The U.S. is looking to increase the installation process of a satellite-based system to control airplanes in flight and may provide airlines with incentives to add the technology ahead of a 2020 deadline, regulators claimed.
The combined cost of the air-traffic network to boost safety, cut delays and save fuel will come to $2.1 billion to $4.1 billion. The cost will be shared by the government and carriers, Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt said today.
The system, named NextGen by the FAA, uses satellites rather than ground based radar to direct aircrafts. Ray LaHood, the Transportation secretary, also mentioned the Obama administration considering the option of offering incentives to airlines as a way for them to install the navigation.
“We have the White House’s attention on this, significant enough people where there could be some opportunities for us to be helpful to them along the way,” LaHood. “If we want the airlines to be a part of it, we have to move things along.”
NextGen is expected to reduce total flight delays by about 21 percent by 2018, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.
The installation of new equipment in airplanes, required by an FAA rule announced in 2007, is one step in the 20-year upgrading of the network that controls the nation’s airspace.