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RTCA August 2021 Digest

August 16, 2021
Home / News / RTCA August 2021 Digest

What Can the Aviation Industry Expect from the New Infrastructure Bill?

As the aviation industry stands on the precipice of receiving around $25 billion in the upcoming/recently passed infrastructure bill, National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) President and CEO Greg Pecoraro sat down with The Digest to discuss aviation industry needs, along with Desiree Bascomb, marketing and communications manager for NASAO.

What drives the need for funding is both present and future technology, including the addition of electric car charging stations in airport parking lots, reliable and fast broadband capabilities and what the futures of airports look like, said Pecoraro.

Looking forward, emerging eVTOL companies, the desire for intracity transportation and how it fits in with existing airport infrastructure at both commercial and general aviation airports needs to be considered.  Further, airports need to be built to accommodate a wide variety of aviation activity, such as vertiports.

“We should be looking at 20 years from now to get ready,” said Pecoraro.  “The U.S. has always been a leader in aviation, and we have to continue to be world class.”

Two further things to think about, cautions Pecoraro, are the industry’s dependence on the electrical power grid and the greening of aviation.

“We’re looking to reduce our carbon footprint and using new and exciting technologies to accomplish this, from new fuel and power sources to the airports themselves,” said Pecoraro.

Though falling far short of the $100 billion Airport Council International called for, the new infrastructure bill makes strides and signals elected officials recognize the importance of aviation.

“Yes, the need is much greater, but this is a terrific step in the right direction,” said Pecoraro.  “A robust aviation industry fuels our economy, bringing people, goods and services at great speed, and we need to do it while we innovate and while we keep safety as our number one issue.”

To learn more about this topic, RTCA is hosting an upcoming Webinar:  Airports – Critical Components in Future Transportation Infrastructure on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EDT.  To register, visit rtca.org and click on Events.  Aviation experts will discuss what the $550 billion infrastructure deal means to existing and emerging airport infrastructure needs and priorities.

General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)

RTCA’s Terry McVenes interviews Jens Hennig, Vice President of Operations for GAMA and member of RTCA’s Advisory Board.  Jens shares some of GAMA’s critical initiatives including the greening of aviation through engine modernization, supporting electric aircraft manufacturers and exploring alternative fuel sources.

Full interview: https://youtu.be/gXAnoE8JdOc

Committee News Header Image

    RTCA Spotlight on Nancy Ford and SC-238:  Counter UAS

Nancy Ford, Owner and CEO of Security 101, calls herself a corporate defector.  After a successful career in security for American Express and IBM, Nancy opened her own firm a decade ago to delve into physical security, access control and intrusion detection for her clients.

Two years into her new venture, she found her passion for aviation.  On the spur of the moment, she tried an introductory flying lesson and was hooked.  She quickly became instrument rated and bought her first plane in 2004.  Though this newfound passion, Nancy was introduced to airport security right as drone use emerged and thus, her professional and personal worlds converged.

Nancy learned much about drone usage and as she saw their potential, because of her security background, she became concerned with the risks they presented.  She attended an FAA Drone Summit and in the ensuing three years has studied how drones are being used for good, but also for nefarious uses, like depositing contraband over the yards of prisons, their potential to be used as weapons entering stadiums full of sports fans and also how users without malicious intent can still be a liability in countless circumstances.

Nancy is versed in counter-drone intelligence, including detect and identify solutions; how RF signals can be integrated into security systems that identify a drone’s flight path, telemetry data and IP address of users; how Europe is allowed to block signals to bring down drones; and other emerging technologies.

She sees the value in not stopping commerce and using drones for good, like delivering medications and in search and rescue operations, and looks at drone use through the lens of how to handle counter-drone intelligence correctly.  She is also on the forefront of seeing the potential of uses for the DOD, TSA, DHS and FCC.

It is this nuanced approach that Nancy brings to her position at Chair of SC-238.  Prior to taking on the helm of this committee, Nancy served on the RTCA Drone Advisory Committee, which established protocols for commercial procedures, and has worked with security teams at airports.  The scope of SC-238 is vast, says Nancy, as the industry reacts to drones, particularly at airports, and enacts regulations, while operating under existing laws.   It is a tall order, but Nancy says she is ready for the task, as the committee looks to develop standards and work with EUROCAE’s WG-115.

DO-178C, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment w/SupplementsSeptember 13-17, 11am-5pm est. / December 13-17, 11am-5pm est.
Airworthiness Security CertificationSeptember 27-30, 11am-5pm est.
Safety Management Systems (SMS) OverviewOctober 11-14, 1pm-5pm est.
DO-160G, Environmental TestingOctober 25-29, 11am-5pm est. / December 6-10, 11am-5pm est.
DO-254, Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic HardwareDecember 7-10, 11am-5pm est.
email: training@rtca.org for more information

FAA Employment Opportunities

-Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Advanced Cabin Safety: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/610214900

-Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/610215000

-Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Data Analytics for Safety and Reliability: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/610216100

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Chief Scientific and Technical Advisors (CSTA) are part of a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized technical experts. They provide an FAA-wide, mission-critical, leadership role in identifying and mitigating aviation safety risk as it relates to their particular discipline. The CSTAs evaluate the readiness of emerging technologies, shape agency policies, and promote the adoption of safety enhancing operational requirements and practices into the FAA’s regulatory and certification programs. They also provide instruction and advice to the FAA, other departments and agencies, the aviation industry, professional societies, associations, academia, and international organizations.


The positions may be located at one of the following ten locations:

Washington, DC           Queens, NY
Atlanta, GA                   Westbury, NY
Chicago, IL                    Fort Worth, TX
Seattle, WA                   Kansas, MO
Burlington, MA            Los Angeles, CA

RTCA Events

                          RTCA Thanks the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)
                               Gold Sponsor of the Aviation Technology Connect Webinar Series
                                                   Visit their website: https://www.natca.org/

Next RTCA Webinar: Wednesday, August 18, 1pm ET

Airports: Critical Components in Future Transportation Infrastructure


The first in a 2-part series, the August webinar features aviation experts discussing what the $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal means to existing and emerging airport infrastructure needs and priorities.  Panelists discuss complex issues including interoperability challenges presented in a multi-modal transportation ecosystem, the journey toward integration of emerging technologies with existing traditional modes of transportation, the need for new standards, and how we design improvements that anticipate the many changes in operations that will be needed for new entrants to create a safe, accessible, easy to use system that meets the evolving needs of the traveling public. Moderated by Carol Huegel of Gate 2 Gate Solutions, panelists include Chris Oswald of ACI-NA, Justin Barkowski of AAAE, Greg Pecoraro of NASAO, Chris Collings of L3 Harris and Scott Remillard of Saab.

For more information about the Digest, please contact:
Name: Ka'Nika Evans
Email: kevans@rtca.org

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