GOVERNOR CRIST ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP TO IMPROVE AIR TRAVEL
MIAMI - Florida Governor Charlie Crist today unveiled a new non-profit, public-private partnership during the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, aimed at improving air travel with increased environmental and economic benefits. Governor Crist was joined by Assistant FAA Administrator Lynn Tierney, who commended his extraordinary efforts to promote awareness of environmental solutions and willingness to help craft strategies to bring increased safety, efficiency and climate consciousness to Aviation, and by Bob Pearce, deputy director of the Joint Planning and Development Office, and ASAT co-founder Traver Gruen-Kennedy.
The Alliance for Sustainable Air Transportation (ASAT), based in Massachusetts, is a diverse group of federal, state, regional and local government entities, industry organizations, associations and academic institutions that share a vision for accelerated implementation of a sustainable air transportation system.
"I'm proud that the State of Florida, which has contributed so much to aerospace and aviation over the years, continues to be a leader in innovation, and serves as the launching pad for ASAT," said Governor Crist. "It is fitting that we are unveiling this partnership at our global climate change summit. The adoption of 'green aviation' will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit people around the world while also stimulating investment in our economy and in the development of another green industry here in our state."
ASAT seeks to further environmentally sound and economically viable air transportation by working with the FAA and its other partners to help accelerate implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). NextGen will transform the air transportation system by leveraging new technologies, such as satellite-based navigation, surveillance, and networking, as well as use of more efficient aircraft and under-utilized airspace, to help meet future demands and avoid gridlock in the sky and in the nation's airports.
A key element of NextGen is environmental protection that contributes to sustained aviation growth, by focusing on issues of noise, air and water quality, global climate, and energy. ASAT's strategy is to support the implementation of NextGen regionally, locally, and in stages, through prototypes that favor the greatest benefits in the shortest time. According to the Government Accounting Office (GAO), NextGen may reduce carbon emissions in aviation by up to 12 percent, while lowering fuel consumption and delays for passengers.
"Air transportation is a key ingredient in global business activity. If we want to drive economic development through aviation in the United States and around the world, our success must come through taking care of the health of our planet, and we must act quickly," said ASAT co-founder Traver Gruen-Kennedy. "With 80 percent of U.S. air traffic concentrated at only 35 airports, and with 740 million gallons of jet fuel wasted in 2007 due to flight delays, our need is now. ASAT's work will assist the implementation of NextGen operating efficiencies and environmental benefits for the good of travelers, employees, partners, shareholders and our communities at large."
NextGen is a complex, nationwide plan that may accommodate two to three times the current air traffic levels by shifting from ground-based air traffic management to satellite-based, cockpit-enabled operations. ASAT will achieve its goals for NextGen by facilitating the creation of additional state, regional and local prototype solutions, which will generate early successes that can be built upon and developed into a replicable blueprint that will support nationwide implementation.
Source: FL GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE
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