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RTCA Summer Digest

June 17, 2022
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The Members of the PMC approved four standards:

RTCA’s Program Management Committee (PMC) held its June 2022 meeting approving nine 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 Dr. Chris Hegarty of The MITRE Corporation, the 20-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.

As mentioned, the Members of the PMC approved nine standards:

· DO-282C – MOPS for Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast, presented by SC-186, Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B)

· DO-392 – Guidance on Security Event Management, presented by SC-216, Aeronautical Information Systems Security

· DO-393 – Process Standard for Security Certification and Declaration of ATM ANS Ground Systems, presented by SC-216, Aeronautical Information Systems Security



Data Alteration Becomes Easier to Navigate Thanks to New Document

SC-217 and WG-44 tackled the pressing question of how to deal with inaccurate data coming from a state or non-cooperative party.  An example of this includes when official, state-provided outgoing information or publications are incorrect, such as an incorrect frequency of a navigation aid, or a published runway threshold.  This may be due to the use of older sources, the exact location of a runway being changed over time, an honest mistake being made, or a gross intentional error.

“Data alterations could be voluntary or involuntary or rooted in terror,” said WG-44 Chairman Stephane Dubet. “In any case, as questions of what to do have plagued the aviation community since the 1990s, we sought to work together to provide best practices guidelines, considerations, and examples to give users guidance.  In less than two years, and during a pandemic, we went from idea to resolution, creating a stand-alone product.  We did this through correspondence and one face-to-face meeting at the end.  I’m amazed by our members who gave their time, attention, and work to provide consistency in the world’s data processes.  We are more reliant on data than ever, and we realized how important this is, particularly for civil aviation throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.”

“What we originally thought would be a quick and simple document to write ended up becoming a much more complex and deliberate set of discussions,” said SC-217 Co-chair Brian Gilbert.  “While it took much more time and debate than originally planned, we were able to find consensus and ended up with a document that fills gaps in current industry guidance.  I’m very proud of the work our joint committee did.”

“Considerations for Data Alteration” will be presented to PMC for publication on June 23.

SC-217 and WG-44 are continuing their work and would welcome additional participation. Please visit to read the TOR and agendas for upcoming meetings

From GPS to GNSS

Our panelists discussed how GPS technology has evolved, what it means to aviation, and the strategy driving the technology that’s captured in the new standards. Watch

RTCA thanks each of our panelists from MITRE, FAA, Airbus and Texas A&M for an informative discussion.

World ATM Congress, June 21-23, 2022

RTCA pleased to support World ATM Congress as a sponsor. Catch our interview with Brian Bruckbauer, President and CEO of ATCA, discussing the new industry segments participating in World ATM Congress and ATCA Annual this year. Brian shares how ATCA is working collaboratively across the industry to enable more ATM innovation.  REGISTER free for World ATM Congress:

RTCA/EUROCAE Software Advancement Workshop Yields Three Main Outcomes

RTCA and EUROCAE organized a Workshop, hosted by Volocopter on 17 May 2022 in Bruchsal (Germany), to ensure the joint committee work, EUROCAE WG-117 with RTCA SC-240, is on the right track. The Software Advancement workshop provided the opportunity for 14 experts on site and more than 100 online, from regulators (FAA, EASA) and industry (software, UAS, VTOL domains) to exchange ideas and identify a shared way forward.

Attendees at the workshop met for 6 hours, and at the conclusion of the discussions EUROCAE and RTCA were able to identify three important outcomes from the workshop.  First, they proved the need for each entity to agree on the scope of low-risk applications, identifying possible implementation use cases and defining acceptable Software Levels of Assurance.  Second, participants agreed further assessment and agreement is needed to make sure standards will be useable by the aviation community.  And finally, the group identified the need for additional participation by contributing experts from the non-conventional aviation sector moving forward. More..

The 2021 William E. Jackson Award was presented to Andrew Videmsek for his Thesis entitled “Aircraft-based GPS Augmentation Using an On-Board RADAR Altimeter for Precision Approach and Landing of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.”


In March, RTCA hosted its 17th live webinar, inviting Karina Drees, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), to discuss the past, present, and future of commercial spaceflight, with RTCA President and CEO Terry McVenes.

Drees, who has spent 20 years working in the space and technology industries, not only heads the CSF, the 90-member leading trade organization concerned with the spectrum of spaceflight, including launch and reentry, infrastructure, satellite operators, university and institution partnerships and other facets.  She is also Chair of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), advising the FAA of the work of its three Working Groups on regulation, safety, and innovation and infrastructure.

This hourlong discussion began with Drees providing a brief history of commercial spaceflight, from its beginnings in 2001 with the first space tourist, to today, as an industry employing 75,000, responsible for 55 commercial spaceflight launches in 2021, mostly by members of CSF.  Drees also outlined goals for the future, including advocating for important commercial space issues, hosting and organizing events that bring together key leaders, developing consensus, promoting policies and regulations that allow the industry to grow and flourish safely, and coordinating and amplifying communication with policymakers and the public.  She urged viewers to look at commercial spaceflight not as billionaires going into space, but as an industry that creates significant, positive, and actionable changes for participants, and as a growing industry that will inspire future innovation.

Drees spoke several times throughout the Webinar about the importance of developing standards and the process it will take.  As this is a new and emerging industry, the development of standards based on FAA best practices is important for commercial spaceflight, said Drees.

Thus far, the industry has worked through six standards that have been published with more on the horizon for 2022 and 2023.  They are working closely with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), in addition to FAA and COMSTAC, and have set up three working groups, on regulations, safety, and innovation and infrastructure, to provide input.  These groups forward their recommendations, which then help inform and develop standards.

“This process has been going on for quite sometime and I expect we’ll see a lot of progress in the next year or two, to the point that the standards will help our regulators as they develop and think about future regulation,” said Drees.

McVenes led Drees though a series of attendees’ questions that ranged from safety, regulation, affordability, collaboration, technical hurdles, collaboration with local communities, cybersecurity, and transparency, to her thoughts on projecting the number of launches we can expect in the near future.

Drees talked about the aviation ecosystem and how companies, vehicles, and spaceports could be more easily integrated into the NAS.   She detailed her thoughts on how the industry could innovate and have the freedom to develop without limits to sizes, designs, and capabilities, while remaining committed to safety and assisting with reasonable and needed regulations.  She concluded the Q&A portion of the webinar by encouraging STEM education opportunities and urging the industry and academia to assist with the challenge of talent acquisition.

If you missed this webinar, click here to view.

RTCA hosts monthly live webinars, examining a range of issues and allowing members and guests to pose questions to industry experts.  Past webinars are available on RTCA’s YouTube channel.  RTCA would like to thank Gold Sponsors ALPA, Collins Aerospace, and NATCA for their support.  The next webinar is scheduled for April 20 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The focus of April’s webinar will be the challenges of frequency spectrum allocation.

RTCA and EUROCAE Hold First Meeting of New Joint Committee/Working Group on Spectrum Compatibility

On March 10, 2022 RTCA and EUROCAE held the kickoff meeting for the new joint Special Committee 242 (SC-242) / Working Group 124 (WG-124) focusing on spectrum compatibility. The group was established to develop guidance material on future spectrum use and best practices in aviation. Their work will focus on developing guidelines for standards related to spectrum management and identifying aerospace constraints impacting spectrum management.

Anna von Groote, Director General of EUROCAE, stated “The efficient use of spectrum is an important topic and essential for the safety of aeronautical systems, which often co-exist and share frequency spectrum resources with those of other industries. The work of WG-124/SC-242 will be a crucial part of aviation’s response to the challenges arising from this issue. As a joint activity between RTCA and EUROCAE, it will develop globally applicable guidance, in coordination with our international partners, and provide a platform to build consensus of all relevant stakeholders.”

Terry McVenes, President and CEO of RTCA, added “The importance of this work cannot be overstated. The implementation of modern technologies and any potential impact to frequency spectrum allocations have billions of dollars at stake including significant infrastructure and national security interests. It is my desire that this joint RTCA-EUROCAE effort will serve as a model for how governments and industries can come together, work collaboratively towards solutions early in the development process, and subsequently deploy new technologies all while protecting the safety of the traveling public.”

The joint group meets next on April 20. For further information about participating in SC-242/WG-124, please contact the RTCA Program Director at or the EUROCAE Technical Programme Manager at


Upcoming Training Dates

DO-178C SupplementsJuly 1
Safety Management Systems (SMS) OverviewSeptember, 12-15
Airworthiness Security Certification September 12-15
DO-178C w/ SupplementsSeptember 19-23
DO-160GOctober 17-21
For more information about the Digest, please contact:
Name: Ka'Nika Evans

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