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What to Expect at Avionics for NextGen 2017

Boeing 737 MAX

Boeing 737 MAX. Photo courtesy of Boeing

Kicking off tomorrow, Nov. 15, is Avionics' annual two-day Avionics for NextGen conference at the Hilton Washington Dulles in Virginia. Before the event's first day, here's a preview of the various panel discussions, presentations and case studies that will be featured this year:

ADS-B, both Out and In

As the FAA's Jan. 1, 2020 airspace equipage mandate for ADS-B Out rapidly approaches, ADS-B is a big topical focus at this year’s conference. After a keynote speech from RTCA President Margaret Jenny, the day continues with two panels: one featuring the FAA, Allegiant’s director of engineering, and experts from Becker Avionics and Gables Engineering. They will be discussing the aviation community’s progress toward mandate compliance.

Following that, a group of experts from L-3, the FAA and Mitre will discuss the NextGen program’s latest progress in developing new applications around ADS-B In. That panel will be moderated by a general aviation pilot, Mike Collins, who is the technical editor for AOPA Pilot.

Operators Equipping With NextGen

In a first for Avionics for NexGen, a speaker from Allegiant Air has joined the program. Allegiant Director of Engineering Ankit Nanda will be giving an individual presentation following his participation on the ADS-B panel. Attendees will be privy to an in-depth discussion of Allegiant’s progress and challenges toward equipping its fleet with ADS-B, and considerations for Data Comm. Challenges that Nanda will address include the availability of compliant equipment and the cost of acquisition and installation of NextGen avionics.

This year's edition of Avionics for NextGen will also feature some other first-time speakers. Roger Hall, an A380 captain for Emirates, will discuss equipping and flying aircraft with Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) avionics.

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) will also be represented for the first time at the event. Devin Borden, a USAF NextGen analyst, will present the Air Force’s plans to establish a “Consolidated Avionics Repository” (CAR) to determine the baseline of avionics capabilities necessary to comply with the same airspace mandates that are applicable to commercial and business aircraft operators.

Any operators flying within the National Airspace System will want to attend Jesse Wintje’s presentation. It focuses on the latest updates for the NextGen Data Comm program, as well as an all-FAA panel discussing the new enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) airspace rules.

Day 2

The second day of the conference begins with a keynote speech from FAA Director of NAS Systems Engineering and Integration Michelle Merkle, discussing the importance of avionics capabilities in the FAA’s goal of progressing toward trajectory based operations.

At the 2016 Avionics for NextGen conference, Donna Creasap, PBN programs and policy group manger for the FAA, unveiled the agency’s 15-year PBN strategy. This year she has returned for a panel on PBN, joined by PBN experts from Sandel Avionics and RTCA, as well as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Mitre.

The second day of the conference will also feature a first-time panel, focusing on the use of electronic flight bags (EFB) within the NextGen flight environment. That panel will feature Biruk Abraham of the FAA’s NextGen technology development and prototyping division who will discuss the agency’s efforts to give operators the ability to use EFBs to access System Wide Information Management (SWIM). Matthew Pollack, a lead simulation and modeling engineer, will discuss Mitre’s innovative digital co-pilot EFB application, designed for general aviation pilots.

Wrapping up the event is panel discussion about the use of satellite communications for safety services. But that's not before an in-depth presentation given by Jet Blue Director of Strategic Airspace Programs Joe Bertapelle. He'll discuss how space-based ADS-B can be used to to reduce oceanic separation between aircraft. First-time presenter Carrie Haase of Aurora Flight Sciences will discuss the company’s latest research and development efforts to introduce future facing autonomous technologies on manned, unmanned and hybrid aircraft. Did you hear that Aurora recently became a Boeing company?

Unable to attend Avionics for NextGen? Follow @AvionicsMag for updates on Twitter using #ANG17!

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