The Future Is Now

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FAA Reauthorization Bill OK With GAMA...

Negotiators from the U.S House and Senate got together on Friday and came up with a final version of the four-year, $59 billion FAA reauthorization bill that has GAMA gushing. "The conference bill is extraordinarily positive," said GAMA President Ed Bolen in a news release. The bill, known as the Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, authorizes significant funding for the FAA, clarifies the FAA's management structure, establishes a $100 million fund to reimburse general aviation for losses resulting from the September 11 attacks, calls for the return of GA ops to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and more, says GAMA. Next step is for the full House and Senate to vote on the bill and send it to President Bush.

...From VORs To GPS, FAA Delivers Transition "Roadmap"

The FAA on Friday released a "roadmap" that it says will allow the development of air traffic procedures pilots can use with onboard technology to navigate to any point in the world using only geographic coordinates. "With its high degree of precision, Required Navigation Performance -- or RNP -- allows us to fly more planes, more closely and more safely than ever before," Administrator Marion Blakey said in a news release. RNP and RNAV airspace and procedures, coupled with increasing aircraft fleet usage of GPS, will form the foundation for moving toward a satellite-based air traffic management system in the U.S. -- within two decades --  the agency said. The roadmap identifies three phases of the transition: by 2006, implement RNP and RNAV procedures in all phases of flight; by 2012, RNAV becomes the primary means of navigation in U.S. airspace; and by 2020, operators use RNP and RNAV procedures in all areas. A minimal operational network of ground-based navigation aids will remain in place.