The Coalition recently sent the Department of Transportation Secretary, Peter Buttigieg, a letter highlighting the need for investment in ground based aviation infrastructure. This letter provided context and background to the aging infrastructure and the need for investment in modernization.
For the last 20 years, the FAA has been systematically dedicated to the implementation of NextGen to enable more efficient flight operations in the NAS. During this period, investment has shifted away from legacy ground-based Air Traffic Control (ATC) infrastructure. To put this in perspective, the FAA now operates and maintains one of the oldest collections of safety critical aviation infrastructure in the world.
The letter further describes the urgency of a modernization effort and the budget constraints the FAA operates under. Our coalition highlighted that it isn’t just funding, but the FAA needs to prioritize these efforts.
Additionally the letter made recommendation to the Secretary for created a comprehensive Infrastructure Modernization Plan to be headed by a Modernization Czar. Also the coalition recommended establishing a formal policy and metric to track and monitor the age of the equipment. This would ensure that funding would be tied to age of the equipment to ensure all equipment maintains a certain service life.
The FAA Administrator should immediately establish a comprehensive Infrastructure Modernization Plan. The goal of the Modernization Plan should be to reduce the Average Service Age of its entire network of safety critical ATC systems below their respective design service life, by 2030.