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FAA and JetBlue sign agreement to allow NextGen precision routes


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FAA and JetBlue sign agreement to allow NextGen precision routes

2011-02-04 03:04:55 GMT+7 (ICT)

WASHINGTON D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday announced an agreement with JetBlue to allow NextGen precision on some routes.

The NextGen agreement will allow JetBlue to fly more precise, satellite-based flights from Boston and New York to Florida (East Coast) and the Caribbean beginning in 2012.

NextGen is the transformation of the U.S. national airspace system from a ground-based system of air traffic control to one based on satellites, which will enhance safety and reduce aviation congestion.

"NextGen is a critical investment in the future of our transportation system, one that uses the latest technology to transform our airspace to make aviation safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Under the agreement, 35 of JetBlue's A320 aircraft will be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) avionics over the next two years. These modifications will enable the A320 to fly in two major routes off the East Coast even if traditional radar coverage is not available.

The improved accuracy, integrity and reliability of aircraft surveillance under ADS-B functions any day and any hour as the satellite-based system tracks the precise position of aircraft.

The agreement will also allow the airline to fly a new route to the Caribbean, and possibly two new, shorter ADS-B-only routes to the Caribbean from Boston, New York and Washington.

"NextGen will help improve the travel experience for passengers and give airlines more flexibility to find the most efficient way to reach their destinations," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "This agreement will allow us to collect important data to further demonstrate the benefits of NextGen."

The FAA will pay $4.2 million for the ADS.B avioncs while JetBlue will provide flight operations, pilots, and aircraft maintenance. In addition, the airline will pay for the cost of aircraft downtime while the ADS-B avionics are installed.

FAA will collect NextGen data by observing and conducting real-time operational evaluations of ADS-B on revenue flights. JetBlue will benefit from the ADS-B technology and could potentially equip the rest of its A320 fleet at its own expense.


-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-02-04

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