From where I stand, the stimulus airport projects--like the ones I announced in Phoenix last week and Pittsburgh earlier in March--are only the Administration's first steps regarding our aviation infrastructure.
Yes, they're a tangible example of our commitment to jobs and to aviation. But, there's a greater challenge before us, and our success at meeting this challenge will help define this nation's ability to move goods and people in the economy of the future.
I'm talking about modernizing our air traffic control system, making NextGen a reality.
Government can't do this alone. Industry can't do it alone.
Implementing NextGen will take collective collaboration, and mapping a course will certainly be among the first priorities for the new FAA Administrator.
A great deal of good work has been done to date, but there are still many important questions and issues to consider:
- Do we agree on a definition of NextGen?
- Do we have an effective path to get us there?
- Have we identified enough of the barriers that must be removed?
- Have we answered the necessary policy questions?
- How can we accelerate the program?
- How can we bring a greater sense of urgency to what is among the most critical issues facing aviation?
Aviation has flourished when both the private and public sectors have tackled issues together. So, I look forward to working with aviation leaders--and our new FAA Administrator--to take up this next challenge.