Design Comparison of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350

by Jason Shaw

Because of the complexities of the aerospace industry, there is a greater need to reduce operating risk. A lapse in innovative consciousness may result in an institutional difference between superior and mediocre operational steps. The aviation industry has generated employment, transportation, and income since its creation. To boost performance, the Next Generation Air

 Transportation System (NexGen) combines past and current technology. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) describes NextGen as “a thorough redesign of the United States National Airspace System that allows air travel easier and more dependable while still ensuring secure flights” (FAA, 20113). The effects of changes with an emphasis on protection are highlighted in the NextGen Implementation Plan. Via Nexium, CSC assists with NexGen deployment. CSC is a multinational IT firm that helps government departments resolve technical issues (CSC, 2013).

‘CSC’s NexSim Technology Suite extends support of the FAA’s NextGen simulation and modeling technologies to facilitate adoption of NextGen benefits,’ according to a review of the NexSim technology strategy (CSC, 2013). The Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, for example, has a major effect on NextGen technological enhancements, adoption, and funding (Policy, 2004).

A comparison between old and modern developments, such as analogue voice-only air-to-ground communications systems and Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC), may be used to assess the importance of recent advancements. It also assesses how effectively the enhancements are blended with current processes, as well as how well pilots and air traffic controllers adjust to the latest updates. Finally, in an attempt to improve runway protection, the FAA deployed the Airport Surface Detection Equipment – Model X (ASDE-X) (FAA, 2010).

Comparison Between Old and Modern Developments in Aviation Safety

Human Factors in Aviation

Aspects in aviation that may be related to human labour and thinking patterns are referred to as human factors in aviation. The basis of aviation is aeronautical decision making (ADM). Decisions on an aircraft’s configuration, manufacture, and service, as well as flight decisions dependent on danger interpretation, are all influenced by human factors. Aviation standards require aircraft to conform to standards that promote energy efficiency and safety. During flights, pilots must make decisions that are formed by weather, time constraints, the passengers and flight crew, and common sense. For the purposes of this research, the design of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 will be examined in this study (see Appendix C). The method of these commercial aircraft take the following human factors into consideration:

  • Pilot displays
  • Aircraft lighting
  • Noise
  • Humidity levels

The displays increase efficiency for the pilots. The passengers benefit from the lighting, noise reduction and humidity levels. All of the components enhance aviation safety and the passenger’s flight experience. The choice between the two aircraft in consideration of size, efficiency, technology, and reliability it would be the Boeing 787. The cockpit displays, noise, humidity, and lighting decisions are all made during commercial aircraft manufacture. The goal, typically, is to reduce noise and moisture, maximize visual information displays and provide appropriate lighting throughout the plane. Although we cannot control the weather, we can decide when to fly and anticipate changes in climate during an aircraft’s manufacture. Density and altitude can be predicted and measured. Several fatal crashes occur by misinterpretation of weather conditions. Several accidents occur by negligence on the part of the aircraft technicians. Upon investigation, many airplane crashes occur due to failure to perform some maintenance before the flight.

The Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350

The Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 families are very similar in design, exceeding the Aircraft Noise Index (ACI) noise standard and maintaining humidity levels between 15 and 20% and can fly over 8K miles before having to refuel (SmartPlanet, 2010). The 787 is equipped with LED lighting and seats approximately 210 to 330 passengers. The Boeing 787 flight deck features a Dual Head-Up Display (HUD), larger multi-function programmable displays, dual Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) and an electronic check list (Boeing, 2013). The Airbus A350 has ambient and LED lighting as well as seating for 250 to 400 passengers. Six 15-inch interchangeable screens are available on the flight deck (Airbus, 2013). The Airbus A350 is a larger aircraft with a noise-dampening engine than the Boeing 787. When the plane is in the air, the Airbus wing changes.

A lack of quality decision-making may lead to poor design, negligence-related injuries, or poor judgement. The consistency of human choices taken by pilots, planners, mechanics, and airport management affects the quality of the flight experience, regardless of the degree of technology.

Aviation Safety

            The ability to effectively communicate and to track throughout a flight is paramount to the success of safety in aviation. Therefore, an effort to continuously improve operations, particularly air traffic management, is made by the United States Federal Aviation Association (FAA) through NexGen and companies which contract in the industry. Everyone is responsible for practicing safety. Everyone must know who to call in the case of a violation and how to record the incident. Proper management reflects preparedness by training and successful execution in impromptu situations.

NexGen continuously examines current aviation methods to identify deficiencies and develop improvements. Today, radio channels are so congested by increasing numbers of flights, the bandwidth requirements demand innovation. The traditional analog voice-only air-to-ground communications systems are being replaced by modern data communications systems. According to the FAA: “NextGen enhancements reduce fuel burn, noise and aircraft exhaust emissions while increasing NAS access, efficiency, and flexibility to accommodate growing air traffic volumes” (FAA, 2013). Recent air traffic management and aviation safety enhancements include:

  • ADS-B upgrades to Radar tracking systems
  • Modifications to air traffic management radios
  • Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS) Remote Site Re-engineering

According to an article by Robert Verbruggen: “Everyone agrees that NextGen is a crucial step for air-traffic control; the question is how to get there. Each plane needs to be fitted with equipment to transmit and receive GPS coordinates, and air-traffic-control stations need new technology as well” (Verbruggen, 2011). For the purposes of the research, enhancements to the ground radar systems are examined to determine significance to improving air traffic management and air traffic safety. In particular, one such enhancement is the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), intended to replace traditional ground radar methods of tracking.

ADS-B and Global Positioning Satellites

In the past, flight information was transferred by radars installed on the ground. The radars transmitted data to the aircraft by signals. The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is an enhancement of traditional ground radars. The ADS-B is a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) for aircraft, installed in the cockpit. The device constantly tracks and broadcasts the aircraft location and altitude (FAA, 2013). Until ADS-B, enroute surveillance radars installed on the ground provided location information for air traffic (FAA, 2013). The radars were limited to certain areas, expensive to install and to maintain.

Figure x-1 ADB-S Diagram

Comparison Between Old and Modern Developments in Aviation Safety

Source: (Aircraft, 2012)

The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast is a small box, easily installed in aircraft, requiring little maintenance after installation (Smith, 2006).  In addition to location and altitude, Flight Information Services – Broadcast (FIS-B) information is transmitted through the same Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) signals as the ADS-B, a significant move toward integration (FAA, 2013). By 2011, the ADS-B existed in over 300 radio stations. The GPS was created by the United States Department of Defense to map out locations, track speeds, and manage another aspect of travel not limited to aviation. The application became so popular, the GPS is now a consumer product for many uses, from driving directions to fishing navigation to areas with an abundance of fish.

Area Navigation was also upgraded by Random Navigation Areas (RNAs). According to a tutorial by Florida International University: “Area Navigation (RNAV) is classified as “a method of navigation that allows aircraft to fly on any path within the coverage of station-referenced navigation signals, or within the capabilities of a self-contained device, or both” (FIU, 2010). The navigation system eliminates local instrument landings and can reduce flight distance (FIU, 2010). These enhancements directly affect traffic flow and air traffic management.

Upon research of the ADS-B and its contributions thus far, it appears that the system is indeed an enhancement, however there are significant issues. Some feel the system is under researched and therefore is not ready for domestic or global implementation (Smith, 2006). The downside to the ADS-B is that it is not universal. The United States is using a Mode S version. Other countries, such as Australia and Sweden, are   not using the same ADS-B system. Sweden is using a VHF Data Link (VDL) Mode 4 version, which is endorsed by the European Union (Smith, 2006). This suggests that the Union plans to adopt Sweden’s version. Australia rejected a proposal to integrate the United States’ ADS-B or anyone’s after considering the cost (Smith, 2006).  

Current projects to upgrade existing technologies start here to search for new solutions or upgrades to existing systems. Step-by-step, each aspect is reexamined to find areas that need revision. Second, current policies for accessing company networks can be reassessed. Third, monitoring performance after changes are implemented will show an increase or decrease in the existing problems. In the meantime, increasing security clearance requirements can only help the cause. Globalization is the reason for many of the enhancements, which makes integration mandatory. Without it, the ADS-B system can mean confusion on an international scale. Implementation without integration is putting the cart before the horse. One version of the ADS-B system should be used globally no matter what the cost to integrate.

Airport Surface Detection Equipment – Model X (ASDE-X)

Along with air traffic radios another safety concern is the runway. Airport Surface Detection Equipment – (ASDE-X) is an additional enhancement to aviation safety by improvement to situational awareness. Implementation of the ADS-B occurring at the same time the Vision 100 was being negotiated in 2003. The tool has been implemented in 35 United States airports (See Appendix B). According to the FAA, ASDE-X is a tool that provides ‘detailed coverage of movement on runways and taxiways’ enabling controllers to’ detect potential runway conflicts’ (FAA, 2010). The device can produce information from ADS-B, as well as the control tower, sensors and transponders. The ASDE-X has made quite an impression on the NTSB in terms of safety enhancement. According to an article in the PR Newswire: “As the FAA’s primary runway safety tool, ASDE-X has made a positive impact in the reduction of runway incursions, including a 50 percent reduction in serious incursions for the FAA’s last two fiscal years, from 2008 through 2010” (PR Newswire, 2013). From 2008-2010, the number of accidents in the report declined from 34 to 31 with a steady increase in enplanements.

This is another example of the importance of integration of aviation technology applications. These tools must be compatible in order to improve efficiency both domestically and internationally. Implementation of new strategies and ideas is not always necessary. Changes that are neither needed nor wanted force unexpected adjustments to consumers. Reactions to an innovated product are much less intense in juxtaposition to a new product. Especially if the directions for use become more complex. The consumer has become used to the original product or service.  Usually, the value proposition goes beyond the mere product or service, and will also include additional service offerings or features (Sniukas, 2012). 

Modifications to Air Traffic Management Radios

In the past, communication between pilots and air traffic controllers was primarily by radiofrequency. As more companies have become global, the ability to securely transfer information to different countries is an increasing demand. Technology has also provided advancements to enhance security. Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) now provide air to ground communication. The primary enhancement of this type to radio communication is the transition from analog to digital. Previous systems were large, with limited capabilities, and expensive. In the early 1990s, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) came into computer world existence. The networks were underdeveloped; however, they brought a significant degree of integration. With improvements, VPNs expanded in capability and security. Tunneling improved data transfers, and the cost of traditional, leased lines is eliminated. This was an enormous breakthrough for aviation technology.

From here, companies such as Northrop Grumman Park added Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to the air traffic management radios (Airport International, 2009). The upgrades increase the stability and reliability of information packets as they travel across networks. The critical enhancement here is integration. Just as residential telephone service has evolved to a VoIP phone line by companies like Vonage through existing Internet service, air traffic radio has developed from IP to VoIP. The advantages are financial and performance. Telephone customers used to be billed individually for additional features on a telephone line. Today, most of those features are free with VoIP. Adding VoIP to the radio systems was an inevitable upgrade which brought integration with other software applications which had already advanced in development. The transition from IP to VoIP was a significant enhancement to air traffic management. The enhancement was highly effective because without it, advancements in other areas would eventually render the radio incompatible with more advanced components.


Air Traffic Management is the foundation of aerospace capabilities. TRS-R is a process of restructuring hardware and software decision support tools used to manage traffic and reconciling them to the hub site (FAA, 2013). Military aircraft with remote piloting capability will fight without the need for a human pilot. Only a few markets exist for satellites and fighter jets, but the competition grows concurrently with technological advancements.  Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman produce similar products. However, technology also provides improvements to enhance performance, security, and communication. Engineers may collaborate all over the world by remote access.

TRS-R enhances air traffic management by slashing the costs associated with travelling and reconfiguration and further development of existing IT systems. It also adds dimension to autopilot capabilities in aviation. This is vital in situations where the pilot and co-pilot lose the ability to fly the aircraft. Companies such as Lockheed Martin and CSC carry a massive amount of responsibility. Perhaps the most significant demand is the contribution to global security, which is also founded upon communication and information. Air traffic management is enhanced by remote site engineering because it increases on-demand capabilities. IT Help Desk applications are expanded because requests can be handled remotely rather than someone physically travelling to the problem area. Therefore, the costs associated with product maintenance and support are reduced. For companies such as Lockheed Martin and Grumman, this is accomplished through system modernization and air traffic management.

Historical Statistical Data

The evidence of improvement is growth. If the enhancements current systems produce advances in current aviation technology, the flight processes should become more prominent, more successful, and with fewer problems. One method of measuring the impact of enhancements on aviation technology is to consider the history of pertinent variables in correlation to enhancements to find relationships.  The significance of the upgrades should be represented in the statistics, notably variables of aircraft accidents relative to enplanement. The Aviation Safety Network publishes statistics regarding incidents within the aviation industry. To measure any significance of the enhancements, a juxtaposition of flight accidents and enplanement between 1995 and 2012 is made.

Table x-1 Fatal Accidents

Year Accidents Casualties
2012 23 475
2011 36 524
2010 31 847
2009 31 760
2008 34 589
2007 30 764
2006 33 905
2005 39 1073
2004 33 454
2003 33 703
2002 43 1112
2001 35 801
2000 42 1147
1999 46 696
1998 44 1226
1997 47 1266
1996 56 1831
1995 57 1205

Source: (Aviation Safety, 2012)

The statistical data for Table x-1 Fatal Accidents was retrieved from the Aviation Safety Website. The site publishes archived lists of historical data such as the number of fatal accidents in the United States, for several years, with casualties. The statistical data for enplanements in Table x-2 Historical Summary of Total Enplanements was retrieved from the Air Carrier Activity Information System (ACAIS) publication for the FAA.  The table provides the total passengers for a fiscal year and the percentage of change in the number of passengers from the previous year. An analysis of the 17 most recent years of accidents and casualties revealed an average of 38.5 fatalities within one year and an average of 912 deaths. The study included flights with a minimum of 14 passengers. The total fatalities for the period equaled 693. The maximum number of deaths, 57, is well above the average of 38.5. The year with the fewest deaths was 2012, the most current year. This suggests that enhancements to the aviation industry are very significant and have had a positive impact on the number of accidents.  The number of casualties for the period totaled 16423, which is a large number for 17 years. This is approximately 18 times the average of 912.39. The maximum number of casualties does not occur in the same year as the highest number of fatalities. The worse year for deaths was 1995. The worse year for a number of casualties was 1996 with 1831 casualties: twice the average for the period. The year with the most minor deaths was 2004.

Table x-2 Historical Summary of Total Enplanements

Calendar Year Total Passengers % Change Total Airports Non Hub/Non Primary Primary Cutoff
2011/2013 726,007,934 1.71% 387 124 10,000
2010/2012 713,776,556 2.26% 378 120 10,000
2009/2011 698,003,028 -5.22% 368 126 10,000
2008/2010 736,470,443 -3.54% 382 121 10,000
2007/2009 763,513,050 3.27% 388 139 10,000
2006/2008 739,308,556 0.29% 383 139 10,000
2005/2007 737,186,789 4.35% 384 130 10,000
2004/2006 706,424,048 8.39% 382 135 10,000
2003/2005 651,728,887 1.11% 372 141 10,000
2002/2004 644,594,329 -2.49% 383 127 10,000
2001/2003 661,069,429 -6.93% 402 134 10,000
2000/2002 710,299,349 3.82% 419 127 10,000
1999/2001 684,163,592 4.18% 422 124 10,000
1998/2000 656,688,855 2.36% 418 129 10,000
1997/1999 641,563,706 3.21% 417 112 10,000
1996/1998 621,613,161 6.02% 413 127 10,000
1995/1997 586,326,851 2.22% 411 155 10,000
1994/1996 573,575,959 8.44% 421 154 10,000

Source: (FAA, 2012)

The enplanement statistics in Table x-2 show just much the commercial airline industry has grown. From 1995 to 2012 the total passengers increased from 573,575,959 to 726,007,934. The increase in enplanement combined with a decrease in accidents and casualties suggests a significant, positive impact of the enhancements on aviation technology. The worst year for fatalities is also the year with the lease enplanement from the highest number of airports. Overall, the number of fatalities decreased over the 17 years. However, the decrease was not continuous. In 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011 the number of accidents increased briefly from the previous year. The same is observed in the enplanement data. From 2001 to 2004 and 2008 to 2011 the number of passengers decreased. Also, the total number of airports decreased from 421 to 387.

When Airplanes Crash

The Wright brothers possessed creative insight into the fastest, most incredible mode of transportation, and also one of the most dangerous. Aviation endorses globalization; however, it has deadly potential. The slightest error frequently ends in tragedy as passengers cringe to their seats and aircrews begin to flee on the runways. Since the discovery of flight, the world has advanced in other areas because of the new capabilities in travel. But sometimes, things go wrong.

The worst airplane crash in the history of the United States was accomplished by American Airlines in 1979. Approximately 270 passengers and crew fell to their deaths aboard the American Airlines Flight 191. The pilot was experienced and the takeoff seemed normal. According to several different reports, the plane’s body parts and engine began to fall apart. The plane fell out of the sky and killed two people on the ground in addition to the fatalities onboard. The only response in a disaster of this magnitude is to identify the victims and notify loved ones of their deaths. Additional damage is the devastation to the victim’s families, coworkers and friends. At this point, it does not matter what caused the crash or whose fault it was – that comes later. A method of training personnel to report an unexpected loss of life does not exist.

The developments of aviation are also used as tools of war. On this level, the fatalities are not accidents. Suicide bombers and terrorist acts aboard aircraft are everyday events. Any terrorist movement is described by its danger to civilization. It is the foundation for the Department of Homeland Security’s life. Terrorism techniques, no matter how they are related, all boil down to one thing: aggression.

Several events in the twentieth century prompted the brutal solution. Many countries established nationalism, which served as the foundation for many political movements and the emergence of nationalist interest groups. Fighting, death, and deaths were commonplace during the World Wars and the Cold War. The technique of taking hostages has been applied to the catalog of democratic protest tactics. Any theories of reconciliation and nonviolent resistance were delegitimized as a result of the wars (Terrorism Research, 2012). People were desensitized to death and violating rules as a result of the conflicts (Terrorist Research, 2012). The wars’ death toll overwhelmed religious and philosophical movements for nonviolent conflict resolution and mutual understanding. Small communities who might typically go unnoticed or overlooked trained to attract publicity by outlandish, unpredictable tactics. Terrorism activity has far-reaching consequences, harming people for years and depriving humanity of the ability to demand happiness.

The September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania resulted from the hijacking of commercial aircraft. Stunned at the magnitude of the attack, a common pre-existing fear of flying was enlarged by fear of hijacking. Sustained terrorism is based upon the strategy of prolonged harassment to wear down the opponent. Osama Bin Laden, founder of the jihadist al-Qaeda, is believed to have initiated the September 11 bombings, in his ‘war on America’.

Airport personnel are equipped to respond to emergencies and potential danger as a part of the team. The Airport Emergency Plan is designed to redefine the course of action in response to trouble. Trouble is not always predictable; however, alternatives must be established to deal with all of the ‘what ifs’. In the event that something catastrophic happens, the following are used to determine the effectiveness of the flight crew and airport personnel:

  • Timeliness of Response
  • Mitigating Additional Damage
  • Loss of Life

Airports are breeding grounds for catastrophe. O’Hare International Airport currently holds the title for the worst aircraft crash, but that could change in the next 60 seconds. At any time, a plane may crash, explode, terrorists may attack, or someone may have a medical emergency that has nothing to do with flying. This is why enhancements to existing technology is so significant. We know so much more about flight than we did 50 years ago, and this knowledge must be applied.

Airport Emergency Plans and Homeland Security

The outrage of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center spurred a long-overdue increase in security consciousness within the US government, its airlines, and American society. The tragic deaths of innocent people demanded retribution, preventive measures to counter future attacks, and preparation for the attacks that cannot be stopped.

The Department of Homeland Security was established to defend Americans from terrorist attacks. The division was created to maintain three objectives (Maniscalco & Christen, 2010):

  1. Prevent terrorist attacks
  2. Prevent the illegal procurement, importation, movement, or utilization of toxic, medical, radiological, or radioactive resources and capabilities in the United States.
  3. Reduce the risk of violent threats and other risks affecting vital infrastructure and core services, key personnel, and international incidents.

OPSEC- the National Operations Security Program- was created in 1988 under the National Security Decision Directive 298. The program was designed as a ‘formalized strategic concept’ to obtain a higher level of organization and efficiency by providing support to existing agencies. (Maniscalco & Christen, 2010).  The process includes the following five steps (Maniscalco & Christen, 2010):

  • Identifying critical information
  • Threat Analysis
  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Countermeasures

Airport emergency plans’ effectiveness can be measure by the outcome of incidents that follow protocol. The response to an incident is a direct reflection of prior training for the situation, or the lack thereof. “Surprisingly, studies found that response problems were far more likely to result from inadequate management than from any other single reason” (FEMA, 2012). Common problems which prevent the implementation of security strategies include:

  • unclear distribution of authority
  • inefficient communications systems
  • conflicting codes and terminology

Airport Emergency Plans are designed to:

  • Meet the needs of any incidents.
  • Allow personnel from a variety of agencies unite rapidly.
  • Provide logistical and administrative support.
  • Be cost-effective

Effective prevention techniques are everyday routines which include prevention strategies and predetermine responses to specific incidents. Typical causes of weaknesses in incident management include lack of accountability, ineffective communication, and inadequate planning processes. Solutions to defects in incident management include:

  • Unity in command
  • common terminology
  • management by objective
  • flexible & modular org
  • span of control
  • integrated communication

From September 11, we have learned that the attack is just the beginning of the tragedy for Homeland Security personnel. The events that immediately follow catastrophes must be controlled.

Aviation Legislation and Law

Until the late 1990s, negligence – rather than the deficiencies in technology- was the cause of many accidents and the implementation of aviation laws. The FAA was created as a part of the Department of Transportation in response to an increase in tragedy in the aviation industry. According to the Aviation Attorney: “The FAA was created by an act of Congress in 1958 in response to a series of tragic midair collisions. Originally the Federal Aviation Agency, it was charged with overseeing aviation safety. The new agency is responsible for developing and maintaining a common system for navigating and controlling air traffic” (Aviation, 2013). Subsequently, the FAA is the regulatory agency for aviation in the United States.

The Vision 100 Reauthorization Act was also born from tragedy.  According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB): In 1991, a Continental Airplane crash in Texas and killed all 14 passengers. The crash was caused by missing screws to the horizontal stabilizer’ (NTSB, 1992). By 2000, The Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century was enacted to address flight safety and to provide authorization to the FAA and relevant agencies in the United States (Policy, 2004). In 2003, the Wendell Ford Act expired. In an effort to instate a replacement or reauthorization, Congress held a conference to write the provisions of the Vision 100 Reauthorization Act (see Appendix A). The Act extended the authorizations to the FY 2007 with new requirements to increase aviation safety. “A multiagency research and development blueprint for developing the Next Generation Air Transportation System with the characteristics described under clause (ii) of the amendment,” according to item (C) 3 of the Act (JPDO, 2013). Also of particular concern were the subject of air traffic control privatization and environmental streamlining (Policy, 2004). Some actually believe the aviation industry should not be subject to Federal government rule or intervention. Item (A) 4 of the Vision 100 incudes ‘ensuring the inclusion of experts from the private sector as a stipulation. Evidently, this is not enough for some. According to former Director of Office Management and Budget, Peter Orszag: “Air-traffic control is in for some dramatic changes, whether the Federal Aviation Administration continues to manage it or not. Runway congestion is a serious problem, the technology needed to solve it already exists, and the project to implement it, called NextGen, is underway” (Verbruggen, 2011). Some actually believe the United States government should outsource FAA duties to a private non-profit agency. According to Verbruggen, funding is also a significant issue which should be confronted by either outsourcing or the FAA. Verbruggen states: “A key change that a private organization could make — or that could be imposed on the FAA, for that matter — is to fund operations in a more logical way. A better funding mechanism could not only raise enough money to implement NextGen quickly, it could address congestion in and of itself” (Verbruggen, 2011). The first duty of the Vision 100 is to the Department of Defense (See Appendix A). This responsibility alone eliminates a feasible, privatized alternative to the FAA’s authority in air traffic management concerns. Verbruggen makes a valid point concerning funding technological improvements: “In addition to funding new technology, user fees based on takeoffs and landings would encourage airlines to use larger-capacity aircraft and make fewer flights — which would reduce congestion” (Verbruggen, 2011). His argument includes changing the per-passenger tax to per takeoff and landing.

Aviation Management and Operations

The management of aviation still falls on the FAA. Aviation Operations is headed by an appointed Deputy Chief Counsel who governs aviation affairs by region (FAA Operations, 2013). The enforcement of compliance to regulations and processing of legal matters are primary functions of the Operations division of the FAA. The Operations Division consists of the following departments (FAA Operations, 2013):

  • Airports and Environmental
  • Enforcement and Compliance
  • Personnel & Labor
  • Regions and Centers
  • Policy and Adjudication
  • Administration

Aviation Safety is regulated by the Flight Standards Service division of the FAA. According to the FAA: “The Flight Standards Service promotes safe air transportation by setting the standards for certification and oversight of airmen, air operators, air agencies, and designees. We also promote safety of flight of civil aircraft and air commerce” (FAA FSS, 2013). The Flight Standards Service is also divided into regions under a hierarchy corporate structure and governed by the Chief Deputy Council.

TSA X-Ray Body Scanners

A large part of airport security involves filtering out inappropriate passengers and contraband which threaten homeland security. The most common methods of accomplishing this have been examining passenger identification and their belongings. To the objection of many, passengers were required to pass through an x-ray scanner which produced images of baggage content and items stored anywhere on the passenger’s body. The method was a response to excessive drug smuggling, money laundering, and weapons transport efforts. However, the scanners have been found to promote cancer in addition to the fact that people generally do not like to be searched. Complaints from several sectors have pressured the FAA to remove the scanners.

In response to the protests, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to remove x-ray body scanners from airports. The biggest cause seems to be a failure to fully refine the commodity in order for it to meet industry expectations (Schoofs, 2013). Obvious concerns include objections to exposure from passengers and the possible risk of increasing the instance of cancer. Millimeter-wave scanners are the proposed alternative. It seems the United States is the only country that has attempted to impose the x-ray scanners on the aviation industry. Many of the scanners have already been removed. Some speculate on whether the x-ray scanners will eventually be back, or if the FAA has received enough complaints to give up the fight. After all, forced nudity is almost as unpopular as cancer. Also, not surprising, Israel is researching the x-ray scanner to use at its facilities despite adverse reactions elsewhere in the world.


The enhancements made to the aircraft in this study have had a significant impact on aviation safety, consideration for the environment and upgrades overall in terms of technology. The industry is lacking in the area of integration, particularly for devices such as the ADS-B GPS and other utilities which should be universal. The United States FAA is not to blame for the deficiencies in integration because global integration must be an international effort. In the long run, integration of aviation tools and technological will rise in importance because of demand, which will motivate change.

We can’t forecast the future, so we can look at what we intend to change and compare it to what we have now. Moving into different markets and also collaborating with growth opportunities will be successful if the right controls are in place to track success. According to Neil Planzer, vice president of Air Traffic Management, Boeing Flight Services: “The capabilities of today’s high-technology airplanes are underutilized in the current constrained and outdated ATM system, undermining the profitability of the aviation industry. We are fully committed to supporting long term modernization efforts such as SESAR and NextGen without losing sight of improvements we can make today” (Boeing, 2012). Regardless of the results, skepticism is inevitable. This is why we depend upon Confidence Level outputs to determine the likeliness of the new ideas being accepted and valuable as we hope.

To begin, decide if the optimal level of improvement is gradual or major in terms of reconstruction degree. Any goods or services may benefit from a makeover. Many goods and services lose their appeal over time and must be phased out. Costs rise as the commodity loses value in most versions.

Improvement is a universal synonym for innovation. Companies must also maintain an ongoing schedule for product and service renovation and improvement. “In terms of operating margin and overall shareholder return, companies that concentrate on Business Model Innovation outperform their market peers” (Sniukas, 2012). Companies must constantly improve in order to keep up with the rapid development in technologies and the spontaneous increases in demand. The attractiveness of an industry such as aviation can be defined from several points of view. It is almost a cliché’ in that the measurement can only be hypothetical. Just as markets separate different demands, the stats of an industry depend upon the point of view. A sudden rise or fall in profits or the sale of airline tickets may indicate a sudden increase or decline in interest or trust. This is why innovation is vital in competitive markets, mainly technology. A shift in interest can cause once-popular items to become obsolete.

             Enhancements that do not pay for themselves in profits and increase value defeat the purpose. The analysis shows many improvements to products and services are on the market, even if only on a trial basis. Decision making here is basically choosing between one alternative and another. (Nickels, McHugh, & McHugh, 2010).  The strategy is to keep up with the competition; however, this also may place the cart before the horse. I would put more into improving the products and services already on the market. The learning process would benefit the future development of new products. Improvements to existing products should be the first tactic. It is illogical to produce new products when the existing products still need work. Breakthroughs in new areas are essential; however, current drawbacks could be a sign that future breakthroughs or new products will have the same drawbacks. Sometimes less is more.

A method of checks and balances is required to maintain efficiency, especially in the aviation fields. All of the aviation safety legislation is a noble effort to monitor efficiency and reduce negligence in the air. It may eventually negate the tendencies to hide defects, as manufacturers begin to try harder and aviation legislators and administrators realize the impact previous devices actually had on the welfare of the passenger. Any method with successful strategies that line up with organizational values and the mission may be used to conduct adequate research and provide significant enhancements which can be easily integrated.

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Appendix A

Excerpt from Vision 100 Reauthorization Act

Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act

Public Law 108-176



(A) Establishment.–

(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall establish in the Federal Aviation Administration a joint planning and development office to manage work related to the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The office shall be known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System Joint Planning and Development Office (in this section referred to as the “Office”).

(2) The responsibilities of the Office shall include-

  • (A) creating and carrying out an integrated plan for a Next Generation Air Transportation System pursuant to subsection
  • (B) overseeing research and development on that system;
  • (C) creating a transition plan for the implementation of that system;
  • (D)coordinating aviation and aeronautics research programs to achieve the goal of more effective and directed programs that will result in applicable research; [[Page 117 STAT. 2583]]
  • (E) coordinating goals and priorities and coordinating research activities within the Federal Government with United States aviation and aeronautical firms;
  • (F) coordinating the development and utilization of new technologies to ensure that when available, they may be used to their fullest potential in aircraft and in the air traffic control system;
  • (G) facilitating the transfer of technology from research programs such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration program and the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program to Federal agencies with operational responsibilities and to the private sector; and
  • (H) Reviewing activities relating to noise, emissions, fuel consumption, and safety conducted by Federal agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Defense.

(3) The Office shall operate in conjunction with relevant programs in the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security. The Secretary of Transportation may request assistance from staff from those Departments and other Federal agencies.

(4) In developing and carrying out its plans, the Office shall consult with the public and ensure the participation of experts from the private sector including representatives of commercial aviation, general aviation, aviation labor groups, aviation research and development entities, aircraft and air traffic control suppliers, and the space industry.

(B) Integrated Plan.–The integrated plan shall be designed to ensure that the Next Generation Air Transportation System meets air transportation safety, security, mobility, efficiency, and capacity needs beyond those currently included in the Federal Aviation Administration’s operational evolution plan and accomplishes the goals under subsection

(C). The integrated plan shall include-

(1) A national vision statement for an air system, capable of meeting potential air traffic demand by 2025;

(2) A description of the demand and performance characteristics that will be required of the Nation’s future air transportation system, and an explanation of how those characteristics were derived, including the national goals, objectives, and policies the system is designed to further, and the underlying socioeconomic determinants, and associated models and analyses;

(3) A multiagency research and development roadmap for creating the Next Generation Air Transportation System with the characteristics outlined under clause (ii), including-

(A) The most significant technical obstacles and the research and development activities necessary to overcome them, including for each project, the role of each Federal agency, corporations, and universities;

(B) The annual anticipated cost of carrying out the research and development activities; and

(C) The technical milestones that will be used to evaluate the activities; and

(4) A description of the operational concepts to meet the system performance requirements for all system users and a [Page 117 STAT. 2584] timeline and anticipated expenditures needed to develop and deploy the system to meet the vision for 2025.

(D) Goals.–The Next Generation Air Transportation System shall-

(1) Improve the level of safety, security, efficiency, quality, and affordability of the National Airspace System and aviation services;

(2) Take advantage of data from emerging ground-based and space-based communications, navigation, and surveillance technologies;

(3) Integrate data streams from multiple agencies and sources to enable situational awareness and seamless global operations for all appropriate users of the system, including users responsible for civil aviation, homeland security, and national security;

(4) Leverage investments in civil aviation, homeland security, and national security and build upon current air traffic management and infrastructure initiatives to meet system performance requirements for all system users;

(5) Be scalable to accommodate and encourage substantial growth in domestic and international transportation and anticipate and accommodate continuing technology upgrades and advances;

(6) Accommodate a wide range of aircraft operations, including airlines, air taxis, helicopters, general aviation, and uncrewed aerial vehicles; and

(7) Take into account the configuration of airport arrival and exit flight paths to the fullest degree possible in order to minimize noise and emissions contamination sensitivity to affected people.

Source: (JPDO, 2013)

Appendix B

ASDE-X Deployment Sites: 35 Major Airports

  1. Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (Baltimore, MD)
  2. Boston Logan International Airport (Boston, MA)*
  3. Bradley International Airport (Windsor Locks, CT)*
  4. Chicago Midway Airport (Chicago, IL)*
  5. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Chicago, IL)*
  6. Charlotte Douglas International Airport (Charlotte, NC)*
  7. Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (Dallas, TX)*
  8. Denver International Airport (Denver, CO)*
  9. Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (Detroit, MI)*
  10. Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)*
  11. General Mitchell International Airport (Milwaukee, WI)*
  12. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston, TX)*
  13. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta, GA)*
  14. Honolulu International –Hickam Air Force Base Airport (Honolulu, HI)*
  15. John F. Kennedy International Airport (Jamaica, NY)*
  16. John Wayne-Orange County Airport (Santa Ana, CA)*
  17. LaGuardia Airport, (Flushing, NY)
  18. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (St. Louis, MO)*
  19. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas, NV)
  20. Los Angeles International Airport (Los Angeles, CA)*
  21. Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field (Louisville, KY)*
  22. Memphis International Airport (Memphis, TN)
  23. Miami International Airport (Miami, FL)*
  24. Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (Minneapolis, MN)*
  25. Newark International Airport (Newark, NJ)*
  26. Orlando International Airport (Orlando, FL)*
  27. Philadelphia International Airport (Philadelphia, PA)*
  28. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix, AZ)*
  29. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington, DC)
  30. San Diego International Airport (San Diego, CA)*
  31. Salt Lake City International Airport (Salt Lake City, UT)*
  32. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Seattle, WA)*
  33. Theodore Francis Green State Airport (Providence, RI)*
  34. Washington Dulles International Airport (Chantilly, VA)*
  35. William P. Hobby Airport (Houston, TX)*

Source: (FAA, 2010)

Appendix C

Boeing 787 and Airbus A350

Figure x-2 Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Comparison Between Old and Modern Developments in Aviation Safety

Source: (Boeing, 2013)

Figure x-3 Airbus A350

Comparison Between Old and Modern Developments in Aviation Safety

Source: (Airbus, 2013)

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