FAA Issues "Flight Plan" For Next Five Years

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The FAA on Wednesday released its 2008-2012 Draft FAA Flight Plan, a to-do list of the agency's latest goals. The document is now available online for review and the FAA invites comment. "Simply put, we need to overhaul our aviation system," the document states, and it provides a "roadmap" to achieve that over the next five years. The FAA says its plan will boost capacity, increase safety and diminish aviation's impact on the environment. The document also ties the success of the next-generation airspace system to changes in the agency's funding mechanism -- meaning user fees. "We continue to push for a dedicated link between our revenues and the costs to provide service. Without a steady, dependable stream of revenue, our budget will continue to fluctuate," the document reads. The draft sets out goals for the deployment of ADS-B, data-link communications, airport surface surveillance and continuous-descent arrivals.