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Pipe: Aviation

Japan eyes commercial jet renaissance

Sun, 2014-10-19 00:40
Aviation touted to again become an engine of country’s industry alongside electronics and cars
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Japan eyes commercial jet renaissance

Sun, 2014-10-19 00:40
Aviation touted to again become an engine of country’s industry alongside electronics and cars
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Speech - All For One and One For All

Thu, 2014-10-16 01:00
Administrator Michael Huerta
Washington, DC

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Pete [Dumont, President of the Air Traffic Control Association], for that kind introduction. It is great to be here with so many friends and colleagues in the aviation industry. Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge the great contributions of a civil servant who is leaving public office. John Pistole has announced he is retiring as Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration after four-and-a-half years leading that agency. I have the deepest respect for his work and the dedicated leadership he has provided and wish him the very best in his new endeavors.

Chicago
As you all know, we have had a very busy last few weeks. The sabotage and resulting fire at our en route center near Chicago can only be described with one word: devastating. But it was also something else. It was an event that was marked by profound teamwork.

FAA Chief Operating Officer Teri Bristol and I have spent a lot of time together the last few weeks. When we visited Chicago Center to see the progress on our recovery, I couldnt tell who was a manager, and who was a controller, and who was a technician. I couldnt tell who was from industry and who was from the FAA. In fact, what it looked like was one team.

It just goes to show what can happen when the FAA and industry work together, come up with a plan, establish targets and then commit to meet them. We did that in Chicago. And we need to do that on a much larger scale for the future of the aviation industry.

You are all aware that the FAA is facing significant challenges in both maintaining our system 50,000 operations per day, countless companies all supporting nearly 12 million jobs and at the same time modernizing that system. And this needs to take place in the face of an extremely unforgiving budget environment.

As an industry, we have the responsibility to pull together as one, like we did in Chicago, and create the kind of airspace system that will serve our needs and provide a very bright future for this country. When we cooperate, look what happens. Chicago Center came back into service three days ago, as promised. It took just two weeks.

Let me tell you why it worked. Chicago Center controllers traveled to facilities in other states to help keep air traffic moving. They are the experts in Chicagos air space, and they put that knowledge to work helping their colleagues at adjacent facilities who had assumed the responsibility for air traffic that would typically be handled by Chicago Center.

Technicians rerouted phone lines to keep communications flowing. At the same time mechanics and electricians rebuilt from the fire installing two dozen racks of equipment and connecting more than 10 miles of cable to some 835 distinct circuits. This was an extraordinary team effort and a very quick turnaround time. It should be a lesson to all of us about the rewards of cooperation and the rewards of having a clear mission.

Regardless of this great work, I do understand the traveling public was frustrated. They were frustrated with flight delays and they were frustrated with cancellations. We are currently in the middle of the 30-day review of our contingency plans and security procedures for our major air traffic facilities. Ive asked my team to think as creatively as possible and make recommendations for improvements.

Some think the FAA should have been able to restore full operations in a matter of hours, but our contingency plans have always been about the steps we take to maintain a safe system. Safety overrides every other factor. The plans have never been designed so that we could handle a full schedule for the airlines within minutes or hours of a major catastrophic event.

In the long run, however, NextGen gives us the ability to recover from unexpected outages more quickly because its a more flexible system. Chicago is a good example of why we all need to come together to make sure we focus on upgrading our nations airspace infrastructure so that we remain competitive and make sure we can withstand the unexpected.

NextGen Priorities
That same team work and collaboration that allowed us to get Chicago Center up and running in two weeks is a model for what we, as an industry, need to do more of. In fact, that same level of cooperation has taken place between the FAA and industry over the last year as we defined and focused our NextGen priorities. We have worked collaboratively with industry through the NextGen Advisory Committee. We listen to what you say and we actively respond.

We are very focused on providing near term NextGen benefits and have already done so in many parts of the country. And we are building on this and sharpening our focus on near term benefits. Tomorrow, we will be delivering a report to Congress outlining the near-term priorities that we have all agreed upon government and industry and we are committed to deliver. These priorities fall in four areas: more satellite-based navigation procedures; better use of runways; better situational awareness at airports; and more streamlined departure clearances through DataComm.

Let me give you a couple of examples of what we are working on.

The first is satellite-based navigation. A lot of good work has been happening in Seattle and Denver and other cities through collaboration with airlines, airports, and other stakeholders. We are fast-tracking more direct routes in the airspace above other busy metropolitan areas through our Metroplex initiative. Already, airlines are seeing benefits in fuel savings and lower carbon emissions. Take Houston and North Texas for example. In Houston alone, this amounts to 3 million gallons of fuel savings annually and millions of dollars in savings for the airlines that operate there. Now we will expand these benefits to Northern California, Charlotte and Atlanta in the next three years in response to the request that came in from industry.

While these procedures make our airspace more efficient, we also want to get the most out of our nations runways, which takes me to the second example. Industry has asked loud and clear for improved wake turbulence separation standards at more airports. We heard you, and we are increasing the number of airports with this capability. We are going to reduce separation standards at nine new airports in five cities over the next year. Those cities are: Houston, metropolitan New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Charlotte.

We have already seen the benefits in Memphis and Louisville over the last two years. This year, we have implemented these new standards in Cincinnati and Atlanta. At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, were seeing great results. Delta Air Lines is reporting faster taxi out times, reduced delays in the departure queue and that they are spending less time in TRACON airspace.

Industry and the FAA came together to choose these four NextGen priorities and we will deliver on them. We focused our efforts so that we could achieve the maximum benefits in the shortest amount of time.

Longer term NextGen and Chicago
But what about the longer term? Were also planning into the future, for longer-term benefits from airspace modernization through new technologies. Again, taking the incident in Chicago as an example, I want to paint a picture of how NextGen helped us recover from this air traffic outage much more quickly and how it will help us even more in the future.

The common theme in NextGen is that we are switching our nations air traffic system from point to point communications to a network of communications. One facility can communicate with all, and all can communicate with one.

Right now each air traffic facility can only see and talk to aircraft within their proscribed area. Voice radios and radars are wired directly and exclusively into the facilities that they serve. NextGens architecture is much more resilient and is more flexible than our legacy, point to point systems. The NAS Voice System is one example. It will allow us to transfer duties from one facility to another much more easily, if need be. Thats a lot different than changing a lot of hard wiring.

The NextGen alternative to radar Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast is once again, a network of sensors. This allows us to adjust the surveillance picture that controllers see by changing network settings. In contrast, radar is point to point and potentially requires modifying hardware like phone lines, routers, modems and switches to change the picture a controller sees. It is a much less flexible system. NextGen will take the entire airspace and make it much more flexible and adaptable.

Youre already seeing the results. During this Chicago incident, we reconfigured our new en route automation modernization platform ERAM so that controllers in adjacent centers could see far beyond the boundaries of their own center and deeply into the airspace that was controlled by Chicago Center. It was great to visit Kansas City Center and see Kansas City controllers sitting at the screen, with Chicago sectors displayed and with Chicago controllers sitting next to them, and making sure that they understood the unique operational characteristics of that airspace. Now, we got a complete picture by putting it all together in a way where we were taking advantage of the flexibility of ERAM. Our legacy system would not allow controllers to see past their own centers airspace. Since ERAM is a network, its architecture is more flexible and its powerful. ERAM can process information from a much larger base of surveillance points as well 64 different radars versus 24 radars on the legacy system. And it can follow nearly twice the number of aircraft. So, as a result, controllers in adjacent centers had the ability to see the traffic flying through Chicago Centers airspace and they were better able to control it. The proof is that just four days after the shutdown, Chicagos OHare International Airport was once again the busiest airport in the world, and was handling more operations than any other airport.

With NAS Voice System, ERAM and ADS-B, we will have more flexibility to control our airspace in a much more dynamic way. It means we will be able to provide traditional, high efficiency separation of aircraft in the event of an unplanned outage.

ADS-B Call to Action
Many of you know that ADS-B is one of the foundational elements of NextGen. Its the technology that allows us to move from a radar-based system to a satellite-based system. Our nations air transportation network has long been a paradigm for safety and for efficiency around the world, but our role as a world leader is not something that we can take for granted. Technology is evolving, and we as an industry need to take advantage of the greater efficiencies that are enabled by these new technologies.

Its the job of government to lay the groundwork for infrastructure projects that will benefit everyone, and thats just what weve done. This year the FAA completed the installation of hundreds of ground transceivers for ADS-B. In addition, the automation system that runs ADS-B ERAMis now operating in 16 of 20 centers across the nation that control high altitude air traffic. Now, we have come a very long way with ERAM and Im very proud that we are pushing this program across the finish line this spring to the remaining four centers. This is a powerful automation tool, and it is going to make a huge difference in the efficiency and safety of our skies.

We are also installing a new automation system in the TRACON airspace as well, and key facilities will have it by 2016. This is all very significant progress.

Recent assertions by the DOT Inspector General that ADS-B is not providing benefits today are missing the key point. The ADS-B network has created the foundation for NextGen and the many additional benefits that will be layered on top of this base system. Its like the foundation of a house its essential that you build it first.

A report by the MITRE Corporation came out last week showing that we are right on track with NextGen. We have followed through on a decision made in 2010 with the help and input from industry to move our country to a satellite-based system that will provide greater situational awareness for all airspace users and greater competitiveness for our country. The MITRE report looked at the bigger picture and recognized that the full benefits of ADS-B will be realized once industry equips to use the system that we have built.

The deadline for equipping is a little more than five years from now. As many of you know, we are holding a Call to Action on ADS-B equipage at the end of this month. We are going to bring together industry leaders and associations to identify the barriers to compliance and discuss solutions. We need to make sure that everyone is prepared to comply with the January 1, 2020 mandate, because that deadline is not going to change.

Unity in Reauthorization
We need to bring this same level of focus, and cooperation as we look to reauthorization. We will only realize the full benefits of our airspace system when we have an aviation industry that is engaged and that is united around our priorities. We have a lot to accomplish to modernize our nations airspace and also maintain the equipment we use each and every day. Our stakeholders would like us to do everything better; to do it faster; and to do it cheaper. Believe me, were all for that, but the question is, how are we going to do that in a constrained and unpredictable fiscal environment?

This industry needs to come together and rally around what is important, just as we all rallied together in Chicago to get the job done. This industry needs to fight for the priorities we all arrive at, and agree on how were going to pay for them. This process will take compromise and setting aside of the many differences we might have between us. Everyone in this room has a responsibility to support efforts to secure an airspace system that best serves our entire nation. A good way to accomplish this is through the FAA reauthorization that well be working on this year.

We started a conversation last year about what kind of an airspace system we want and how we should pay for it. Theres a sense among some in the industry that its time for structural reform. That is because the FAA is facing two main problems. First, there is a lack of predictability in our budgets due to short term extensions and continuing resolutions, and because of the constrained fiscal climate here in Washington. Second, we face challenges focusing on core priorities in light of the very diverse interests of all of our stakeholders. Its clear to me, however, that we will not succeed if we dont prioritize.

Now, there is no shortage of viewpoints on how to solve these problems and the direction we should take. But what I hear are many separate conversations conversations about air traffic control or about addressing certification. What we need to have is a conversation across the industry to identify the priorities for the system as a whole. The danger is that if we only promote certain narrow interests, we could devolve into trading one of our interests off against another, and our industry as a whole will be worse off.

If the incident in Chicago teaches us anything, its that when the system shuts down, there are immediate economic consequences. Our national airspace system underpins an industry that adds $1.5 trillion to our economy. This system is really an ecosystem, where each part relies on the other to function well. There cant be a disconnect between industry and government or between sectors in the industry if we expect to be successful. All of us should have a very keen interest in how all of these issues play out.

So, we need to have an honest conversation about the fiscal challenges we face. While you can always debate the exact budgetary needs of an agency, one thing is clear: there is simply no way the FAA can implement NextGen, and recapitalize our aging infrastructure; and continue to provide our current level of services without making some serious tradeoffs. Even with short term choices, there will be significant impacts to our budget and the services we can provide. We need to have the flexibility to make investment choices that further the health of our airspace system, and not make choices simply because they might be politically popular.

A year ago it was clear to me that there was a sense of urgency, and many parts of the industry were willing to entertain some approaches that might have been ruled out previously. The past year has only sharpened my own sense of urgency. However, I fear there is a level of complacency thats developing that business as usual might work. It wont. And complacency is a mistake. If we dont come up with a concrete plan, and if we dont do it collectively, Im afraid well be signing up for more instability and uncertainty which is exactly what we all say we dont want.

America truly is unique in that we have a vibrant and diverse aviation industry commercial carriers, regional carriers, business aviation and recreational flyers, not to mention new users like unmanned aircraft and commercial space operators. We have a strong manufacturing base for aircraft and for avionics. Each sector is important and together they create those 12 million jobs that civil aviation contributes to our economy.

Aviation was born in America. It started here, and its always embodied the pioneer spirit. So many before us have made great contributions in engineering, avionics, design and manufacturing all of which have gotten us to where we are today.

Its our responsibility as leaders in this industry to protect our system and move it forward. We need to think about the future and how we will modernize our system. If all were going to do is protect our own positions and jockey for advantage, thinking we can somehow go it alone, we are wrong. We all need each other, and we need consensus across the entire industry.

Again, think back to our experience in Chicago. In just two weeks, a team of dedicated people turned an incredibly bad situation an act of sabotage completely around. They kept air traffic moving into the worlds busiest airport, doing whatever it took. They did it because they are dedicated. They are proud of our aviation system and they were able to set aside any differences, come together, and come up with a plan. Our whole industry can do the same.

Coming to some kind of consensus is not easy. In fact, we all know its very, very hard. But the price of complacency will be much greater. Aviation has consistently pioneered innovation in this country, so lets create an alternative path to the gridlock that is so prevalent here in Washington. I look forward to finding a solution with all of you in this room to ensure that we at the FAA, and you in industry, are in the position to continue to provide the safest and most efficient system that we need in the years ahead. None of us should not settle for anything less than that.

Thank you very much.

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Airbus lands $26bn order from IndiGo

Wed, 2014-10-15 12:09
Aircraft maker gets offer to buy 250 A320neo jets
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Airbus lands $26bn order from IndiGo

Wed, 2014-10-15 12:09
Aircraft maker gets offer to buy 250 A320neo jets
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Carbon Sequestration: Too Little, Too Late?

Mon, 2014-10-13 00:00

A few carbon capture and sequestration projects are under way, but economics and politics are holding the technology back.

To impede climate change, scientific studies suggest, billions of tons of carbon dioxide need to be captured from hundreds of fossil-fuel power plants in the next few decades—and as soon as possible. Without large-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), other measures—including rollouts of renewable and nuclear power—will not avert catastrophic climate effects in the coming century and beyond (see “The Carbon Capture Conundrum”).

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Air France to evaluate operational and environmental benefits of semi-robotic TaxiBot system at Paris CDG

Fri, 2014-10-10 11:02
Fri 10 Oct 2014 - The developers of the TaxiBot system that allows aircraft to taxi to and from runways without using their main engines have signed a MoU agreement with Air France to evaluate its use at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Israel Aerospace Industries and TLD Group have formed a joint task force with Air France to study TaxiBot's operational, economic and environmental benefits in tests on the airline's wide-body fleet. The study will look at the system's impact on taxiing flow at the airport and calculate reductions of CO2 and NOx emissions, as well as noise. The MoU may be extended to include further feasibility testing with Aeroports de Paris in the second quarter of 2015.
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Royal Mail settles with French regulator

Thu, 2014-10-09 04:35
Company sets aside £18m for any fines and legal bills
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An Industrial-Size Generator That Runs on Waste Heat, Using No Fuel

Thu, 2014-10-09 00:00

Startup Alphabet Energy has its first product: what it says is the world’s largest thermoelectric generator.

Power plants waste huge amount of energy as heat—about 40 to 80 percent of the total in the fuel they burn. A new device could reduce that waste, cutting fuel consumption and carbon emissions by as much as 3 percent and saving companies millions of dollars. (Three percent might not seem like much, but for context, air travel accounts for 2 percent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.)

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An Industrial-Sized Generator That Runs on Waste Heat, Using No Fuel

Thu, 2014-10-09 00:00

Startup Alphabet Energy has its first product: what it says is the world’s largest thermoelectric generator.

Power plants waste huge amount of energy as heat—about 40 to 80 percent of the total in the fuel they burn. A new device could reduce that waste, cutting fuel consumption and carbon emissions by as much as 3 percent and saving companies millions of dollars. (Three percent might not seem like much, but for context, air travel accounts for 2 percent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.)

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News and Updates - FAA and Industry Release NextGen Plan

Wed, 2014-10-08 20:23

WASHINGTON Oct 8- Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker today announced that the agency and the aviation community have agreed on a plan that accelerates the delivery of key NextGen initiatives to the flying public to over the next three years. The agreement was reached at a meeting today between the FAA and the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC), an organization composed of airlines, manufactures and labor groups and represents the culmination of several months of intensive and unprecedented collaboration. The benefits from these initiatives will enable even more aircraft in markets throughout the country to fly more directly, improving safety and efficiency while saving time and reducing fuel burn, carbon emissions and noise.

The NextGen Priorities Joint Implementation Plan will be finalized by the FAA in collaboration with aviation industry representatives, and delivered to Congress on October 17. The agency and industry share responsibility to meet specific milestones, locations, timelines, and metrics for high priority, high readiness NextGen initiatives outlined in the plan. These initiatives include Multiple Runway Operations, Performance Based Navigation, Surface and Data Communications.

"One of my first actions as Deputy Administrator was asking our industry stakeholders for a prioritized list of NextGen capabilities," said Whitaker. "Today's agreement lays out a clear path for the delivery of four of those capabilities and, more importantly, reflects what can be accomplished when industry and FAA work together. The priorities outlined in this plan will deliver real benefits to the traveling public in the near-term: reducing flight delays, enhancing safety and increasing predictability."

According to the plan, the FAA will institute new NextGen procedures through the use of Multiple Runway Operations at 36 airports nationwide to increase airport efficiency and reduce flight delays. The agency will also deploy satellite-based navigation procedures known as Performance Based Navigation (PBN) at three key metropolitan areasNorthern California, Atlanta and Charlotteto provide more direct flight paths, improved airport arrival rates, enhanced controller productivity, increased safety due to repeatable and predictable flight paths, fuel savings and a reduction in aviations environmental impact.

The plan also calls for the FAA to increase Surface Operation data sharing in order to increase predictability and provide actionable and measurable surface efficiency improvements at our nations airports. Finally, the FAA will prioritize its work on Data Communications services, which upgrades communication between pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers from voice to digital, providing enhanced safety and efficiency of the airspace system, especially under bad weather conditions.

Importantly, industry stakeholders are responsible for ensuring pilot awareness of new runway and airspace procedures, equipping aircraft with DataComm technology, collaborating with the FAA on performance based navigation airspace redesign, and data sharing.

In July 2013, as part of the FAAs work prioritizing investments, the agency tasked the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) to review its current modernization plans and identify the NextGen capabilities that would provide the highest value to stakeholders. Later, the House Aviation Subcommittee asked that the FAA and the NAC report define milestones, locations, timelines, costs and metrics for this work, in a report to Congress.

In addition, the FAA today released a study on NextGen which validated that the FAA has made substantial progress to date. The independent study was conducted by MITRE Corporation, the non-profit research and development center based in McLean, Va. At the request of the agency, MITREs Center for Advanced Aviation System Development took stock of where NextGen is today and recommended ways to refine plans and expectations for the future.

While the FAA has put great effort into engaging the aviation community since the beginning of NextGen, the MITRE report released today validates the importance of the kind of enhanced collaboration demonstrated through todays prioritization plan. As noted by MITRE, the success of NextGenthe full delivery of benefitsdepends on an increased focus on operational transition and integration of capabilities.

MITREs assessment arrives at a critical time and will inform the agencys ongoing deliberations about tradeoffs and prioritization. In addition, the agency plans to address areas that the report highlighted where improved training, national policies, or clearer governance could improve the realization of NextGen benefits.

> MITRE Report

>FAA Statement on MITRE's Independent Assessment and Recommendations for NextGen

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Large potential exists to reduce aviation's climate impact through minor changes in flight trajectories, finds study

Wed, 2014-10-08 12:53
Wed 8 Oct 2014 - With only small changes to flight routings and altitudes on North Atlantic air traffic, climate impact reductions of up to 25 per cent can be achieved by only a small increase - less than 0.5 per cent - in economic costs, finds a study conducted by participants in a major European research project. Scientists from environmental, meteorological and aerospace research institutions investigated transatlantic air traffic for one specific winter day and using powerful modelling tools analysed routing changes required to achieve reductions in CO2 emissions and non-CO2 climate impacts from air traffic. The study was conducted as part of the REACT4C EU-funded project that concluded in April. The project's leader, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), was recently presented with the Aviation Award for environmentally friendly air travel by Stuttgart Airport Company.
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Speech - NextGen Advisory Committee

Wed, 2014-10-08 01:00
Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker
Washington, D.C.

Id like to start off by acknowledging the great work that Bill has done over the last two years. As you all know, this is Bills last meeting as chairman. Over the course of two years with the NextGen Advisory Committee, he has helped coordinate unprecedented cooperation between the FAA and industry. He has been extremely influential in the success of the NextGen prioritization work. It wasnt without some friction, but that was necessary to break through some of the myths and achieve results. In many ways, todays agenda is a culmination of that work.

We had a chance to honor Bill last night for his contributions. Let me just say that I am honored to have worked with Bill and wish him every success in his future endeavors. Thank you for your service.

I would also like to welcome, in abstentia, our new NAC chairman Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines. Richard became CEO of Delta in 2007 and has more than 25 years of experience in the airline industry, starting with Continental in 1987. He has served as CEO of Northwest Airlines and also as chairman of the Airlines for America board of directors and the IATA Board of Directors. We are delighted that he has agreed to be the next chairman of the NAC, and we look forward to working with him.

Also, welcome to our new NAC members, Brigadier General Giovanni Tuck, United States Air Force; Brad Pierce, President of NOISE and City Council member, Aurora, Colorado; and Eddie Angeles, FAA Associate Administrator for Airports.

Chicago Center

Before I begin a discussion of todays agenda, Id like to talk about whats been happening over the last 10 days or so at Chicago Center. As you all know, we are working around the clock to restore service to the Center near Chicago that was damaged by fire Sept. 26th.

We are grateful that everyone was evacuated safely from the facility and there were no fatalities. A contract employee was criminally charged in relation to this incident and was treated for self-inflicted injuries. Another employee was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and returned to work the next day.

This was a criminal act a deliberate act of sabotage at Chicago Center. It led to a very significant disruption to service in extremely busy airspace. But it also has resulted in heroic amounts of work, innovation and cooperation in our workforce, with the operators in that airspace, and with our contractors.

Our air traffic controllers and technical specialists have been especially amazing as they dedicated themselves to not only maintaining the flow of air traffic, but to installing an entirely new telecommunications room at ZAU. Last week, on Tuesday, just four days after the fire, FAA air traffic controllers managed more operations at Chicago OHare than at any other airport in the country. I could not be more proud of the people of the FAA who have been giving their all to keep traffic moving in Chicago and to restore full operations at Chicago Center as soon as possible.

Im going to turn it over to Teri Bristol for more details.

Ed Bolton and Teri anniversaries

This meeting also marks the one year anniversary of Ed Bolton as the Associate Administrator for NextGen and the approaching anniversary of Teri Bristol as COO of ATO.

Ed has added a refreshing culture change to NextGen, moving us from focusing on delivering milestones, to delivering capabilities.

Teri will also complete one year in her position in December.

Teris engagement with the priorities, and the support from the entire ATO, has been key in our focus on delivering benefits.

This year marks some outstanding coordination with industry to sharpen our focus in NextGen. Were all rowing in the same direction now. The leadership of Ed, Teri and Peggy Gilligan and John Hickey has been key in driving this work within the FAA.

FAA Update

We will focus much of today on the work of the last year around the four NextGen priorities those key procedures and technologies that will have the biggest impact on improving the efficiency of the NAS.

This work has focused on four areas: surface operations, multiple runway operations; performance based navigation and DataComm.

Weve been working closely through the NextGen Integration Working Group to identify locations and to scope the work.

Perhaps the most important thing to come out of our collaboration is that weve forged a plan with industry for these key NextGen priorities, reducing the risks to implementation and assuring we can deliver benefits to the traveling public.

Our efforts with the integration working group reflect our commitment to work together. We in the FAA have been focused on getting the technology, procedures, and standards out the door, particularly as we have deployed the foundational NextGen technology. Now were concentrating on working hand-in-hand with operators to determine where to roll out these capabilities that are available today and ready to be deployed. We want to choose the most beneficial locations and generate the benefits that are, in the end, the whole point of this effort.

Its a lot of work. Its not always easy. But this approach is better. Its a good working model.

One example is that through this approach, we have been able to respond very quickly to your input on multiple runway operations.

I am particularly pleased that we have been able to increase the number of wake recategorization locations. I know how important wake recat is for carriers. I hear about it in detail at every hub I visit. Weve got that message loud and clear.

We received this recommendation from you in June, and quickly conducted a review of the roll out schedule. Everyone worked closely within the program and with the various facilities and determined that we will be able to meet your needs and implement these improvements.

We are going to reduce separation standards at nine new airports in five cities in the next year. This will give us a total of 13 airports nationwide that have these reduced separation standards. We have already seen the benefits in Memphis and Louisville.

This year, we have implemented these reduced separation standards at Cincinnati and Atlanta.

In Atlanta, were already seeing great results. We implemented wake recat there on June 1, 2014. After 90 days, Delta Air Lines is reporting a 2.3 minute reduction in taxi out times and a 14 to 24 percent reduction in departure queue delays.In a hub the size of Atlanta, these are significant numbers.

On the arrival side, Delta is also benefiting from each aircraft spending two minutes less in the TRACON airspace. These efficiencies are reducing fuel usage and emissions.

Next year, we plan to add nine airports in five cities:

The two Houston airports

In New York at: JFK, Newark and LaGuardia

In Chicago at: OHare and Midway

SFO

Charlotte

The other three NextGen priorities are on track as well.

PBN

We have made significant progress with performance based procedures. As we discussed at the last NAC meeting, our Houston Metroplex site went live in May. That redesign included 61 new satellite-based procedures in the Houston area. We estimate these procedures in Houston could save airlines $9.2 million dollars in fuel each year.

Just a couple of weeks ago, on September 18th, we went live with our second large-scale Metroplex implementation, this time in North Texas. That redesign included more than 80 new satellite-based procedures in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The lead industry partners there were American Airlines and Southwest, with additional participation from NBAA and Express Jet.

We expect to see similar benefits as we saw in Houston, such as reduced fuel consumption, reduced flight time, and reduced carbon emissions. We will report those as data becomes available.

MITRE REPORT

While the priorities work has been going on, we continue to deliver on deploying the foundational technology of NextGen. Earlier this year, we asked MITRE to conduct an independent assessment of our progress on NextGen, and they briefed their report this morning at the breakfast.

The report confirms that the FAA remains on schedule in delivering on foundational NextGen technologies. The MITRE report confirms our path forward and enables us to make necessary adjustments.

NextGen remains on track, and it is our job all of usto work together to make sure it stays on track.

ADS-B Call to Action

As we complete the foundational work of NextGen, and as we work with the NAC to deliver on the priorities, we are also looking ahead. The most important milestone looming ahead is the 2020 ADS-B equipage mandate. To keep NextGen on track, we need to meet that mandate. Which means industry needs to be on schedule to meet that mandate.

ADS-B equipage will allow us to replace the radar-based system with a GPS-based system that is more efficient. This is one of the key components of NextGen. As you all undoubtedly know, the rule was put in place in 2010 with a lot of help and input from industry. It was put in place with a 10-year lead time to allow equipage to occur. That lead time was there to allow the carriers to have a normal cycle of aircraft replacement and maintenance. It was there to give GA an opportunity to equip, and for the cost of equipage to come down. It was also there to allow the FAA to demonstrate our commitment to installing the ground system well before aircraft would be required to equip.

The FAA has done its part: As you are aware, this year we completed the ground installation of ADS-B nationwide. We also are well on our way to completing the computer system we will use to run ADS-B. To date, 16 en route facilities have fully modernized their automation systems. By next spring, all 20 en route centers will complete the transition. Were also upgrading and standardizing the automation systems at more than 150 terminal facilities throughout the country.

But the clock is ticking. Were just over five years away from the day of the mandate. Now we come to the point where were looking at how we are going to go operational, and that means equipage. We have only so much visibility into the plans of carriers. These plans for equipage are commercially sensitive. But these are the kinds of issues that we need to start looking at, and how were going to stay on track with that date.

Recently we have seen some very good trends. We have seen the price of equipage for GA come down, with multiple products on the market. Suppliers that are still developing products are announcing their schedules. Were seeing an acceleration of the number of aircraft equipped. We want to build on these trends and reaffirm our joint commitment to the mandate.

Were doing two things in this regard.

The first is that we are communicating clearly and unequivocally that the 2020 mandate will not change. We need to make sure that everyone is prepared to comply with the mandate. This is imperative to keep NextGen on track.

The second thing is that were announcing an industry Call to Action, which the FAA will host on October 28 in our offices. We are going to bring together industry leaders and associations to have a day where we look at where we are with ADS-B and where we are with equipage. We want to identify the barriers to compliance and discuss solutions.

We need to understand if suppliers will provide solutions with sufficient time to allow everyone to comply? Will repair stations be able to handle the projected volume of installations? What policy or guidance do you need from us to help you make decisions on what to buy, and when to install it?

By the end of the Call to Action, we hope to have a high-level plan to resolve the various barriers to on-time compliance. Many of the aspects of that plan will require a sustained level of commitment and follow-through. To that end, I have asked the NextGen Institute to form an Equip 2020 working group. I expect that this group will meet shortly after the Call to Action, and will continue to meet through 2019 to coordinate and guide the implementation of ADS-B across the fleet.

Leading this effort will be the Executive Director of the NextGen Institute, Major General Marke Hoot Gibson, retired United States Air Force. Please stand, Hoot.

The Call to Action and the Equip 2020 working group are focused on coordinating the implementation of plans and decisions which were laid down in 2010. We are not expecting that group to achieve consensus or develop recommendations for the FAA, like the NAC has done. Instead, we expect this group to address each individual barrier to help keep ADS-B implementation on track.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Call to Action, and to obtaining your renewed commitment to the January 1, 2020 implementation date.

I know we have time on the agenda this afternoon to discuss various issues, including ADS-B, and I look forward to that discussion.

Updates

In finishing out the agenda, we also have some very good news today on how we measure the benefits of NextGen. We have started to receive actual fuel data from A4A on flights between more than 80 city pairs. As you know, we tasked the NAC with this work. And you all put forth an extensive effort to help us determine how best to measure NextGen benefits.

A significant and notable shortfall was how to collect, track and measure actual fuel burn data. A4A members have provided historical data going back two years for all flights between dozens of key city pairs. We plan to report aggregated data on our FAA harmonized metrics web site to fulfill our obligations under reauthorization.

As an update to another previous tasking, we asked for your help in providing recommendations to overcome noise challenges that hindered our ability to issue guidance for categorical exclusions. Those exclusions were part of reauthorization. This was to accelerate environmental reviews of NextGen procedures.

You gathered a group of experts and provided recommendations last September that helped us examine the impacts and provide a potential way forward.

The public comment period on this is still open until October 20th. At the February NAC meeting we will come back and give a report out on your recommendation.

Closing

Im going to leave it there for now. Thank you for your attention this morning. We have a very good meeting in front of us today and I look forward to the fruitful discussions that are a hallmark of this committee.

Id like to turn it over now to the FAAs Assistant Administrator for International Affairs, Policy and the Environment, Rich Swayze, for a few words on our upcoming reauthorization. After Rich, well hear from Ed and Florian for our regular update on SESAR/NextGen collaboration.

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News and Updates - FAA Updates Airport Grant Handbook

Tue, 2014-10-07 11:41

October 7-The FAA has updated the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Handbook (FAA Order 5100-38D.) For more than 30 years, the FAA has used the AIP Handbook as its primary document to manage federal grants that enhance airport safety, capacity, efficiency, security and environmental compatibility and sustainability. The AIP funds come from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is supported by user fees and fuel taxes. The Handbook update incorporates a number of changes to AIP that were part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, as well as a number of related Program Guidance Letters and other guidance. It also reflects administrative changes designed to make the document more user-friendly and comments from the public review process.
> Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Handbook

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Can Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere Really Work?

Tue, 2014-10-07 00:00

A Columbia scientist and his startup think they have a plan to save the world. Now they have to convince the rest of us.

Physicist Peter Eisenberger had expected colleagues to react to his idea with skepticism. He was claiming, after all, to have invented a machine that could clean the atmosphere of its excess carbon dioxide, making the gas into fuel or storing it underground. And the Columbia University scientist was aware that naming his two-year-old startup Global Thermostat hadn’t exactly been an exercise in humility.

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Can Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere Really Work?

Tue, 2014-10-07 00:00

A Columbia scientist and his startup think they have a plan to save the world. Now they have to convince the rest of us.

Physicist Peter Eisenberger had expected colleagues to react to his idea with skepticism. He was claiming, after all, to have invented a machine that could clean the atmosphere of its excess carbon dioxide, making the gas into fuel or storing it underground. And the Columbia University scientist was aware that naming his two-year-old startup Global Thermostat hadn’t exactly been an exercise in humility.

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NATS looks for long-term solutions to deal with the problem of false radar returns from wind turbines

Mon, 2014-10-06 11:48
Mon 6 Oct 2014 - The growth of wind energy has provided a challenge for air traffic control in the en-route and airport environments as wind turbines can interfere with operations - predominantly around surveillance. By creating what is called 'clutter', the turbines present a risk of false radar returns that appear to look like aircraft. In the UK, the national air navigation service provider NATS tries to work with wind farm developers to find a form of mitigation, usually based around the idea of 'blanking' the affected area and then, if required, infilling the area with coverage from another radar. NATS has been collaborating with developers and radar manufacturers on a more sustainable and scalable technology based solution and is now looking to share the latest developments and best practice.
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FTSE 100 companies increase cash piles

Sun, 2014-10-05 19:01
Total is more than four times amount held on 2008 balance sheets
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Fun with Food

Fri, 2014-10-03 00:00

Playful new cooking based on traditional methods and weird ingredients will supplant the industrial techniques that dominate modernist cuisine.

Ever since cooks began playing with the equipment of the food industry, chefs have felt compelled to join one of two camps. The first believes any kitchen is incomplete without a centrifuge, combination steam-convection oven, and $6,000 vacuum-seal machine and immersion circulator to cook 22-hour eggs sous vide. The second camp takes pride in telling you that all these gadgets, and ingredients like hydrocolloids and calcium baths, are outlawed in their kitchens—because gadgets and industrial powders have nothing to do with cooking. But now that the equipment, ideas, and techniques of modernist cuisine have been around more than a decade, a new generation of chefs declines to declare loyalty to either camp. To me, the most interesting cooks today are not on the barricades but those eager to discover new flavors. They use low-tech means like fermentation and cook over a stove.

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Hong Kong International's new runway plan gets environmental green light from government advisors

Thu, 2014-10-02 13:34
Thu 2 Oct 2014 - The Hong Kong government's advisors on environmental protection and conservation issues, the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE), has endorsed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on expanding Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) into a three-runway system. The approval though comes with conditions and recommendations over concerns regarding marine and terrestrial ecology. According to the EIA, the existing two runways are forecast to reach capacity between 2019 and 2022, although IATA believes it may be much earlier, and adding a new runway would boost capacity by around 44 per cent by the time it is expected to be operational in 2023, if approved. However, WWF claims the proposal is biased towards the potential economic benefits, while the social and environmental impacts have been downplayed.
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