hes got the respect of his peers, mayors, and governors all across the country. Hes going to be extraordinarily effective. Thats a nice thing to hear coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Secretary is an unfailing supporter of aviation, and thats what brings him here today. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Good morning. Thank you for inviting me. I had the good fortune to be with Transportation Secretary Foxx, members of the Congressional delegation, Governor Chafee and Mayor Avedisian earlier today at T.F. Green. Theyre putting the great state of Rhode Island into the position to do great things over at the airport extending the runway, putting additional safety protections in place. T.F. Green already is a great airport, and now I think its going to be even better.
Let me say what a pleasure it is to be back here once again with my colleagues at NASAOs annual convention. This is a group that connects the dots, and I can tell you that aviation needs more groups that do that. Youre the people who make sure that the federal, state and local governments are talking. I know firsthand that that kind of thing doesnt happen on its own.
For many years, you were fortunate to have one of the real masters of collaboration running things here at NASAO. I think its fair to say that aviation owes a debt of gratitude to Henry Ogrodzinski, for the work he did to put NASAO into the place where it became known for bringing groups together. What I particularly liked about Henry O. is the way he did it. He was direct, firm, and smooth. But also cordial, deferential, and kind. Through it all, you learned pretty quickly that his approach was to get the job done. In this business, you cant go it alone. Henry O. knew that, which is why NASAO has the reputation it does.
Here was a man committed to improving the business of aviation, the system of aviation and more importantly, the people of aviation. Thats quite a legacy. But that was Henry O. Ill miss him, and I know aviation will as well.
Shifting gears, I note with interest that today is the 67th anniversary of Skyway One a coast-to-coast highway in the sky stretching from D.C. to L.A. It was a couple of 40-mile wide flight paths to encourage cross-country travel. Just a year later came Skyway Two, which stretched from Seattle to Boston. Efficiency was a big deal. Even in 1947.
Were still pushing the envelope for technology and procedures, reaffirming to passengers and businesses that aviation is the best way to go.
With that said, the need to modernize has never been clearer. 65 billion passengers flew in the first 100 years of commercial aviation. Well hit 65 billion passengers again in just the next 15. Those arent the only big numbers. Aviation employs nearly 12 million people in the United States and makes up 5.4 percent of our GDP. Civil aviation contributes $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy. At any given moment, 5,000 flights are in our skies. We are modernizing because we have to. Modernization means greater safety. Modernization means greater efficiency. Modernization means saving fuel, being green and saving money at the same time. Its not just the smart thing to do: its the right thing to do.
When you hear modernization, think NextGen. NextGen is happening now. We are completing the final pieces of the key foundation of NextGen.
And its not just happening at large airports. We are upgrading and standardizing the computer systems at more than 150 terminal facilities throughout the country. Its happening at T.F. Green. Right here, the Providence control tower and radar room that's responsible for this airport and the surrounding area has state-of-the art equipment that works with satellite technology in concert with ground based radar. That helps traffic flow. In addition, we are raising the ground based radar antenna serving Providence to improve coverage in the area. Were installing an information display system for controllers this year. In the tower, controllers have access to the ASDE-X surface surveillance system that provides clear airfield detection of planes and vehicles during low visibility weather.
In addition to improvements at airports, were improving our computer and automation system for en route air traffic. These are the facilities that handle the high-altitude traffic. To date, 16 en route facilities have fully deployed ERAM, the computer system that is the backbone of our NextGen airspace system. It processes flight radar data, and generates display data to controllers. By next spring, all 20 en route centers will be using ERAM continuously.
The work at the centers and terminal locations leads to a greater capacity for controllers in terms of handling aircraft in their sectors more effectively and efficiently. That translates directly to improved efficiency for the entire airspace system.
Beyond new equipment, software and automation platforms, let me update you on NextGen satellite-based procedures. We now have more satellite-based procedures than traditional radar-based procedures. NextGen ensures greater access to many airports when visibility to the runway is reduced because of fog, clouds, heavy rain or other conditions. Places like North Central and Block Island State airports that dont have an instrument landing system. As weve discussed before, we have what we call WAAS-LPV approaches the full term is Wide Area Augmentation, Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance. WAAS-LPV takes advantage of GPS signal enhancement technology and provides pilots with a landing path that they can see on their cockpit instrument panel. Its beneficial for smaller aircraftincluding biz jets, helicopters and rescue aircraft that need access to smaller and medium-sized airports that cant afford expensive ground-based landing equipment. Nationwide, weve already published more than 3,400 WAAS-LPV procedures at more than 1,680 airports.
As you can see, were busy at advancing aviation. Just this morning, you heard that weve achieved another milestone toward finding an unleaded fuel for general aviation. Were committed to finding a replacement fuel by 2018. Thats especially good news for your constituents.
As big and exciting as NextGen is, were also addressing another piece of technology thats really captured the public eye: unmanned aircraft systems. This developing technology comes with great responsibility. Thats for the people who fly unmanned aircraft systems and for those who are charged with integrating them.
To say that this is uncharted territory may be the understatement of the year. Federal Air Regulations didnt contemplate an empty cockpit. Thats about to change.
There is great potential for this technology. Agricultural, emergencies, surveying, environmental monitoring, traffic safety the potential is tremendous, and new applications pop up all the time. Unmanned aircraft systems are the most dynamic growth sector in the aviation industry. One 10- year estimate says total spending worldwide will hit $90 billion. Any number followed by billion is a big number. Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 allows for authorization of specific, limited, low-risk commercial unmanned aircraft systems flights. Interest in section 333 has been robust, and we are in the process of reviewing more than 30 requests for commercial operations. These special rules will enable the FAA to slowly expand authorized commercial operations for limited applications in very controlled environments, like filming for movies or television on a closed set.
The FAA has the exclusive authority to regulate the airspace, from the ground up. We have a mandate to protect the safety of the American people in the air and on the ground. The public expects us to carry out this mission.
Our challenge at the FAA is to integrate unmanned aircraft into the same airspace used by commercial aviation, general aviation and other new entrants like commercial space vehicles traveling faster than the speed of sound. Thats also in addition to balloonists. And skydivers. And model aircraft enthusiasts.
Theres a lot going on up there. Considering the complex mix of uses, the introduction of unmanned aircraft into Americas national airspace system will take place incrementally and with the interest of safety first.
Were writing a rule right now for small unmanned aircraft, the area where we expect the most growth. It addresses vehicles that weigh 55 pounds or less. The proposal will be published later this year. Obviously, were working to get it done as expeditiously as possible.
The context for that rule is fairly simple: If you want to operate in the National Airspace System, you have to ensure that your operation doesnt create an unacceptable risk to users or people and property on the ground. That applies to everyone who is using the system now. Logically, the same must be true for unmanned aircraft, both big and small. If you want to fly, you have to fly by the rules. Thats what makes our aviation system as safe as it is. Safety does not happen on its own. We know that, and that is specifically why we are the gold standard for safety.
We have six test sites nationwide to develop and lead unmanned aircraft system research and development. Theyre going to study UAS integration issues from just about every angle: system safety and data gathering; aircraft certification; command and control linkage; control station layout and certification standards; ground and airborne sense-and-avoid technology; and the impact of the unmanned aircraft systems on the environment. The information we gather from these test sites will be useful as we develop the regulations that govern the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in Blacksburg for the launch of the Virginia Tech test site, which also has ranges in New Jersey and Maryland. Theyll study the successful integration of unmanned aircraft systems into our skies.
In short, were working together to move things forward: government, industry, academia.
Before closing, let me talk for a moment about reauthorization. We still remain in a difficult situation when it comes to long term planning and budgeting. I know that many of you are thinking about it, and you by no means are alone. Heres where we are:
In December, Congress passed a two-year budget. That provides us with some degree of certainty. The two-year budget temporarily avoids the cuts we would have had to make under the sequester. Our current authorization will expire in one year. As we gear up for this, were asking ourselves some basic questions, some tough questions about our mission. What are our priorities? How can we use technology to reduce our costs? Where will we find the resources to replace our aging infrastructure and also modernize the system?
We have to prioritize our work. We cannot continue to provide all of the services we have in the past. The current budget environment wont let us. Were looking at what we can do differently or stop altogether.
In an aviation community as diverse as ours, this is obviously a much larger discussion. We want to build consensus on the direction were going. I believer that consensus around the future direction of the FAA is absolutely critical if were going to resolve our long-term funding challenges.
We are committed to supporting our aviation systems infrastructure needs and ensuring that our system remains the safest and most efficient in the world. Even with all this, though, we must remember that our central mission does not change: A safe and efficient system 24/7/365. Accomplishing that in an era of tight budgets is not easy. The long and short of that story is that its awfully hard to run a business without stable funding.
Weve covered a lot of ground today, but the good news is that the challenges we have are dynamic. Were not maintaining the status quo. Were talking about bigger and better, about safer and greener. The good news for me is that groups like this one can be counted on to speak up and let its voice be heard. I look forward to working with you as we face the future together.
Kim, great minds think alike. As I said before, signing an agreement with NASAO is good for you, good for us and good for aviation. Its a smart business move. Unmanned Aircraft Systems are an exciting technology, and Im happy that youre willing to work with us to integrate then. I am pleased to sign this MOU.
Tablets and laptops coming later this year will be able to constantly listen for voice commands thanks to new chips from Intel.
A new line of mobile chips unveiled by Intel today makes it possible to wake up a laptop or tablet simply by saying “Hello, computer.” Once it has been awoken, the computer can operate as a voice-controlled virtual assistant. You might call out “Hello, computer, what is the weather forecast today?” while getting out of bed.