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Congressman Rick Larsen Challenges FAA On PBN Priority

Says FAA Has Slowed Work On NextGen Due To Sequestration

The senior Democrat on the House Aviation Subcommittee has written a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asking why the agency has "stood down" work on the Optimization of Airspace and Procedures (OAPM) as it relates to performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures at the nations busiest airports.

In the letter, Congressman Rick Larsen points out that, according to Huerta's testimony during debate on the FAA reauthorization last year, the then-acting administrator said that efficiency of the nation's airspace was being improved through the OAPM initiatives, with work underway at nine of the 13 largest metorplexes in the country. Huerta said that PBN was a high priority for the FAA.

But, Larsen says, during a House Aviation Subcommittee Listening Session held Wednesday, "participants indicated that, in fact, the FAA stood OAPM initiatives down last month due to sequestration and temporarily reassigned key personnel, including air traffic controllers and OAPM study teams."

Larsen asked the administrator to answer four questions:

  • Did the FAA stand down OAPM initiatives in April and reassign key personnel as a result of sequestration?
  • Will the Reducing flight Delays Act of 2013 enable the FAA to continue with OAPM initiatives this fiscal year?
  • If so, when will this happen?
  • Do you anticipate any changes in the OAPM implementation schedule this year as a result of this stand down?

(Pictured: FAA Administrator Huerta, Congressman Larsen)

FMI: http://larsen.house.gov

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