This Comment explores the advantages of NextGen in expanding airspace capacity and the potential problems that may arise without a reform in FAA accountability. Recognizing NextGen as merely part of the solution, the Comment argues that airport privatization is a critical supplement to avoid the federal regulatory policies that dampen efforts to control airport resource demand. Part II breaks down the transformation of the air transportation system since its inception and constructs the landscape for existing air traffic congestion. Part III examines Congress’s attempts to expand capacity through NextGen, identifies and suggests solutions to the accountability obstacles, and argues that NextGen’s efficient routing structures and added capacity are overrun by the inability to manage competition and congestion at the country’s high-density airports. Parts IV.A and IV.B criticize the current approach to regulation of the nation’s airports by illustrating the damaging effects it has on efforts to manage demand for critical ground facilities. Part IV.C demonstrates the problems mounting with the FAA’s policies on regulating access to congested airports while IV.D provides critical insight to the future outlook under Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood. Part V presents an argument that privatization of high-density airports may lead to a more socially efficient solution and provides suggestions for reforming current privatization laws. Finally, Part VI concludes this Comment.

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