Michael O. Ball, David Lovell, George Mason University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Purdue University

Funding Agency

Federal Aviation Administration




The FAA has announced a new contract for NEXTOR III, the eight-university Consortium in Aviation Operations Research that extends its mission for an additional seven years with an expenditure cap of $24 million. This marks the second extension of the original National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR), which was established in 1996.

The University of Maryland, led by professors Michael Ball (Robert H. Smith School of Business/Institute for Systems Research) and David Lovell (Civil and Environmental Engineering/Institute for Systems Research), will continue as the lead institution for “NEXTOR III.” In addition to Maryland, other consortium member universities are George Mason University; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, Berkeley; the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; the Georgia Institute of Technology; the Ohio State University; and Purdue University.

NEXTOR began as one of five Centers of Excellence created by the FAA to lead the aviation community in advancing new ideas and paradigms for aviation operations, educating and training aviation professionals, and promoting knowledge transfer among industry, government and academic leaders.

The consortium’s basic research, modeling and investment analysis addresses the needs of the National Airspace System (NAS) on a wide range of aviation operational problems, while promoting increased dialogue between the FAA and the airline industry. NEXTOR’s broad research program encompasses air traffic management and control; safety data analysis; aviation economics and policy; human factors; communication, data collection and distribution; and system performance evaluation and assessment measures.