JPDO’s Bob Pearce: NextGen needs more than a better ‘elevator’ pitch

Bob Pearce, JPDO Deputy Director, submitted the following comment (Thanks Bob!), in response to the post Jane Garvey on NextGen: “We don’t know what our vision is.”

I have a lot of respect for Jane Garvey and Ken Meade, but it is clear they want to define NextGen in conventional terms – in terms of today’s system. NextGen is a transformation – just like the internet was a transformation in the way we communicate and interact. While we can describe the modernized physical systems that will form the backbone of NextGen, the most interesting part is the change in roles and relationships among the participants in the air transportation system. That cannot be fully determined and described in advance – just like it would have been impossible to describe how the internet would be used in advance. NextGen is not just hardware and software systems, it is the people and the relationships, and it is the evolution that will occur. The NextGen Concept of Operations describes how this may work in the future, but it is a target to evolve toward and adjust, not a deterministic end-state. And while we may need a better “elevator” speech to describe the vision, what we really need as we transition to a new administration is leadership that can manage in this new model.

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