Industry coalition supports air traffic modernization

The Aircraft Electronics Association is one of 24 organizations from the aviation industry asking Congress to consider wide-ranging and comprehensive legislative proposals on aviation sustainability issues. In a letter dated May 18, 2021, the aviation groups urged the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee to consider legislative efforts in four key areas:

  • Air traffic modernization.
  • Sustainable aviation fuel development, production and distribution.
  • Low/no emission technologies deployment.
  • Aviation environmental research and development.

The group, which includes union, business and leisure passenger groups, forwarded a document outlining a series of proposals and urged congressional leaders to include the provisions in upcoming infrastructure legislation.

One of the proposals focused on an aircraft modernization equipage fund and stated: “Key impediment to the success of the NextGen implementation and the realization of environmental and efficiency benefits is the varied avionics capabilities of aircraft, particularly in the legacy aircraft operator fleet, commonly referred to as ‘mixed equipage.’ Congress should authorize and appropriate $1.5 billion to an Aircraft Modernization Equipage Fund to permit an aircraft operator to use an equipage grant for the purchase and installation of avionics and equipment necessary to satisfy the May 2020 NextGen Advisory Committee Minimum Capability List report, specifically the Baseline Capacities and Supplemental Capabilities identified in the MCL.”

Another proposed initiative focused on oceanic space-based ADS-B and stated: “Provide $60 million to improve the safety, efficiency and reduce environmental impact in oceanic airspace through deployment of space-based ADS-B. The FAA should proceed with plans to implement planned initial operating readiness for Alaska, select oceanic airspace in Hawaii, Pacific Islands, and the Atlantic.”

To read the letter and its accompanying list of proposals, click here.

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at or by phone at 202-589-1144.