Venable partner Fred Wagner was interviewed in a February 13, 2017, Law360 article on President Donald Trump's aviation industry priorities following a recent meeting with airline executives. The article touches on four policy areas including Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), air traffic control management, infrastructure investment, and regulatory relief.
NextGen, a push to modernize the nation's air traffic control system from relying on World War II-era radar to relying on satellites, involves a significant overhaul of air traffic management technologies and procedures and improvements to airport infrastructure. "There is an increasing worry that the entire system may not be what the industry had hoped for," said Wagner. "Without doubt, that is the top infrastructure issue for that sector."
Part of the debate over NextGen has been whether the government or the private sector is best suited to ensure its implementation is done safely and effectively. Congress is expected to address this later in the year when it debates a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. "I wouldn't be surprised if this became a high-priority issue in the new administration because of relatively high interest on Capitol Hill and [Department of Transportation] Secretary Elaine Chao's background and expertise from her days as labor secretary," said Wagner.