The goal of the NextGen air traffic modernization program in the United States is “to increase the safety, efficiency, capacity, predictability and resiliency of American aviation,”1 according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But at times, safety and efficiency can be competing goals. Delays for safety reasons can impede efficiency, certainly in terms of schedules. However, strict adherence to schedules could increase risk in some situations. Safety must be and is the paramount concern, and caution must be used at the expense of efficiency. One of the goals of NextGen is to improve this balance of safety and efficiency; to increase efficiency but not increase risk.
Aviation meteorology is set to take a big step forward.