A Milestone for Expediting Air Traffic Modernization

Yesterday, the President’s Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients unveiled the Federal Infrastructure Projects Dashboard, an open government initiative that tracks the progress of high priority infrastructure projects as they are expedited through their regulatory review and permitting processes.

In October I highlighted the importance one of these projects, a Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, pilot project in Houston.  NextGen is a comprehensive modernization of our Nation’s air traffic infrastructure, with the potential to save time and money for air travelers while delivering environmental benefits for communities on the ground.

On the new dashboard, you can find details about the efforts to redesign the airspace and flight paths in the Houston Metroplex.  The project is poised to enter its detailed design phase, and thanks to the dashboard you can now follow its progress with information from the project leader who is accountable for getting it done.

The team has also included a summary explaining the benefits associated with completion of this project – including estimated annual fuel savings in the Houston airports alone of between 2.5 to 6.9 million gallons and carbon emissions reductions of 26,000 to 71,000 metric tons. And it will happen a full year ahead of schedule because of the Administration’s commitment to expediting reviews. But don’t just take my word on the benefits. See for yourself in a video that illustrates the savings that these new high efficiency air routes will deliver by using the power of GPS satellites and equipment that is already installed on airliners.

With benefits like these, scaling up the results from the Houston pilot project around the country will allow us to more rapidly attain NextGen’s enormous potential value for our Nation and economy.  By embracing the power of open government, you can hold our feet to the fire in accelerating this important infrastructure project.

Aneesh Chopra is US Chief Technology Officer


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