NextGen: Safety First

September 22 – The FAA’s safety organization is locating NextGen specialists at every Flight Standards regional office to make sure the safety workforce is up to speed on the high-tech systems and procedures that are transforming the national air transportation system.

These NextGen liaisons will facilitate understanding of the big picture and make sure the FAA’s safety workforce sees, knows, and understands where the agency is headed with NextGen.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbit unveiled the plan at a recent conference on NextGen implementation, explaining that the newly assigned specialists will ensure that the approval aspects of NextGen are in gear.

“Let’s face it: equipment and procedures aren’t going to amount to much if the players don’t know where it all fits and how it all works,” Babbitt added. “I’m going to make sure that when NextGen shows up at the door, our safety workforce knows exactly what’s in the box.”

If employees understand NextGen, they are more likely to accept it and take advantage of its capabilities. “The natural tendency is to be apprehensive about the unfamiliar,” Babbitt said. “NextGen is not a leap of faith. Not only is it the smart way to go, it’s the only way to go.”