Mexico, Canada Join ATC NextGen Effort

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Mexico and Canada have agreed to implement the FAA’s vision for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) in concert with the U.S. to create a seamless continent-wide, space-based air traffic management system. At a North American Aviation Trilateral meeting in Quebec last week, all three nations agreed to proceed with implementation of required navigation performance (RNP), RNAV and ADS-B technologies in an integrated way so that procedures and standards will be harmonized over North America. The primary goal of the NextGen technology is to increase system capacity but, in a speech during the meeting, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said there are also environmental and financial benefits attached. The satellite systems should allow for more direct routing and perhaps closer spacing of aircraft, cutting fuel consumption and decreasing emissions. "Together, we need to promote better scientific understanding of the potential impacts of aviation emissions. We need to accelerate improvements in air traffic efficiency," Blakey said. "We also must foster energy efficiency in aircraft and engines, especially with respect to the development of alternative fuel sources for aviation. But we must march forward together."