Nevertheless, the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) – a long-term, multi-agency planning and development effort led by the FAA – appears to be engaging in a deliberate effort to disconnect aviation planning from the global warming problem. The 2005 and 2006 NextGen annual progress reports, while addressing issues from in-terminal passenger baggage security screening to taxi-time on airport runways, include no discussion of either aviation’s greenhouse-gas emissions or global warming as a potential constraint on the development of aviation.
We believe that this approach is shortsighted and evasive. If allowed to continue, it will mark a failure of national preparedness on the most significant environmental challenge facing the future of aviation. Furthermore, by overlooking the potential economic consequences of future global warming mitigation policy on the aviation industry, it may jeopardize the long-term health of a major contributor to the United States economy.