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RTCA Fall Digest

September 20, 2022
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The Members of the PMC approved four standards:

  • DO-262F Change 1– Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Avionics Supporting Next Generation Satellite System, presented by SC-222, Aeronautic Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS(R))
  • DO-365C – Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Detect and Avoid (DAA) Systems, presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • DO-397 – Guidance Material: Navigation Gaps for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • DO-398 – Operational Services and Environment Definition (OSED) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Detect and Avoid Systems (DAA), presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

One document, DO-387 Change 1 – Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor Systems for Traffic Surveillance, was presented but was sent back to SC for proper formatting.  Once done, the PMC members will conduct an electronic ballot if completed prior to the next PMC meeting. More 




UAS integration into the NAS is a multi-faceted and ever-evolving challenge, which is why SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, has over 500 members and is one of the largest committees within RTCA.

In September, SC-228 delivered four documents to the Program Management Committee (PMC).  The first (DO-387 Change 1) is an update to standards for airborne electro-optical (cameras) used to detect and track aircraft, including those that may be flying without a transponder (i.e. non-cooperative). “Not only do UAS need to have onboard systems that can detect and avoid, which replaces a pilot in the air who could visually see what exists around an aircraft, but due to the practical limitations of cameras and the bandwidth challenges,  the highly detailed images must be processed onboard the aircraft so that only a track is sent down to the traffic displays for the remote pilot,” said SC-228 Co-Chair Jim Williams of AURA Network Systems.

The second document (DO-365C) is a revision to the Detect and Avoid (DAA) MOPS that incorporated the EO/IR sensor and uses several classes of equipment to set standards for alerting and guidance through all phases of a flight.  The third document (DO-398), which was originally a part of DO-365C, pulls out the topic of operations services, placing it into its own document so that the committee can continue to add operational concepts before equipment standards. “With the publication of DO-365C and the various sensor MOPS, we are proud to say that there are DAA standards for all phases of flight and for multiple categories of uncrewed aircraft,” said Brandon Suarez of Reliable Robotics, the other Co-Chair of SC-228. “This has been a community-wide effort for over a decade.” Read More

New Scholarship Program for Elementary Educators

Washington, DC, August 8, 2022 – The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) and RTCA, Inc. have partnered to create a new scholarship program targeted at educators teaching grades Pre-K – 6th grade.

The purpose of the scholarship program is to support educators who are sharing the concepts of aviation and aerospace to students through the curriculum portion of the NAHF’s education program Discovering Flight with the NAHF. The STEM/STEAM-based, multidisciplinary curriculum, Problem Solving with Wilbur and Orville, is created by ThinkTV/PBS and is a part of a course designed to empower educators and inspire students. The ideal candidates are educators who have a special interest in enhancing their knowledge and abilities through professional development in STEM/STEAM fields and who are pursuing continuing education credits in this area. RTCA and NAHF plan to award 5 scholarships in the next 12 months.

“With the unmatched power of PBS, the NAHF created a program designed to enable teachers to confidently teach STEM concepts”, said Amy Spowart, President and CEO of the NAHF. “The generous scholarships provided through RTCA create an opportunity to bolster educators’ knowledge of STEM by providing support for additional development. We are thrilled by this partnership and what it offers educators.”

The scholarship application will be available by September 30 and will be distributed in curriculum binders and through other channels including https://rtca.org and https://nationalaviation.org.

The scholarship program supports both organizations’ core values including demonstrating community support through enhanced STEM/STEAM educational opportunities, particularly in underserved areas.

“We are excited to team up with the National Aviation Hall of Fame on this unique and vital scholarship program”, said RTCA President and CEO, Terry McVenes. “This program will provide a means for elementary school educators to confidently inspire future generations of aviation professionals that will attract and enhance our great industry.”


White House Summit on Advanced Air Mobility

RTCA President Terry McVenes took a trip to The White House to participate in a Summit on Advanced Air Mobility. The agenda included keynote presentations from NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson, Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen, and DOT Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, Carlos Monje. There were several breakout sessions during the day including “The Benefits of UAS/AAM to the Public”, “U.S Transportation in 2050”, and “Promoting American Global Leadership and Competitiveness into the 21st Century”.

RTCA participates in a new publication on spectrum policy

Earlier this year, RTCA participated in a multi-day roundtable meeting with a wide range of spectrum stakeholders to discuss key elements required for an effective government spectrum policy.  The result is a new publication from Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute, Toward A National Spectrum Strategy.  RTCA’s President and CEO Terry McVenes, participated in the meeting. “I was honored to have participated in this Aspen Institute project”, said Terry McVenes, President and CEO of RTCA, Inc. “Collaboration with industry stakeholders in developing a national spectrum strategy is vital to the successful and safe integration of new technologies that will impact telecommunications, transportation, and other industries that depend on effective government management of spectrum.”

RTCA gathers spectrum stakeholders in a joint virtual event with EUROCAE later this year.  The event, Global Aviation Spectrum Summit, will take place December 13-14, 2022.

RTCA Announces Ratification of New Governance Board Members

Washington, DC, July 12, 2022 – RTCA, Inc. announced that at its recent annual membership meeting, three new members were elected to the Board of Directors along with the re-election of five Advisory Board members. All will serve 2-year terms. Newly elected to the RTCA Board of Directors were Ms. Tracy Lamb (Quantum AI), Ms. Carol Huegel (L3Harris Technologies), and Mr. Jim Coon (Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association). The RTCA Advisory Board members elected were Mr. Chris Oswald (Airports Council International-North America), Mr. Randy Kenagy (Air Line Pilots Association, International), Mr. Eddie Mayenschein (Transportation Security Administration), Mr. James Viola (Helicopter Association International), and Mr. Steven Ruehl (Department of Defense). The Board of Directors also elected Mr. Lorne Cass (NowGen Solutions) to serve as RTCA’s Chairman of the Board, replacing Mr. Steve Brown (NBAA) who is retiring later this year.

“I’m extremely pleased with the election of our new board of directors members and advisory board members,” said RTCA President and CEO Terry McVenes. “We continue to strengthen both the depth and experience of our governance structure which is vital as RTCA continues its long-standing elite status in the aviation community. I also thank Steve Brown for his years of service leading the RTCA Board of Directors and congratulate Mr. Lorne Cass for taking on the leadership role for our board.”

Upcoming Training Dates

DO-178C w/ SupplementsSeptember 19-23, December 5-9
DO-160GOctober 17-21, December 5-9
Human FactorsOctober 25-27
DO-254December 12-15

Hitting the Skies

While family and friends in other industries are taking time off this summer to relax, our industry has ramped up to meet the challenges of burgeoning summer travel amid hardships caused by staffing shortages and rising costs.  Yet despite these obstacles, more than 8.8 million passengers passed through TSA checkpoints at our nation’s airports on 4th of July weekend and our members continue to be busy.  After all, amid increasing summer travel, other activities continue to be busy as well, since UAS use ramps up in the summer, and, of course, aircraft manufacturing and aviation innovation do not take summers off.

At RTCA, we haven’t stopped moving either.  We recently saw a contingent from SC-230, Airborne Weather Detection Systems, visit the Kansas City-based Garmin headquarters for the group’s 30th plenary, and other recent activities to include presenting an RTCA Human Factors course and a course on Supplements to DO-178C. We are also proud to have published nine new documents approved at out June PMC Meeting.

To keep up with all our work the rest of the summer and throughout the year, we urge our members to follow our announcements on our website and on social media.  First, be sure to visit our YouTube channel to keep abreast of the latest webinars and videos.

Videos released this summer include “From GPS to GNSS,” a look at the 2022 William E. Jackson Scholarship Award Winner Andrew Videmsek, an interview with ATCA President & CEO Brian Bruckbauer on Propelling Airspace Integration Forward, and the webinar “Beyond 5G:  Ensuring Future Spectrum Compatibility,” a discussion of the need for global allocation of aviation spectrum to allow for uninterrupted movement of aircraft.

Our July Webinar, “Human Factors in a Total Systems Safety Approach,” took place on July 27th. If you were unable to watch the live discussion with RTCA CEO Terry McVenes and guests, Dr. Kathy Abbott (FAA), Gretchen Haskins (HeliOffshore), and Dr. Ratan Khatwa (Boeing), catch it now on our YouTube channel.

In addition to catching up on our 92 YouTube videos, make sure you are following RTCA on Twitter @RTCAInc.  RTCA’s LinkedIn account is a great way to find out about our new members—more than a dozen added so far this summer—and to see how we are connecting with other entities, such as during the recent World Air Traffic Management Congress and the FAA-EASA Safety Conference, for which we signed on as a bronze sponsor earlier this summer.

As always, we thank RTCA members for their continued engagement and for all of your hard work.  We wish our friends a fun summer and we will be thinking about all of our colleagues, particularly on August 19, when we celebrate National Aviation Day.

RTCA Special Committee Round-up August 2022

Aug 15-19 – SC-227 Standards of Navigation Performance (w/EUROCAE WG-85) met in joint Plenary to work on both DO-283C, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Required Navigation Performance for Area Navigation and DO-257C, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for the Depiction of Navigational Information on Electronic Maps. The committee successfully considered and approved items that were related the changes that were approved in DO-236D, the MASPS for RNP, into the MOPS.

Aug 23-25- SC-237 Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS) (w/EUROCAE WG-110), met in joint virtual plenary and continued their work on a new MOPS for helicopter on-shore operations.

Agendas for all Plenary meetings of RTCA Special Committees and recent news from our special committees can be found at: https://www.rtca.org/committees-overview/ 

RTCA SC-227 and EUROCAE WG-85 met the week of August 15th to make progress on completing the next revisions of their MOPS

Addressing Future Spectrum Compatibility for Aviation

In a recent RTCA webinar, panelists from FAA, Aviation Spectrum Resources, Garmin and ALPA discussed how the rapidly changing wireless spectrum environment has created a challenge for aviation standards designed to meet all performance requirements under known and stable conditions. Aviation has now seen several cases where changes in adjacent band approved operations has caused serious concern about the continued performance of aviation systems.

The challenge is being addressed in a new joint committee with EUROCAE.  The new committee’s main goal is preventing future disruptions to aviation use of radios in the approved aviation spectrum bands.  During the webinar, the chair of the new committee, SC-242 / WG-124, Ed Hahn of the Air Line Pilots Association, shared the two main taskings of the joint group:

1. RF Performance of Aeronautical Standardized RF Systems

2. Spectrum Guidance for the Developers of Standards for Aviation Wireless Systems

In the webinar, Ed Hahn was joined by moderator Andrew Roy from Aviation Spectrum Resources, Michael Weiler from FAA, and Clay Barber from Garmin (Secretary of SC-242) to discuss topics including global allocation of spectrum to allow for uninterrupted movement of aircraft, the need for data in the promotion and protection of aviation spectrum, and steps aviation is taking to ensure that aviation standards evolve to remain aligned with spectrum regulations and uses in the future.  To view full webinar, click here.

Interested in joining the work of SC-242? Please visit www.rtca.org/SC-242/ for more information about the committee.


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

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