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NWS Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)

NextGen 101

Weather accounts for 70% of all air traffic delays within the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS)

plane in airport with snow on ground

“The total cost of domestic air traffic delays to the U.S. economy was as much as $41 billion for 2007.”

Airport arrivals board showing cancellations and delays

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined two thirds of this is preventable with better weather information

Better weather information does not just mean better forecasts…it means better assimilation of weather to the FAA decision makers, as well as better consistency.

NextGen Weather Basics

NextGen Diagram

Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Diagram

NextGen goals are not achievable without improving integration of weather information into decision support systems

  • NextGen weather vision is focused on:
    • Providing a multiple user common weather picture
    • Consistent and reliable weather information
    • An improved weather information and data storage approach containing observation and forecast data enabling NextGen dissemination capabilities. This source is called the 4-D Data Cube.

A Net-centric capability is envisioned for NextGen, and it is referred to as “Network Enabled”…

  • An information network that makes information available, securable, and usable in real time
  • Information may be pushed to known users and is available to be pulled by others
  • Weather information sharing is two-way

A “Virtual” repository with no single physical database or computer

  • Conceptually unified source distributed among multiple physical locations and suppliers, of which NOAA is the leading data supplier


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