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RTCA Fall Digest 2023

October 3, 2023
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RTCA PMC September Meeting Highlights: New Documents, Terms of Reference Changes, and More

During its September meeting, the Program Management Committee (PMC) of RTCA conducted a comprehensive review and approval process, resulting in the endorsement of four new documents for publication and the approval of four Terms of Reference (ToR) changes. Chaired by Dr. Chris Hegarty from The MITRE Corporation, this 21-member committee plays a crucial role in ensuring aviation system interoperability, innovation, and adherence to FAA regulations. Notable discussions encompassed key topics, including:

Approved Documents:

  • DO-401 – Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Dual-Frequency Multi-Constellation Satellite-Based Augmentation System Airborne Equipment. This document supports validation for operations utilizing Dual Frequency Global Positioning System (GPS), Galileo, and Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) signals.
  • DO-404 – Minimum Aviation System Performance Standard (MASPS) on ATN-IPS End-To-End Interoperability and Certification, which provides guidelines for achieving global system interoperability in air-ground communication standards.

DO-401, DO-401 Supplement and DO-404 are available with detailed descriptions in the RTCA Store: https://my.rtca.org/nc__store  


  • DO-350B – Safety and Performance Requirements Standard for Baseline 2 ATS Data Communication (Baseline 2 SPR Standard) Vol I & II, outlining operational, safety, and performance requirements for data communication services supporting Air Traffic Services (ATS).
  • DO-351B – Interoperability Requirements Standard for Baseline 2 ATS Data Communication (Baseline 2 INTEROP Standard) Vol I & II, setting interoperability requirements for Air Traffic Service (ATR) applications supporting Baseline 2 Data Link Services.

DO-350B and DO-351B will be available soon in the RTCA Store.


Accepted Terms of Reference (ToR) Changes:

  • SC-214 – Standards for Air Traffic Data Communication Services – adjusted delivery dates for all five remaining documents.
  • SC-227 – Standards of Navigation Performance – added scope to EMD MOPS.
  • SC-223 – Internet Protocol Suite (IPR) and Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) – MASPS title change and date change for profiles suite delivery.
  • SC-230 – Airborne Weather Detection Systems – added a new deliverable concerning spectrum concerns and added co-chair.
  • SC-238 – Counter UAS Systems – Administrative change involving Government Authorized Representative (GAR) transition.
  • SC-240 – Topics on Software Advancement – combined SC-240 with Forum for Aeronautical Software and adjusted deliverables.
  • SC-242 – Spectrum Compatibility – adjusted delivery dates for three documents.


Other Items:

  • Resolved to establish a Technical Pilot Committee.
  • Presentations from the FAA and EASA regulation activity, Low Range Radar Altimeter special committee activity, and a NASA presentation on their activities associated with digital standards.
  • Further items of discussion included FCC NPRM on certain FM station power increases, documents for possible review for updating, on-going Advanced Air Mobility and Digital Flight Operations activity, and concerns of other special committees.

Mark your calendars for the next PMC meeting on December 14, 2023, where further advancements and discussions are anticipated.

28th Aviation Technology Connect Webinar Features Discussion between FAA and NASA on UAM ConOps

On Wednesday, September 13, RTCA presented Webinar audience members from 40 countries with a discussion of FAA’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ConOps, version 2.0.  Dr. Parimal “PK” Kopardekar, Director of the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute, led Noureddin “Nouri” Ghazavi, systems engineer at the FAA’s NextGen Technology Development and Prototyping Division, through a series of questions describing FAA’s processes for creating the v2.0 document and predictions of future pathways.

UAM ConOps 1.0 debuted in June of 2020, focusing on foundational principles, roles and responsibilities, and scenarios and operational threads.  ConOps v2.0, published in May 2023, reflects the continued maturation of UAM and incorporates feedback received on v1.0, as well as research outcomes and additional input from government and industry stakeholders.

Ghazavi said important considerations for v2.0 included laying out a foundation for UAM that meets performance and participant requirements, incorporates some level of tactical deconfliction or visual separation, and challenges UAM to share their intent with the aviation ecosystem.  In the hear-term, Ghazavi said changes are needed and a regulatory framework is necessary for safe integration.  Having aircraft certified may be necessary as well.  In the mid-term, a UAM corridor needs to be established and in the long-term, a regulatory framework will be needed.  Kopardekar and Ghazavi predicted the easier path forward at this stage is UAM with an onboard pilot and think FAA’s Tech Center, FAA Centers of Excellence and FAA’s UAS Test sites will help enable higher density operations in the future.

In the Webinar’s Q&A portion, Kopardekar and Ghazavi discussed the role of supplemental data service providers, remote identification, jamming concerns, the development of a blueprint for air taxis, and RTCA’s role moving forward.

To view this Webinar, click here.  RTCA would like to thank Gold Sponsors Collins Aerospace and NATCA.  Thanks also goes to Webinar sponsor ALPA.


The Richard Teller Crane Founder’s Award recognized the accomplishments of RTCA and EUROCAE in establishing the standards on which many of the technical advances in aviation have been built.

Over the summer, RTCA and EUROCAE received the Richard Teller Crane Founder’s Award for their accomplishments in establishing the standards on which many of the technical advances in aviation have been built. The award recognizes every year an organization for sustained corporate leadership through lasting contributions to civil aviation, and this edition took place at the National Press Club in Washington.

Dr. Hassan Shahidi, Flight Safety Foundation President and CEO, said, “developing standards that are used across global aviation is a process that requires a great deal of collaboration and consensus building. RTCA and EUROCAE have demonstrated for decades how critical aviation standards can be advanced through collaboration”.

Terry McVenes, RTCA President and CEO, said, “this award underscores the commitment of RTCA and EUROCAE towards promoting a culture of international cooperation and teamwork in the creation of standards that enhance safety and efficiency in the aviation industry. We are grateful for the recognition and delighted to continue our collaborative efforts in this regard”.

Anna von Groote, EUROCAE Director General, said, “we are deeply grateful for receiving the Richard Teller Crane Founder’s Award from such an important institution as the Flight Safety Foundation. We want to also thank our members, because this recognition reflects the tireless efforts of countless individuals in advancing aviation safety through standardisation. We will continue to work jointly with RTCA on common, robust and consensus-based standards in the interest of global interoperability, international harmonisation and innovation whilst always keeping safety at the centre of our activities”.

This Award recognizes the good relationship between RTCA and EUROCAE and the strategic partnership between the two organizations.

RTCA and EUROCAE Join Forces to Host the Aviation Summit: Future Connectivity

RTCA and EUROCAE are proud to unveil their collaborative effort in organizing the highly anticipated “Aviation Summit: Future Connectivity.” This virtual summit, scheduled for October 25, will unite prominent thought leaders and industry stakeholders, providing a platform to address the pivotal theme of datalink communication in aviation.

In an era where the aviation industry continually evolves, the importance of efficient and secure data communication has never been more evident. The “Aviation Summit: Future Connectivity” will serve as a strategic forum for aviation industry players to engage in a comprehensive dialogue about the challenges, advancements, and opportunities presented by datalink technology in modern aviation.

List of the sessions and confirmed speakers here:

Attendance to the Summit is complimentary. Event and registration detail can be found here.


Advanced Air Mobility Workshop #4 Recap

On September 12, 2023, RTCA hosted our fourth workshop on Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). With a focus on near-term implementation and a keen eye on future evolution, Praveen Raju from i28 illuminated the collaborative nature of AAM, emphasizing the need for diverse stakeholders to work together. The target year of 2025 for certifying the first electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft promises transformative applications across air taxis, cargo transportation, and vital medical services. The FAA is actively working on a regulatory framework for integrating AAM into the National Airspace System (NAS), a development anticipated by the industry.

Discussions revolved around the intricacies of accessing different types of airports, introducing automation, and the importance of a whole-of-government approach to infrastructure and regulation.

Learn more

Upcoming Fall Training

DO-160G, Environmental TestingOctober 9-13
DO-392, Information Security Event ManagementOctober 17-19
DO-393, Process Standard for Security Certification and Declaration of ATM ANS Ground SystemsOctober 25-26
Human FactorsNovember 28-30
*RTCA member organizations receive discounted rates!

RTCA Welcomes New Board Member Lisa Steffen

Washington, DC, August 17, 2023 – RTCA, Inc. announced the appointment of Ms. Lisa Steffen to the RTCA Board of Directors. Ms. Steffen serves as the Vice President and General Manager for Collins Aerospace Avionics Product Lines. She will replace Mr. Nate Boelkins from Collins Aerospace and complete his 2-year term on the board. With her selection to the board, she will join current board members Mr. Lorne Cass (Aero NowGen Solutions, LLC), Ms. Carol Huegel (L3 Harris), Mr. Chris Rocheleau (National Business Aviation Association), Mr. Robert Ireland (Airlines for America), Mr. Timothy Murphy (The Boeing Company), Dr. Kerry Buckley (The MITRE Corporation), Mr. Vipul Gupta (Honeywell), Ms. Tracy Lamb (Quantum AI, LLC), and Mr. Jim Coon (AOPA).

“It’s a pleasure to bring Lisa onto the RTCA Board of Directors, said RTCA President and CEO Terry McVenes. “Her 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry will bring important perspectives and ideas that will help shape RTCA’s future. I also thank Nate for his years of service to RTCA. He has been a valuable member of our governance team.”

To view a list of all RTCA Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members, click here.


RTCA Special Committee Recap: August 2023

Aug 1 – SC-230, Airborne Weather Detection Systems, held a virtual Plenary to discuss possible inclusion of new requirements for their MOPS addressing spectrum issues as directed by the Program Management Committee. The group determined a White Paper or RTCA Reference Paper would be appropriate. This also led to a Terms of Reference (ToR) suggested change.

Aug 4 – SC-238, Counter UAS, met jointly with EUROCAE WG-115 virtually to discuss the release of their SPR/INTEROP document for Final Review and Comment/Open Consultation (FRAC/OC) and adjustments to timeline for publication later this year. Unfortunately, they determined they were not ready and scheduled another Plenary at the end of this month.

Aug 10 – SC-214 w/WG-78, Standards for Air Traffic Data Communication Services, met virtually with EUROCAE WG-78 and approved DO-352B/ED-230B and DO-353B/ED-231B to enter FRAC/OC.

Aug 21 – SC-238, Counter UAS, met jointly with EUROCAE WG-115 virtually for a second time to discuss the release of their SPR/INTEROP document for FRAC/OC. They were successful and reached consensus to release the document for FRAC/OC. Aiming for a publication by the end of this year.


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

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