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Chairman LoBiondo, Ranking Member Larsen and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to speak today about the reauthorization of the FAA.
It seems like not that long ago we were united behind the FAA reauthorization of 2012 with a sense of urgency to provide long term funding to support our nations aviation system. And now we are here again to continue that work. We have a joint responsibility government and industry to pull together to create the air traffic system that will carry this nation well into the 21st century.
In the last five years the FAA has made major progress in transforming our airspace system through NextGen, and that progress continues as we speak.
The FAA has delivered on its commitment to build the foundation that will support the many applications of NextGen. In 2014, we completed the coast-to-coast installation of a network of radio transceivers that will enable a satellite-based air traffic control system that provides a more precise and efficient alternative to radar. With this foundation in place, we have fulfilled our end of the bargain. We are working with the airline industry and the general aviation community to help them do their part to meet their requirement to equip by the 2020 deadline.
By the end of this month, we will finish the upgrade of our en route air traffic control automation system. This system will accommodate the new technologies of NextGen. Again, we met our commitment. This is one of the largest automation changeovers in the history of the FAA. It results in a more powerful air traffic system that can handle the challenges of the coming decades.
Through our collaboration with industry, we have identified key priorities in implementing NextGen, and we have followed through. We now have more satellite-based procedures in our skies than radar-based procedures. We have created new NextGen routes in cities across America that are saving millions of dollars in fuel burn, shortening flight paths, decreasing carbon emissions and cutting down on delays. All of this means airline schedules are more predictable and travelers face fewer delays.
The United States stands as a leader in aviation internationally, and we intend to remain the gold standard. Our manufacturers produce innovative aircraft and avionics that help maintain our nations positive balance of trade. We are truly unique in that we have the most diverse aviation community, which includes new users like unmanned aircraft and commercial space vehicles. Civil aviation contributes 12 million jobs and $1.5 trillion to our economy.
Americas leadership in aviation is being challenged on a global level, however, with the growth of foreign competitors and the shifting dynamics of supply chains. Domestically, the FAA faces challenges that I think we can all acknowledge: We have competing priorities among our stakeholders one of the byproducts of a healthy, diverse system. And, we have had to navigate a constrained fiscal environment in recent years, with nearly two dozen short term extensions prior to our 2012 reauthorization.
The FAA needs to prioritize its resources to leverage new technology and to respond nimbly to evolving challenges. To maintain our global leadership and to continue to reap the economic benefits of this industry, we should use the upcoming reauthorization to provide the FAA with the tools necessary to meet the pressing demands of the future. A lot is at stake, and we need to get this right.
To that end, the Administration has developed a set of principles that we believe will improve our nations airspace system and set the course for future progress.
First, we need to maintain our excellent safety record and foster the use of data and analysis to focus our precious resources on the areas of highest risk in our aviation system.
We must continue the modernization of our air traffic control system. Part of that effort is to ensure stable funding for core operations and NextGen investments. Collaboration with industry is absolutely essential. We need to deliver benefits, and industry needs to equip to use these improvements.
FAA Reauthorization should secure appropriate funding for our nations airports. It should also enable the integration of new users into our airspace system and support the agency in fostering a culture of innovation and efficiency.
The FAA also needs to realign todays airspace system with current demands. We need the flexibility to make investment choices that further the health of our airspace system so everyone can benefit.
And finally, we need to maintain our position of aviation leadership on the world stage. This means the FAA needs to remain at the table to shape and harmonize international aviation standards that promote seamless travel around the world.
We are extremely proud of Americas aviation heritage and the innovation and inspiration that our strong and diverse system has always provided. I look forward to working together to make sure that the United States continues to lead the world as we create the right conditions for further innovation and achievement in the second century of flight.
Welcome to Richard Anderson
Thank Dennis Roberts:
ADS-B Equip 2020 Mandate
McKinsey Benefits Study
Like I said, its been a busy few months
Houston, North Texas and DC Metroplex
FACT 3 Report
Small UAS Proposed Rule
Catex 2 Decision
Moving to the international scene, Ed and I made a trip to Brussels two weeks ago to meet with SESAR, Eurocontrol, the Commission, and the new Deployment Manager.
Ed, you want to provide a brief update on that?
Reauthorization and Capital Investment Plan
Mark House: Presented Brief from a Slide Deck
Thank you, and that concludes the FAA remarks.
Just as Valentines Day brings people closer together, NextGen is safely bringing aircraft closer together saving time and fuel as it reduces aviations carbon footprint through the use of a new initiative called Wake Turbulence Recategorization, or Wake RECAT.
Wake turbulence forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. This turbulence can be hazardous for trailing aircraft without the proper amount of separation. With Wake RECAT, air traffic controllers are able to safely reduce the separation standards between aircraft based on specific performance characteristics.
The new standards are based on a decade of extensive, collaborative research between experts in wake turbulence, safety and risk analysis at the FAA, the DOTs Volpe National Transportation System Center, EUROCONTROL and the aviation industry.
Wake RECAT is the latest example of how NextGen is transforming the air traffic control system. Safely reducing separation standards between aircraft increases capacity and efficiency, which in turn leads to fewer delays, saving time and fuel burn as it reduces the size of aviations carbon footprint.
The new standards have significantly improved the efficiency of operations at Memphis, the busiest cargo airport in North America, as well as at Atlanta and Louisville. FedEx boosted capacity by 20 percent at Memphis after controllers started using Wake RECAT in November 2012. Now, the airline burns 4.18 million gallons less fuel each year and emits 39,992 fewer metric tons of CO2. This is the equivalent of taking 8,421 cars off the road or the energy used by 3,650 homes per year. FedEx also saves 3.3 minutes per flight in taxi-out time and 2.6 minutes per flight precious minutes that, add up to significant time savings for the airline and the flying public when they are amplified by every flight flown over days, weeks and months.
Before Wake RECAT, the FAA classified aircraft solely according to their maximum takeoff weight. However, since the FAA implemented weight-based categories, airline operations and the mix of aircraft types have changed dramatically with the rise of regional jets at the light end and aircraft such as the Airbus A380 at the heavy end.The FAA now analyzes additional aircraft performance characteristics, including wingspan and approach speed, in order to provide a more complete wake turbulence risk assessment. The new categorization standards reduce arrival and departure delays and maintain the highest level of aviation safety in the world.
The FAA will soon implement Wake RECAT Charlotte-Douglas, JFK, Newark Liberty, Chicago OHare, Midway, San Francisco, and at both George Bush Intercontinental and Hobby Airports in Houston.
So when you send or, better yet, receive your Valentines Day card, flowers or chocolates this year, remember NextGen. NextGen is now. NextGen is love.
Remarks as prepared for delivery
Good morning, everyone.
As you know, the FAA is putting in place the Next Generation Air Transportation System. NextGen includes innovative technologies and procedures that are making flying more efficient and greener, while ensuring that all safety needs are met. And all of this is in real time, as youre about to see. NextGen is very clearly, very definitely happening now.
Were in Memphis today, because NextGen is making a difference, and for companies like FedExfor whom being on time is the coin of the realmNextGen is just what theyd hoped it would be.
In the water, big boats cause big wakes. In aviation, its the same thing, except the wake is an unseen, turbulent wave of air that can disrupt anything that gets too close. This can create a flight hazard, and its especially a concern if a smaller aircraft is following a larger one. Ask any air traffic controller, and theyll tell you that theyre always keeping an eye out to make sure trailing aircraft are at a safe enough distance.
Now, because of NextGen air traffic technology, we're able to more efficiently separate aircraft and still avoid wake turbulence. It's a process we call Wake RECAT ... and it means that aircraft can safely land and depart one behind another slightly closer than before. Wake RECAT more narrowly and accurately defines safe wake turbulence separation standards based on the performance characteristics of aircraft. This eliminates conservatively long separation standards that are necessary under current broader wake-turbulence classifications, which are based primarily on aircraft weight classes.
Weve implemented Wake RECAT here at Memphis and several other major airports like Atlantas Hartsfield Louisville Cincinnati and Houstons Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports. And soon, we'll add JFK LaGuardia ... Newark and Teterboro to that list.
So thats what it is and where its going. Lets talk about what its doing.
Because of Wake RECAT, FedEx gets 20 percent more planes in and out of Memphis every hour.
Simply put, this means that Wake RECAT is helping FedEx deliver all of your packages on time. That includes your Valentines Day flowers chocolates and teddy bears too! You know, I never used to think of NextGen and Valentines Day at the same time, but I do now.
Passenger carriers are seeing the benefit too. At Atlantas Hartsfield-Jackson airport, Delta Airlines is reporting a 14-24 percent reduction in departure queue delays. Delta projects to save $15-38 million dollars in fuel costs over a one-year period.
In a moment, Captain Paul Cassel [Castle] from FedEx will say more about their flight operations, and the specific benefits theyre seeing from Wake RECAT. Then, Paul Rinaldi, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, will share his thoughts about what Wake RECAT means for controllers.
Before turning over the microphone, let me emphasize that Wake RECAT is just one of many innovations that the FAA is putting in place all around the U.S. as part of our NextGen modernization effort. Through NextGen, our nation is fundamentally evolving from a radar-based air traffic control system to a satellite-based system. In doing so, we'll continue to make flying more efficient and greener. And well continue to reduce delays and aircraft fuel consumption. This means less carbon dioxide emissions.
So NextGen is good for the parcel shippers
good for the passengers and
good for the planet.
Now, let me turn it over to Captain Cassel