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RTCA June 2021 Digest

June 21, 2021
Home / News / RTCA June 2021 Digest

Standards Oversight Committee Acts on Emerging Technologies and Safety Oversight

RTCA’s Program Management Committee (PMC) held its summer 2021 meeting approving five 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.

Learn More

International Aviation Software Summit

Fully Virtual
Event registration includes access to 10 on demand sessions, and 8 live sessions.

Learn More and Register Free Here: https://events-rtca-eurocae.net/

Don’t miss:

A fireside chat with Ali Bahrami, FAA and Patrick Ky, EASA, facilitated by Terry McVenes, RTCA and Christian Schleifer-Heingartner , EUROCAE.

An interactive interview with ASTM and SAE on Applications for Today’s Software Standards

Forum for Aeronautical Software (FAS) Retrospective and Future: Complimenting the Implementation of Existing Standards

RTCA Webinar: Human Factors in Flight Deck Design and Certification Q & A

During RTCA’s May Human Factors webinar, FAA, Airbus, Collins Aerospace, Honeywell and Applied Ergonomics Group joined RTCA President Terry McVenes for a discussion on challenges and opportunities in flight deck design.

Panelists included Dr. Kathy Abbott (FAA), Christopher DeSalvo (Collins Aerospace), Colin Drury (Applied Ergonomics Group), Dr. Barbara Holder (Honeywell), Dr. Ratan Khatwa (Honeywell), and Dr. Florence Reuzeau (Airbus).

An engaged audience submitted questions to our panelists, many of which we did not have the opportunity to address during the 50-minute session.  We are sharing some of these questions and answers below.

For manufacturers, is the “Black Box” concept, by keeping the information away from the pilots of how systems work and behave under different circumstances, proven not to be as effective as originally intended?

Answer by Dr. Florence Reuzeau of Airbus:
This is a long-lasting question; What does the pilot need to know to operate the aircraft and what does the pilot not need to know? This is a point that should be addressed in design. Deciding to provide information or not to the pilot means that we know how and why this information will be used. We need to avoid overloading and distracting them from the main tasks.

How does human robot interaction and artificial intelligence-based piloting impact the human factors for the future; What are the key points a system engineer needs to keep in mind while developing AI based piloting?

Answer by Dr. Florence Reuzeau of Airbus:
Refer to an interesting paper that has been published recently by EASA-Artificial Intelligence -Roadmap: a human- centric approach for AI in Aviation.

Has a certification been issued for user interfaces of any advanced air mobility vehicles (i.e., flying cars)?

Answer by FAA:
The FAA is currently examining the full risk picture for advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft – certification, operations, airspace, and environment.  We in FAA Aircraft Certification are actively working with around a dozen companies to determine the certification basis for their new AAM vehicles, including flight crew interface requirements.  No AAM aircraft have been certified to date.

How do you plan to address the shortage of HF flight deck expertise?

Answer by Dr. Ratan Khatwa of Honeywell:
All stakeholders will need to work with universities to help drive the focus of human factors as it relates to the flight deck. Evolving the syllabus to cater for these needs would be very beneficial in developing engineers for industry.

How does a graduate psychology student go about getting the required talent?

Answer by Colin Drury of Applied Ergonomics Group:
The Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, the US professional body, has a comprehensive list of HF graduate programs in the USA and Canada. The equivalent Canadian society has a similar list, and to look worldwide the IEA (International Ergonomics Association) has a list of federated societies, many of which have similar lists. Below are all of these resources:


RTCA would like to thank our Gold Corporate Sponsors Collins Aerospace and NATCA, Corporate Sponsor AOPA and Webinar Sponsor (Include if we had one), as well as all participants and viewers.

WATCH Full Webinar here: https://youtu.be/JMLJcRNRuvw

Terry McVenes interviews Julian Thomson, Business Leader and Product Manager of Performance Software.  Julian discusses projects past and present including their work on the Dreamliner, focusing on the AAM space and more.  Watch Here

Committee News Header Image

Standards Oversight Committee cont’d.

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

·       DO-262F – Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Avionics Supporting Next Generation Satellite Systems (NGSS), presented by SC-222, Aeronautic Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS(R)).

This document contains minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) for avionics that provide Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (R) Services (AMS(R)S) by means of satellite communications technologies scheduled to become operational in context of the global and regional ATM and CNS modernization.  This revision includes the addition of an appendix which contained normative requirements for Iridium Certus AMS(R)S equipment.

·       DO-343D – Minimum Aviation System Performance Standard for AMS(R)S Data and Voice Communications Supporting Required Communications Performance (RCP) and Required Surveillance Performance (RSP), presented by SC-222, Aeronautic Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS(R)S).

This document contains MASPS for Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS(R)S) that provide safety communications to aircraft in airspace where 1) procedural separation is applied or 2) ATS surveillance services are provided.  Each system-specific attachment describes the system that provides AMS(R)S and will contain information detailing system compliance with the requirements in the main body of this document and verification plans. This revision includes the addition of an attachment containing requirements for Iridium Certus AMS(R)S equipment.

·       DO-230K, Standards for Airport Security Access Control Systems, presented by SC-224, Airport Security Access Control Systems.

This updated document of standards and guidelines for airport security access control and integrated systems incorporates the latest technological advances with substantive changes in the biometrics, credentialing, integration, procurement, and video surveillance sections and minor changes throughout other sections of the document. In addition, two new sections were added to the document covering facilitation and cybersecurity. Advances in Biometrics technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), neural networks, and facial recognition have been included in the biometrics section including international plans and references.

·       DO-304A – Guidance Material and Considerations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft System.

This is an release includes updates to the Use Cases to include scenarios for Cargo Missions, Survey Missions, High Altitude Platform Systems, and Urban Air Mobility.  It provides the aviation community a definition of UAS, a description of the operational environment, and a top-level functional break down. It is not intended to be the basis for airworthiness certification and operational approval of UAS.

·       DO-387 – Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensors System for Traffic Surveillance, presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft System.

This document contains MOPS for Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensors for Traffic Surveillance.  This system is a surveillance source for non-cooperative intruders for a Detect and Avoid (DAA) system used in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) transiting through the various classes of airspace and performing extended operations higher than 400′ Above Ground Level (AGL). It includes equipment to enable UAS operations in Terminal Areas during approach and departure for some airspace and off-airport locations. It does not apply to small UAS (sUAS) operating in low level environments (below 400′) or other segmented areas.

Four special committees (SCs) received approval for changes to their work plans.  These are SC-147 – Aircraft Collision Avoidance Systems, SC-214 – Standards for Air Traffic Data Communication Services, SC-224 – Airport Security Access Control Systems and SC-237 – Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System.

Additionally, the PMC discussed way forward for Spectrum Strategy and further collaboration with ICAO.  RTCA President Terry McVenes reminded all of the upcoming Software Summit scheduled for 23-24 June, being hosted in cooperation with EUROCAE.

NOTE: These new documents are available on the RTCA Store at: https://my.rtca.org/nc__store

Training Updates Header Image

RTCA Now Offering Safety Management Systems (SMS) Overview Course, taught by Kent Hollinger, The MITRE Corporation

RTCA  is now offering a new training course, Safety Management Systems Overview. Partnering with The MITRE Corporation, this course is tailored for individuals that may be new to aviation and will play key roles in safety management systems. Students in this class will have an opportunity to work an exercise in proactive Change Management risk assessment, allowing them to understand how to apply the concept prior to future operational changes.

“I am pleased to have worked with our colleagues at MITRE to develop this one of a kind course on Safety Management Systems”, said Terry McVenes, RTCA President and Chief Executive Officer. “This 4-day course is a great introduction on SMS and is especially suited for personnel from new entrants to the aviation system that may be unfamiliar with its concepts, components, and the importance of creating a positive safety culture.”

The first course is scheduled for July 12, 2021. Enrollment or additional information can be found on the RTCA training site https://www.rtca.org/training/.

All courses are set to take place in a virtual setting until further notice. See below for all upcoming training. 

RTCA Course Calendar

DO-178C, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment w/SupplementsJune 28 - July 2, 11am-5pm est. / December 13-17, 11am-5pm est.
Safety Management Systems (SMS) OverviewJuly 12-15, 1pm-5pm est.
Airworthiness Security CertificationSeptember 27-30, 11am-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

RTCA Upcoming Events

Free Virtual Events

June 23-24

Virtual Conference: International Aviation Software Summit co-produced by RTCA and EUROCAE

DETAILS & REGISTER: https://www.rtca.org/events/summit/

RTCA is Pleased to Support These Events

NATCA Communicating for Safety (CFS) – BRONZE SPONSOR
September 27-29, Las Vegas, NV

LEARN MORE: https://www.natca.org/events/cfs/

DASC – 40TH (Digital Avionics Systems Conference) – MEDIA SPONSOR
October 3-7, San Antonio, TX

LEARN MORE: https://2021.dasconline.org/

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

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