NextGen efficiency improvements are pitched as ‘transformative’, but in fact the alleged changes are nothing new. The bulk of the alleged ‘benefits’ FAA, A4A and Bill Shuster claims NextGen can deliver have been realized for more than two decades. It doesn’t take much effort for online research to reveal substantial evidence of this fact. Here’s a short quote from an interview:
“…we built these descent trajectories to be an idle thrust descent all the way to the bottom . . . . you’re ﬂying at thirty-ﬁve thousand and you know the route you’re going to ﬂy. Now imagine you have to pick a time, while you’re ﬂying, to land down there. You’re given the command, OK, close your throttles, never touch them again, but be assured that you’re going to get there without turning the throttles back on again….”
– interview comments by Heinz Erzberger, an ATC researcher at NASA Ames, discussing research back in the 1970s
Read more in copies of these research papers by Mr. Erzberger, from 1972 and from 1989.