This story from Forbes is largely about the $488 billion appropriated for the Pentagon for 2009, with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) calling it a good start. But it also succinctly rehashes some of the recent kerfuffles in Congress over FAA funding and NextGen. AIA chief executive Marion Blakey calls NextGen a top priority for the FAA. That’s hardly surprising, since NextGen got underway while she headed the FAA. In the article, Blakey responds to some of the frustrations aired by lawmakers last month:
Blakey suggests such frustration stems from the FAA’s poor track record with modernizing radar-based air traffic control. NextGen, she says, is a different ballgame, and she sees the FAA making progress, citing the agency’s recent success with a software update known as En Route Automation Modernization.
“They brought that system in and within the budget constraints,” she says. “That’s huge.”