Airlines/Industry Suggest To Obama $4 Billion Stimulus

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In a letter obtained by Dow Jones Newswire, aviation groups are seeking funds to launch NextGen and equip aircraft with ADS-B equipment. The letter outlines how a $4 billion cash infusion could be used to ignite NextGen air traffic control infrastructure modernization and create 77,000 jobs while obliterating previous completion date estimates. "Significant benefits that the FAA and Congress believe will be realized over the next 17 years could actually happen in the President-elect Obama's first term," according to the letter. The groups also emphasized that NextGen's reliance on ADS-B and GPS technologies would provide carriers and controllers with the ability to meet a projected rise in air traffic with more efficient (and more direct) routing that would not only counter an increase in traffic but also promise savings in both time and fuel. The groups represented by the letter specifically named in published reports so far include the commercial airlines via the Air Transport Association (ATA), and business jet operators via the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

The groups note that such funding wouldn't be altogether unprecedented, noting prior government-funded purchases for industry. Specifically, the letter cites grants for "Alaska's Captsone project and the Ohio River Valley project," which both pursued the expansion of ADS-B.