Neil Planzer     Print Email

Neil Planzer

Neil Planzer is Vice President Air Traffic Management at Boeing. An internationally recognized expert in air traffic control and the aviation industry, he has been Boeing's principle strategist for air traffic management since 2003.

He is responsible for ensuring stakeholder support for the deployment of a next-generation air traffic system. As a Boeing executive he developed and executed concept demonstrations for air traffic control Network Enabled Operations, the cornerstone for any next generation system. He conceived and implemented Boeing's strategy for air traffic global interoperability and established Boeing's strong ties with European and global air navigation service providers.

While serving as a senior executive in both the United Stated Air Force and the Department of Defense (DoD) he formulated the DoD civil aviation policy, including use of federal and international airspace to ensure necessary military access with minimal consequences on civilian aircraft. He set the DoD policy on air traffic control infrastructure and international ATC standards. He served as lead negotiator on difficult issues involving access to international airspace. He served on the Federal Aviation Administration Management Advisory Committee, advised the National Security Council on restoration of civil access to the nation's airspace following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

After the fall of the Soviet Union he formulated and implemented the DoD Regional Airspace Initiatives, this program was an important element in preparing these nations to join the NATO alliance. Neil also served as a senior executive with the Federal Aviation Administration. From his experience with the FAA he obtained a wide background in air traffic requirements, project management, and built upon his experiences as an air traffic controller. He has a strong and positive relationship with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association which allowed him to establish the Quality through Partnership (QTP) program, QTP fostered the FAA's last period of a cooperative relationship with the air traffic controllers union.

Planzer is a certified instrument pilot and owns and operates his own aircraft. He has served in the USAF and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. He has written many articles and columns on the science of air traffic control and is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • World Radio Conference Outcomes

    By Patricia Paoletta, Washington DC

    The latest World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) wrapped up in late November after four long weeks of negotiations between 3400 delegates from around 165 Member States. All in all, the WRC resulted in positive outcomes for both 5G and Wi-Fi, and will benefit both the U.S. and Europe's communications agendas, particularly with respect to the decisions on spectrum to be allocated for the all-important 5G service. The effect will be to ensure the more rapid development of the next generation of mobile broadband in a manner consistent with U.S. planning and existing development.  Debates on 5G dominated the conference, but allocations for high-altitude platform stations (“HAPS”) sought by U.S. based firms were also favorable. As a result, plans to provide additional internet service to underserved areas may be accelerated.

    Read more ...

UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (

New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"Edge of a Precipice" by Nathan Crist

"Newpolitik" by Emily Hruban


Summer Course