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FAA's 10-year modernization plan revisedFAA's 10-year modernization plan revised

The FAA has updated the Operational Evolution Plan (OEP), a short-term plan (less than 10 years) for capacity improvements and enhancements to the aviation system. While the OEP primarily concerns airline operations at major airports, it could generate airspace access issues or establish training and/or equipment requirements for general aviation. (See " AOPA encouraged by FAA's Operational Evolution Plan for improving capacity.")

The new version reveals that runway construction at two air carrier airports is not meeting expected schedules, and a datalink system used for air traffic control is delayed for two years.

The DOT inspector general (OIG) has also launched an investigation to "examine how the events of September 11, 2001, the economic downturn, and new security requirements impacted the milestones and budgets of key OEP initiatives."

Currently, the only GA equipment requirement called for is modification to aircraft for domestic implementation of reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM) to reduce aircraft separation to 1,000 feet vertically at altitudes above FL290. That would affect jets and some turboprops. AOPA is working for a long-term strategy for DRVSM implementation.

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