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September 15, 2014 BE_Articles, BE_Post No Comments

TOPIC: TECHNOLOGY

LEVEL: DIFFICULT

Read the introductory text about NextGen and follow links for additional reading material.

The Next Generation Transportation System, or simply – NextGen – is the name attributed to a new National Airspace System that is going to be implemented in the United States between 2012 and 2025.

 

The need for such a system has been widely discussed in the FAA and beyond, the main justification being that American airports are simply too congested, flights are overscheduled, delayed or canceled and something needs to be done to alleviate the gridlock problem.

George Donohue, director of the center within the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering, says: “Commercial flying in the United States is often an abysmal experience, and our research says that it is only going to get worse. Passengers are frustrated in their inability to have a predictable, comfortable trip.”

 

Donohue, who is co-author of a book called “Terminal Chaos: Why U.S. Air Travel Is Broken and How to Fix It.” (http://gazette.gmu.edu/articles/12003 ), underlines the importance of revamping the United States air transportation system due to potential safety risks, as overscheduled flights lead to an elevated pressure on the controllers to keep flight delays down and aircraft – at a safe distance before landing.

NextGen is reported to be able to fix this problem alongside many others (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Generation_Air_Transportation_System )

1.Watch FAA’s video about NextGen explaining its features and how it can alleviate the current situation with air traffic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DcfXh33r1Y

Answer the following questions:

1)According to the video, what are the current and predicted trends for air travel? (Answer:  As air travel continues to be an integral part of our lifestyle air travel demand is expected to grow in the next 2 decades – triple by some estimates)

2)     What are the main challenges the industry is facing today? (Answer: How do we accommodate this unprecedented growth while safeguarding our environment and improving the already high level of safety?)

3)     How is FAA proposing to address these challenges? (Answer: By harnessing the unkempt capabilities of the modern aircraft in new and innovative ways and revolutionizing air traffic management)

4)     How does FAA see the future of the aircraft technology? (Answer: They see an aircraft-centered future with full flight situational awareness)

5)What are the key components of NextGen? (Answer: Area Navigation (RNAV), Required Navigation Performance (RNP), ADS –B, Data Link)

2.Match the 2 columns to form meaningful combinations based on the video:

1.      to propel economy

2.      to accommodate

3.      to safeguard

4.      to harness

5.      to revolutionize

6.      advanced on-board

7.      integrated terrain and aircraft

8.      landing

9.      flight situational

10.  head-up

 

a.       air traffic management

b.      capabilities

c.       unprecedented growth

d.      forward

e.       environment

f.        data

g.       capabilities

h.      strip

i.         awareness

j.         display system

Answers: 1d, 2c, 3e, 4b(g), 5a, 6g(b), 7f, 8h, 9i, 10j

3.Decide whether the following statements are true or false:

1)Using RNAV and RNP the aircraft’s computing systems will create accurate and efficient flight paths (answer: T)

2)Advanced flight management systems, on-board inertial systems, head-up display systems and other satellite and ground systems will not be computing position, speed and other vital navigation information.  (answer: F)

3)This new approach will virtually automate an aircraft’s entire navigation function from departure to landing (answer: T)

4)More precise and accurate paths will stand in the way of building more lanes into the same limited airspace.  (answer: F)

5)Pilots and controllers will be able to have access to radar-like displays of traffic data based on satellite data (answer: T)

4.Complete the statements with the appropriate vocabulary from the video:

1.      The system will give pilots access to weather services, terrain maps and ………………………………………………………….. (answer: flight-information services)

2.      The improved situation ……………………………………. the system provides will better enable pilots to fly at safe distances from one another with less assistance from……………………………………… controllers (answer: awareness, air traffic)

3.      High capacity digital data link ………………………………. will allow the transfer of vital flight information between airborne and ground system automation ……………………… which has never before been possible. (answer: communications, platforms)

4.      This new …………………………….will reduce pilot and controller communications, reduce the risk of possible ………………………………………………..and ………………………….situational awareness. (answer: capability, miscommunications, enhance)

5.      Pilots can more …………………………..request and receive expedited routes, altitude changes and speed changes. Controllers can ……………………..    …………………….aircraft for changes in routes, altitude, speed and frequency. Data Link will not only improve situational awareness  – it will lead to more efficient and expeditious air traffic. (answer: efficiently, digitally clear)

5.According to FAA, these are the cornerstones of NextGen. What do these abbreviations stand for?

RNP (answer: required navigation performance)

ADS-B (answer: automatic dependent surveillance broadcast technology)

EFVS (answer: enhanced flight vision systems)

RNAV (answer: area navigation)

SVS (answer: synthetic vision systems)

EFB (answer: electronic pilot flight bags)

6.Based on the information provided in the video, find the missing component that is needed to implement SMS (Safety Management System):

SMS

1) ASIAS (collaborative government industry safety assuring system)

2) Proven safety assessment methods

3) Partnering with key government agencies

4) Partnering with……? (answer: the aviation community in the US and abroad)

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