Standards Oversight Committee Acts on Safety and Emerging Technologies

May 7, 2019

Washington, DC, March 26, 2019 – RTCA’s Program Management Committee (PMC) held its spring meeting approving five critical guidance documents, reviewing workplans for the Special Committees (SC), and incorporating changes to the various committee Terms of Reference (TOR) that reflect leadership and work plan changes.

Chaired by Chris Hegarty of The MITRE Corporation, the 19-member PMC is the RTCA oversight body charged with producing timely and robust standards and guidance documents to ensure interoperability of aviation systems and equipment. The standards encourage innovation and serve as the basis for meeting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. An important responsibility of the PMC is ensuring the operational application of the technical standards.

The Members of the PMC approved five standards covering the following areas:

  • The Traffic Situation Awareness with Alerting (TSAA) test vectors for the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) System.  The new Minimum Operational Performance Standard (MOPS) for Aircraft Surveillance Applications (ASA) System describes updated specific aircraft track set tests that are used to provide stimulus scenarios for TSAA testing.
  • Revised AMS(R)S Data and Voice Communications Supporting Required Communications Performance (RCP) and Required Surveillance Performance (RSP) provides safety communications to aircraft in airspace where 1) procedural separation is applied or 2) Air Traffic Services surveillance services are provided. The document contains Technique Specific Normative Appendices for INMARSAT and Iridium.
  • Satellite communications technologies.  The Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) Avionics Supporting Next Generation Satellite Systems describes these new technologies scheduled to become operational in context of the global and regional Air Traffic Management and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance modernization.
  • A change to the Guidance for the Development of Portable Electronic Devices (PED) Tolerance for Civil Aircraft included a technical amendment clarifying the description of low powered technologies with respect to PEDs.
  • Unmanned Aircraft (UA) operations requiring a C2 Link System that allows the UA to operate within line of sight (LOS) and beyond the line-of-sight (BLOS) of a Control Station. The Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards (MASPS) for C2 Link Systems Supporting Operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in U.S. Airspace contains the standards which specify system characteristics that should be used by UAS operators, Original Equipment Manufacturers 701 (OEM), and equipment manufacturers, plus the FAA, as UAS operate within the U.S. airspace.

The Committee also approved an administrative change to SC-216, Aeronautical Information Systems Security TOR and changes to the work plan for SC-159, Navigation Equipment Using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

Details from the March 21, 2019 PMC meeting are contained in a letter from Chairman Hegarty to FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Ali Bahrami.