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RTCA Winter Digest 2023

December 20, 2023
Home / News / RTCA Winter Digest 2023

RTCA PMC December Meeting: Ending the Year on a High Note

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

Approved Documents:

  • DO-377B – Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards (MASPS) for C2 Link Systems Supporting Operations of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems in U.S. Airspace. This document presents and justifies the MASPS for a Command-and-Control Link System used to monitor and control a UAS.
  • DO-381A – MOPS for GBSS for Traffic Surveillance. This document contains requirements for the Ground Based Surveillance System (GBSS) for Traffic Surveillance systems implemented with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) transiting and performing extended operations in Class C, D, E[1] and G airspace, along with transiting Class B airspace.
  • DO-398A – Operational Services and Environment Definition (OSED) for Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Detect and Avoid Systems (DAA). This OSED provides a basis for assessing and establishing operational, safety, performance3, and interoperability requirements for DAA systems.

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Getting to Know RTCA’s new President and CEO, Carol Huegel

We are proud to welcome longtime RTCA advocate, former Advisory Board member and former Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Carol Huegel, as the new President and CEO of RTCA.  Carol brings to the position more than three decades of aviation industry experience, which includes past positions as Senior Vice President of Business Development, Advanced Research and Engineering Development with Metron Aviation; Managing Director of Air Traffic and Surface Management Strategy with American Airlines; and, most recently Carol supported L3Harris partnership with the FAA.

Carol is committed to continuing RTCA’s track record of serving its members with a deep dedication to safer skies through collaboration and an eye for industry needs to safely integrate new and emerging technologies along with new aircraft operators into the aviation ecosystem.  Looking forward, Carol says she is energized to take on her new role and help us usher in RTCA’s 90th anniversary in 2025.  The Digest sat down with Carol to ask a few questions as she officially takes over from President and CEO, Terry McVenes, who is retiring in January of 2024.

What made you fall in love with aviation?

When I was in college, I studied software engineering and thought I’d spend my career as a software geek (“geek” with much affection 😊).  I was presented with the opportunity to do what was, basically, an internship with ARINC which led to a full-time position post-graduation.  Only a few years in, I had been injected with the aviation serum as my personal orbit included exposure to airline flight operations, so you could say I became immersed in the industry and have never left.

Full Interview

Committee News

RTCA Special Committee Recap for November 2023

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2024 Training

Registration now open for 2024 training courses

Full Course Schedule

RTCA Workshop Explores Integration of AI/ML in Aviation Standards


Washington, D.C., November 28, 2023 – In a gathering of nearly 200 members of the aviation community, RTCA hosted a workshop on the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Critical questions were discussed including how to address these technologies in RTCA standards and if more RTCA standards would need to be developed to meet industry and regulator needs. The event brought together industry experts, regulatory bodies, and technology innovators to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by these emerging technologies.

RTCA’s Vision for Collaboration

The workshop opened with Terry McVenes, President & CEO of RTCA, emphasizing the importance of collaboration to enhance the aviation industry’s efforts. McVenes highlighted the goal of complementing existing initiatives, both within the U.S. industry and on a global scale. “The more we can collaborate, the better we will serve the industry in the long term,” McVenes stated. Rebecca Morrison, Senior Director of Standards and Technologies at RTCA, outlined the workshop’s objectives. These included defining the impact of emerging technologies, including AI/ML, on RTCA standards, identifying relevant documents or products for industry use, and initiating the drafting of Terms of Reference (ToR) documents.

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New RTCA Report on Spectrum Standards

RTCA is excited to announce the release of RR-001 entitled “Survey of the Radio Frequency (RF) Performance Standards for Aeronautical RF Systems.” A new type of publication for RTCA, reports help capture the technical environments in which our MOPS and MASPS will define requirements for functional aviation systems.

Understanding the Survey:

RTCA SC-242 and EUROCAE WG-124 collaborated on the 2022/23 survey, examining the RTCA and EUROCAE published standards for spectrum compatibility analysis with external systems. The survey results, encapsulated in RR-001, reveal significant variations in RF performance parameters across diverse systems.

Key Findings

RTCA and EUROCAE Joint Summit on Aviation Connectivity Followed by 400 Professionals

Paris/Washington, October 26, 2023: Hundreds of attendees from all around the world joined the “Aviation Summit: Future Connectivity” on October 25, 2023, bringing together leading experts and stakeholders from the aviation industry for discussions on the pivotal topic of datalink communication in aviation.

As the aviation industry continues to evolve, the significance of efficient and secure communication through data becomes increasingly apparent. The joint EUROCAE/RTCA summit served as a strategic platform for industry players to address the challenges, advancements, and opportunities presented by datalink technology in modern aviation, taking as a starting point the White Paper published by EASA, FAA, Airbus and Boeing.

“The event created an opportunity to hear directly from and collaborate with datalink experts and professionals from around the world to ensure our standards development efforts continually evolve to represent the industry’s needs”, says Anna von Groote, Director General at EUROCAE. “Standards are just an enabler – but an essential one to move from innovation to implementation, and RTCA/EUROCAE stand ready to support any standardisation activity when the time comes, but this is ultimately a decision of the industry to initiate when ready”.

“As the experts have explained during the sessions, many great initiatives have already been started, but much more has to be done. This Aviation Summit helped us to steer our standardization activities to remain on the forefront of aviation, ensuring up to date, future proof and essential standards contributing to safety in aviation”, says Terry McVenes, President and CEO of RTCA.


Summary of Sessions

Upcoming Training

DO-326A/DO-356AMarch 18-20
DO-355, DO-355, Information Security Guidance for Continuing AirworthinessMarch 21
DO-160G, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne EquipmentApril 1-5
DO-254, Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic HardwareApril 22-25
DO-178C, Software Conditions in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification w/ SupplementsApril 22-26

For more details about training, visit our training center or email training@rtca.org.


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