FAA Earmarks Land for NextGen Aviation Research Park

The FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center near Atlantic City, New Jersey, has transferred control of 55 acres of its property to a state economic development entity for the construction of an Aviation Research and Technology Park. According to a release from the FAA, the park will be built at no cost to the agency, and "will offer a central location for the FAA's partners to perform research, development, testing, integration and verification of the technologies, concepts and procedures required by NextGen … leading the testing and prototype development of systems to make the NextGen vision a reality." Last week, outgoing President Bush set a mandate for speedy implementation of NextGen. It is expected that as many as 2,000 high-skill jobs could be created as a result of the technology park, adding to the 3,000 jobs currently associated with the neighboring Technology Center. The new research park is intended to complement NextGen demonstration facilities at Daytona International Airport in Florida. Technology will be developed in New Jersey, tested in Florida, then returned north to the Technical Center for integration with the current National Airspace System and other new components of NextGen.