The demand placed on America's air transportation system has grown significantly over the past 30 years. In 1980, the system carried 281 million passengers. In 2008, it handled nearly 650 million passengers, and the number of passengers and cargo carried annually is expected to grow over time.
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) represents a substantial and long-term change in the management and operation of the national air transportation system. This is a comprehensive initiative that involves not only the development of new technology, but also the leveraging of existing technologies. This includes satellite navigation and control of aircraft, advanced digital communications, and enhanced connectivity between all components of the national air transportation system. In the future, all airports and aircraft in the US airspace will be connected to NextGenís advanced infrastructure and will continually share information in real-time to improve air transportationís safety, speed, efficiency, and environmental impacts, while absorbing increased demand levels.
NextGen was enacted in 2003 by President Bush and Congress under
VISION 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (P.L. 108-176). Under this initiative, Congress created the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) to manage the partnerships designed to bring NextGen online. These partnerships include private-sector organizations, academia, and the following government departments and agencies:
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) – (Ex Officio)