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ATCA Launches Blue Skies Initiative Industry Engagement to Inform NAS Vision in a Post-NextGen / COVID-19 World

05 Aug 2020
ATCA Launches Blue Skies Initiative Industry Engagement to Inform NAS Vision in a Post-NextGen / COVID-19 World


The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) is pleased to announce the next step of the Blue Skies Initiative (BSI). Formally launched in September 2019, BSI’s mission created a public-private collaborative effort to define a short-, mid-, and long-term vision for the integration of new capabilities into the national airspace system (NAS). BSI provides a venue in which the broad spectrum of aviation stakeholders can provide input and engage with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to leverage innovation, drive sound infrastructure investments, and ensure safety and accountability in the aviation system, in line with FAA Administrator Dickson’s key strategic focus areas.

Today marks the formal launch of the industry engagement platform to both inform the public and seek the inputs from stakeholders from traditional aviation (airlines, air traffic controllers, Department of Defense, FAA) and new entrants (commercial space companies, the UAS and UTM communities, advanced air mobility innovators, and high altitude operators), as well as aviation ports (airports, spaceports, and vertiports).

“As we reach the FAA’s sunset on NextGen in 2025, we have to start to imagine what challenges we have to face in the next decade of aviation,” says ATCA BSI Executive Committee Chair Gene Hayman. “NextGen laid the foundation that supports traditional aviation stakeholders. BSI is looking at what we need to do to facilitate the acceleration of new entrants into the NAS. Industry must help to inform that vision.”

This is the challenge that the BSI Working Committee is addressing.

“The BSI Working Committee is focusing on what we believe are the pillars that will pivot from today’s NAS to one that reimagines a future, more interoperable ecosystem,” says BSI Working Committee Chair Frank Matus. “Identifying operational needs of stakeholders, infrastructure capabilities, new business models, and a transformed workforce are the areas the team is addressing. This process will help the NAS evolve and specifically address the needs of its growing list of stakeholders.”

The BSI Working Committee launched the effort around the “BSI Strategic House” as a way to identify the key challenges aviation faces in the next 15 years. 

ATCA plays an important role in the collection and dissemination of the needs of not only its membership, but the needs of other professional aviation member organizations. 

“The BSI working group is designed to be a dynamic team that addresses challenges through short-term engagements that inform the BSI outlook,” says ATCA President and CEO Peter F. Dumont. “We look forward to including liaisons from all industry groups so that we speak in unison and help inform investment decisions. The Working Committee needs your input and feedback to engage in a meaningful way with the FAA.” 

ATCA will be releasing a “BSI Question of the Week” in ATCA’s daily Headline News e-newsletter to seek member feedback that will inform the BSI Outlook—the mechanism that we will inform the FAA as to what the industry sees as emerging use cases, technologies, and trends.

ATCA is proud to be leading the industry response to informing the FAA’s future vision. This partnership and engagement with the FAA is critical to the evolution of the NAS beyond NextGen.

 ATCA is embarking on this exciting journey into the Blue Skies. 
Won’t you join us?


About ATCA

The Air Traffic Control Association ( is dedicated to the progress and safety of air traffic control and works to advance the technology and professionalism of the industry. Founded in 1956, ATCA serves nearly 3,000 members from throughout the world - individual air traffic controllers as well as aviation associations, educational institutions, the government and military, and companies managing and providing equipment and services in the aviation community.


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  • Welcome to the ATCA
  • Welcome to the ATCA
  • 06 Jun 2018
    Hon. Linda Hall Daschle Named 2018 Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award Winner

    The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) is pleased to announce that former FAA Acting Administrator Linda Hall Daschle has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, one of the most prominent awards in aviation and ATCA’s highest honor.

    A pioneer for women in air traffic management, Daschle was the first female to hold the post of Acting Administrator for the FAA. She began her aviation career in Kansas nearly 45 years ago as a licensed weather observer for the agency. In 1993, she was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate for the position of FAA Deputy Administrator. One of her first tasks involved an assessment of the agency’s key air traffic modernization program called the Advanced Automation System which was eventually overhauled, saving the agency an estimated $1.6 billion. She also oversaw the advancement of new regional airline safety regulations and conducted a review of the agency’s safety and surveillance program, which resulted in one of the single largest hires of new safety inspectors in FAA history. 

    Ms. Daschle has held numerous government and private-sector leadership positions, including with the American Association of Airport Executives, the Air Transport Association, the former Civil Aeronautics Board, and with the law firm of Baker Donelson. She is currently President of LHD & Associates, Inc, and serves on the board of Aireon, LLC.

    In accepting the Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, Ms. Daschle joins aviation greats, including Delta’s Richard Anderson, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, the Hon. Jane Garvey, Boeing’s Neil Planzer, former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, and pilot A. Scott Crossfield. (View press release HERE.)

    Tickets will be available this month. For more information, visit

    Established in Washington, D.C., in 1956 by a group of air traffic controllers, the Air Traffic Control Association has been from the outset dedicated to progress in the science of air traffic control and the preservation of a safe flight environment.
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