Plans are under way by the US Federal Aviation Administration to "invert" its method of marketing the next generation air transport project NextGen to industry, moving to a palette of "capabilities" from a "special programmes and systems" approach.

The change is meant to help industry understand the benefits of expanding the use of existing equipment and adding new hardware, namely automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast, a surveillance technology the FAA has proposed mandating in 2020. Ground infrastructure for ADS-B will be operational in 2013, giving operators the potential to reap fuel and environmental savings if they equip ahead of the deadline.

"We have not been good at communicating," said Mike Romanowski, the FAA's director of NextGen integration and implementation, at this week's Air Traffic Control Association's annual meeting in Washington DC. "Business needs better information for making investment decisions."

The new strategy will be published in January as part of the NextGen implementation plan update. Romanowski says the document will be a plain language description of NextGen capabilities in the mid-term.

Romanowski says the reworked approach will be an aid to discussing NextGen with Congress and the myriad government organisations involved with the effort. Elements in the implementation plan will include the "integrated benefits" for equipping early, the guiding principles for motivating equipage and a "very specific" work plan that identifies the what, when and who of each step in the roll-out, he says.

Source: Flight International