RTCA: Standards Development Organization - One Year Later

June 26, 2019

RTCA has been developing standards since 1935. In 1975, the United States government designated RTCA a Federal Advisory Committee to the FCC, then in 1976, transferred the FAC charter to the FAA. That charter expired one year ago and RTCA returned to its roots as an independent Standards Development Organization (SDO). Since then, some things have changed, but more have stayed the same.

One area that has changed is the requirement for RTCA to meet the Federal Advisory Committee Act rules, which dictate document retention and meeting conduct policies. Ironically, we continue to voluntarily observe these rules despite not being a FAC. RTCA sees the value in transparency and inclusion that the FACA outlines and we continue to hold committee meetings and develop documents according to those tenets. Since June 2018, RTCA has published 15 documents that have been developed by industry in cooperation with the FAA to support 6 new TSOs.

The FAA continues to participate in a leadership role in all our committees. The Designated Federal Officer that the FACA requires has evolved into the Government Authorized Representative. This leadership extends to the Program Management Committee (PMC), where we welcomed Dr. Mike Romanowski as the GAR for the committee. The PMC has established one new Special Committee, SC237, Helicopter Terrain Awareness System, and re-started one subset Special Committee, SC-231, Terrain Awareness Systems, to address issues as requested by our members.

RTCA reaffirmed our relationship with EUROCAE with President and CEO Terry McVenes and Secretary General Christian Schleifer-Heingärtner signing an updated Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) at the RTCA 2019 Global Aviation Symposium. This MOC outlines the RTCA/EUROCAE commitment to developing world class, harmonized global aviation standards. These standards are referenced by ICAO, where RTCA continues as an official observer.

One year later, RTCA has returned to focusing on what made it such a special organization prior to 1975: developing critical aviation technical standards in a consensus-based, industry-government process that gives voice to all interested parties. We look forward to the future and the exciting opportunities the next generation of technology the aviation industry is introducing.