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Mica, ERAU showcase NextGen in action

Rep. Mica and Embry-Riddle demonstrate new Next Generation air traffic control technology Pictured in the attached photo are (from left): Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) research associate Abbayu Hussein, Congressman John Mica, ERAU Vice President for Research Dr. Christina Frederick-Recascino, ERAU engineering professor Dr. Massood Towhidnejad.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member John Mica (R-Fla.) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University showcased the university’s Daytona Beach NextGen test bed Sept. 9 to demonstrate how satellite-based technologies will modernize the National Airspace System.

The test bed is one of three locations in the United States dedicated to evaluating NextGen concepts and technologies using computer simulations of how the technologies will work in the real world. NextGen, or the Next Generation air transportation system, encompasses the transition from ground- to satellite-based navigation and surveillance.

“At a time when our nation needs job creation, research on NextGen technologies will create significant opportunities for all of Central Florida,” Mica said. “Our partners in this research are creating jobs and economic development, while developing a system that will make air travel safer and more efficient.” Mica also announced the collaboration between Embry-Riddle and leading aerospace companies.

The FAA also has test beds at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., and a NASA facility at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas. The Daytona Beach International site is the only one at a private facility; Embry-Riddle entered into a contract with the FAA in 2008 and expects the facility to double in size to 10,000 square feet by February 2011, according to a press release from Mica’s office.

The test beds provide a platform for evaluating components of NextGen and identifying potential risks and benefits early in planning.

“Embry-Riddle is proud to be on the forefront of revamping the nation’s air traffic control system,” said Embry-Riddle President John Johnson. “We are particularly excited about the potential partnerships with major aerospace companies and the impact it will have on Daytona Beach and all of Central Florida.”

AOPA ePublishing staff
AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: Advocacy

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