FAA must demonstrate ‘measurable’ NextGen progress: LoBiondo

Washington DC
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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be required to show “measurable results” on its progress developing the NextGen air traffic system, says representative Frank LoBiondo.

Speaking at the Aero Club of Washington’s monthly luncheon today, the chairman of the House subcommittee on aviation admits that NextGen has faced a lot of issues, including sequestration and the FAA shutdown, but says that a lot of those issues are past and that he expects the regulator to make clear progress on the programme.

“We now need to see measurable results,” says LoBiondo. “That’s where the frustration is coming in – what is a reasonable delay, what is a good reason not to have a measurable result – and the number of excuses are diminishing.”

The FAA will submit its plan to produce these results to the subcommittee in May or June, he says.

“This is something that is key and crucial,” says LoBiondo.

The next FAA reauthorisation is also top of mind for the representative. LoBiondo and his colleague representative Bill Shuster are engaged in listening sessions with the various stakeholders and interests in the next FAA reauthorisation bill, he says.

They hope to draft a bill that balances all of the varying needs and introduce it to the committee well ahead of the expiration of the regulator’s current authorisation in 2015.

“Our intention is to take input from all stakeholders,” says LoBiondo. “What’s working, what isn’t working, what do we need to look at, what should we change, how should we change it, where can we realise efficiencies [and] where can we develop additional partnerships.”

He calls the previous reauthorisation process with 22 extensions and the two-week FAA shut down in 2012 a “debacle”.