ATM Modernization, Commercial

Task Force Will Name Names, Locations

By Tish Drake | August 3, 2009
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The RTCA NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force by month’s end will deliver to FAA an “actionable” list of recommendations to implement new operational capabilities, including the operators willing to implement them and specific locations.

“Each recommendation will include with it where we want it implemented and who in the operator community is aligned and committed to investing in that recommendation,” said Margaret T. Jenny, RTCA president. Jenny was appointed RTCA president in August 2008, succeeding long-time president David S. Watrous in leading the standards-setting and advisory organization. She spoke with Avionics last week for an interview that will appear in the September issue of the magazine.

In January, Hank Krakowski, chief operating officer of FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, and Peggy Gilligan, FAA associate administrator for Aviation Safety, asked RTCA to form a government-industry task force to develop consensus-based recommendations for achieving NextGen operational efficiencies by 2018. Jenny has played an active role on the NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force, which will present final recommendations Aug. 31.

“We have spent the majority of the last six or seven months, once we identified the capabilities, laying out all things that have to happen to implement them,” Jenny said. “That’s everything from does (a capability) need controller or pilot training, does it change their roles, do we need to change the airspace, do we need new procedures, do we need new policies — and we’ve identified all of those things. So when we hand this to the FAA, it will be actionable, it will be very clear exactly what it is that has to happen.”

Avionics Magazine and RTCA will present the recommendations of the NextGen Task Force at a one-day conference Sept. 15 in Washington, D.C. For information, visit

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