Including growing support of the travel and tourism industry, the National Alliance for the Advancement of NextGen (NAANG) - advocates of the benefits of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) - reports the Alliance has surpassed the 1,000 members mark. The milestone signals the unprecedented support for improvements in air traffic systems among travel and tourism industry and business leaders, NAANG said.
The growth of the Alliance - now with 1,038 members - also won praise from Airlines for America (A4A), the airline industry group, who commended the efforts of the NAANG to advocate the benefits of the NextGen system. Members now include airlines, hoteliers, airports, Chambers of Commerce, destinations and other groups.
Citing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), A4A said NextGen promises to make air travel more convenient and dependable while flights remain safe, secure and hassle-free. Delays are estimated to be reduced by 38 percent by 2020, providing approximately $24 billion in cumulative benefits while saving 1.4 billion gallons of fuel and related emissions, A4A said.
"A4A supports NextGen-related policies and procedures that will deliver immediate benefits to passengers and shippers from aircraft equipage investments that carriers have already made," said A4A Senior Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Policy Sharon Pinkerton. "We support the efforts of the growing NextGen Alliance."
NAANG was formed in 2009 by organizations concerned about congestion at the nation's airports and to press for an expedited FAA timeline for delivering NextGen technologies and benefits.
"NextGen will vastly improve the national air traffic control system by deploying new technologies, and modifying procedures and operations utilized by airlines and airports," NAANG said. "NextGen is expected to help reduce delays at the nation's most congested and delay-proned airports, saving the nation billions in congestion-related costs. NextGen will also help airports better accommodate the traveling public without compromising safety."
Marking the Alliance's growth, Kathryn S. Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York City, said, "The implementation of NextGen technologies will spur economic development and improve the business climate in New York City. Congestion at our three major airports already costs us at least $2.6 billion annually in lost economic revenue – and the problem is only expected to get worse. A timely deployment of NextGen is one of the single best steps we can take to overcome this challenge. The rapid growth of the National Alliance to Advance NextGen shows that this is a critical movement that virtually everyone can get behind."
Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman, Loews Hotels and chairman emeritus, U.S. Travel Association, commented: "Aviation is a major enabler of the travel and tourism industry. We must continue to advance NextGen by investing in technology and infrastructure that will upgrade our nation's airports. The move to NextGen is essential, particularly at our international gateway airports, where the growth of foreign travel is the greatest."
NAANG said it continues to draw new members from within the travel sector, with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and all 28 members of the Regional Airline Association members.