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Business Aviation Advances Through Technology

By Ed Bolen

New technologies propel important changes that lead to improvements in safety, efficiency and capability in business aviation. That's why the industry has always supported investments in technology research and development.

For example, NBAA and the industry have long supported the work being undertaken to implement Automatic Dependent Surveillance- Broadcast, or "ADS-B," a cornerstone technology in the transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System. ADS-B has proven its value in helping increase the efficiency with which we use the aviation system, through more direct flight routing and other advancements.

In fact, NBAA has joined with other general aviation organizations in supporting congressional proposals that would adjust fuel taxes in order to make a direct investment in aviation system modernization through the implementation of ADS-B and other technologies for transforming system use. As of this writing, Congress has not yet finalized the comprehensive Federal Aviation Administration "reauthorization" legislation that would provide a multi-year roadmap and additional funding for modernization efforts. But, NBAA will continue to urge Congress to complete a reauthorization package, so that policymakers will have an agreed-upon framework for the transition.

Of course, technological developments have applications beyond those involving the government's modernization plans. For example, advances in propulsion systems have led to the production of engines that are quieter, more fuel efficient and lower in carbon emissions than ever before. Cockpit technologies developed in recent years have helped pilots see through storm systems and avoid aircraft collisions. Winglets improve aircraft precision and help reduce fuel burn. Composite construction has paved the way for fuselages and other aircraft parts that are lighter and perform better in flight.

The development of technology in business aviation shows no sign of slowing, and in this edition of Business Aviation Insider, we take a look at some of the latest advances and applications for the industry. For example, a story on page 12 explains what operators need to know about safely incorporating the latest Wi-Fi technology into business aircraft. An article on page 14 outlines considerations for those planning a move to a glass cockpit. And, a story on page 16 reviews the safety and other benefits of ADS-B implementation.

Support for technology development and promotion, in Washington and among NBAA Members, is what has enabled business aviation to stay on the cutting edge in helping companies be more efficient, productive and competitive. It is a record that NBAA and the industry will continue building on in the years to come.