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How NextGen Works

Through our modernization efforts, the FAA is creating new interconnected systems that fundamentally change and improve how National Airspace System (NAS) users see, navigate, and communicate:

See: The ongoing implementation of NextGen provides air traffic controllers with the exact location of aircraft and a clear vision of surrounding conditions, including weather patterns and aircraft.

Collaboration has allowed us to successfully modernize our foundational infrastructure, begin
adding advanced capabilities, and reap greater
benefits every year.

Daniel K. Elwell,
Acting FAA Administrator

Navigate: The FAA has switched to a satellite-enabled navigation system that is more precise than traditional ground-based navigation aids. Satellites enable the FAA to create optimum routes anywhere in the NAS for departure, cruising altitude, approach and arrival operations. These precise, efficient procedures can reduce flying time, fuel use, and aircraft exhaust emissions while getting passengers to their destinations at more predictable times.

NextGen significantly improves overall capacity, performance, efficiency, and predictability throughout the NAS.

Communicate: In a modernized NAS, aircraft must be able to receive dynamic, complex instructions from ground systems that can identify where they need to be and at what time. Data Communications, our new digital communications systems, helps pilots and air traffic controllers to communicate more quickly, more easily, and with less risk of miscommunication than radio messages over busy frequencies.

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