The Federal Aviation Administration forecasts that by 2015 more than 1 billion people each year will take to the skies in the United States, nearly a third more than today's number. Central to the FAA's efforts to prepare for the future is the operational evolution plan (OEP), which seeks to increase the capacity and efficiency of the National Airspace System by focusing on relieving congestion at 35 key airports. Through the OEP, the FAA commits to implementing a set of credible initiatives that focus the agency and the aviation community on solutions for the next 10 years. The goal has been to increase the effective capacity of the NAS by approximately 30 percent by 2011, and the OEP is close to declaring success today. The plan is also the vital link between the present state of aviation and the vision of a totally transformed air transportation that is being developed by the multi-agency joint planning and development office.
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