New Ash Center Report Charts Course for Assuring Transition to Next Generation Air Transportation System Cites Challenges and Opportunities for Recreating National Airspace

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 10, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- How to leverage America's current leadership in global aviation to assure primacy in the 21st century is the focus of a new report prepared by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Produced in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton, the report, "Assuring the Transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System," synthesizes discussions and findings from an Executive Session held at Harvard Kennedy School in November of 2009.

The Executive Session brought together more than two dozen aviation industry leaders, senior government executives, along with civilian researchers to explore the extraordinary developments in technology and operations and identify the challenges ahead for introducing them into the "NextGen" Air Transportation System.

"NextGen is among the most significant efforts at cross-boundary transformation ever undertaken by the United States Government, in collaboration with the aviation community," the report states. "The future of the sky has arrived, yet it remains slow to realize. All share a passion and commitment to the success of NextGen, but disagree on how to get there." The report captures the nearly two-day session and articulates five key elements for the continued success and transformation of America's national air space: A governance strategy for NextGen that builds support and creative solutions throughout the network of travelers, pilots, air traffic controllers, local economic development authorities, and political leaders for NextGen investments; Leadership in politics, technology, financing, and governance so that the difficult issues are resolved and progress continues; Operational incentives that accelerate the adoption of new technology and procedures, assuring that the beneficiaries of NextGen realize measurable outcomes; The development of innovative financing solutions that take stock not only of the nation's financial condition, but also the great public benefits of NextGen with returns to reduced delays, cleaner air, and competitive advantage for the nation in global trade; and Risk management that addresses the major issues that have plagued such complex undertakings so that "predictable surprises" can be averted.

"Recent years have provided for extraordinary innovation in avionics and civil aviation," said Professor Stephen Goldsmith, co-author of the report and the director of the Center's Innovations in Government Program. "As we move to NextGen, new challenges arise, and with it, a new vision for 21st century aviation. We were pleased to host this important session to help leadership explore the collaborations that can carry that vision forward successfully." Fred Messina, executive advisor with Booz Allen Hamilton and report co-author said, "The aviation 'mega-community' is comprised literally of scores of stakeholders with nearly as many unique missions, objectives, and business cases. With this diversity comes daunting challenges. But our stakeholder diversity is also our greatest strength. The successful transformation to NextGen will be assured through collaboration and new 'networked governance' made possible by precisely those different perspectives." The summary report captures the two-day session and was co-authored by Stephen Goldsmith, Fred Messina, and Zachary Tumin. A copy of the report is available at:

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide.

Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world's citizens. The Ford Foundation is a founding donor of the Center.

Additional information about the Ash Center is available at

About Booz Allen Hamilton Booz Allen Hamilton has been at the forefront of strategy and technology consulting for nearly a century. Today, the firm provides professional services primarily to US government agencies in the defense, security, and civil sectors, as well as to corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Booz Allen offers clients deep functional knowledge spanning strategy and organization, technology, operations, and analytics -- which it combines with specialized expertise in clients' mission and domain areas to help solve their toughest problems.

Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs more than 22,000 people, and has annual revenues of over $5 billion. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Harvard Kennedy School; Booz Allen Hamilton Copyright (C) 2010 PR Newswire. All rights reserved -0- KEYWORD: Massachusetts