Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Today's Wall Street Journal reports that the FAA and the European Commission are currently at an impasse regarding implementation plans for air traffic control modernization. Both the U.S. and the EU are advancing slowly toward major overhauls of their air navigation systems, replacing radar with satellite-based technology. One of the earliest planned changes involves data communication between pilots and air traffic controllers. The EU officials prefer rolling out a more limited version of the technology at an earlier date, adding services in subsequent years. The FAA's preferred approach is to delay the initial upgrades in order to incorporate all of the data communication changes simultaneously. The importance of the transatlantic market to U.S. and European carriers makes technological synchronization imperative.