4 Reasons NextGen is the Best Thing Since Free Bags

There is no question our airspace is very safe; the figures prove it to the most white-knuckled of fliers, but why not make it even safer? Precise positioning can make the 'near miss' or close call a thing of the past. In the air and on the ground as well. Plus, you'll get to the gate faster. The airlines like all this too and that's a good thing because they're picking up part of the tab for this, but it will save them money in the long run.

4. Help save the planet

No question that NextGen can save fuel, and who knows, maybe even save the planet.

Consider that Denver International has just implemented new NextGen arrival and departure procedures which, as the Denver Post points out, allows planes to land "using a smooth, continuous descent versus the traditional stair-step approach" which can save airlines as much as 800 pounds of fuel each flight. Maybe that doesn't sound like much but Denver has 1,700 flights a day. Think of the flights at all the airports in the U.S. Do the math.

So, come on, Congress, stop bickering. You managed to solve the FAA sequester problem which threatened to slow summer travel to a crawl in just about two weeks. So come on, politicians, airlines, airports, everyone: Time to get serious. NextGen is needed ThisGen.

The opinions expressed by Rick Seaney are his alone and not those of ABC News.

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