A congressional panel will examine the national air traffic control system and whether the Federal Aviation Administration’s scientific center may play a greater role to help modernize the aging program.

The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township. It will include testimony from top FAA and industry representatives involved with the development of the next generation of air traffic control, commonly known as NextGen.

The Next Generation Air Transportation System has come under congressional scrutiny as federal legislators try to understand why the decade-old program is not producing the promised technology to modernize the country’s aviation systems from radar to satellite.

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U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, has been one of the lawmakers seeking more information about the program. LoBiondo, chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, will chair Tuesday’s hearing. He wants to explore how the assets of the Hughes Technical Center can be used to advance NextGen.

The tech center is the FAA’s primary scientific facility for aviation research and development, including laboratories to simulate air traffic control. In addition to the center’s involvement with the national airspace system, there are plans to develop a local offshoot of the NextGen program called the Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park.

Contact Donald Wittkowski:


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