7- 11 December 2020
ATCA Annual Conference & Exposition

You have ideas. We have the venue.

Our virtual roundtables provide an opportunity to connect, ideate, and collaborate!
In today’s virtual setting, taking time to connect to bring together ideas from a diverse set of viewpoints is critical to continue successfully modernizing our National Aerospace System (NAS). Join us for a new virtual program prior to this year’s ATCA Annual and together we will move our industry forward!

 Participants will join for a 1.5-hour session. Each session pertains to one of FAA Administrator Steve Dickson's five strategic focus areas. The sessions are very small, about 20 attendees each, to allow for in-depth conversations and to build meaningful connections. Each session will include opening remarks from our invited guests and three small roundtable sessions to discuss key topics and questions on the session's theme. 



Won't You Join Us?

When: November 10 - 19, 2020 (10 sessions over two weeks). Each session is 1.5 hours long, plus 30 minutes on the front end to log in, troubleshoot, and network.

Invited guests will lead individual table discussions and include leaders from the FAA and federal government, industry, and academia. In order to attend, you must be a full access ATCA Annual registrant. Sessions are first-come, first-served, so register for Annual and reserve your seat today!

Our Networking Roundtable Sessions provide an unparalleled opportunity to connect, ideate, and collaborate with industry leaders! Participants will join virtually for a 1.5-hour session. During the session, participants will have the opportunity to hear remarks from our invited guests/table leaders. After we set the stage and explore the challenge, attendees with proceed into breakout sessions with the four invited speakers/table leaders to discuss key topics and three pre-crafted questions around the session theme. Each session pertains to one of FAA Administrator Steve Dickson's five strategic focus areas. The sessions are very small,  20 attendees each, to allow for in-depth conversations and to build meaningful connections. 

Our roundtable networking discussions will take place on, our virtual networking platform. Log-in credentials will be provide via email.

How to Participate:
Anyone who registers as a full-access attendee for ATCA Annual prior to the roundtables will have the opportunity to select a session. The sessions are limited in size (~20 people each) and are available on a first-come first-served basis. If necessary, a short waitlist will be kept, with priority given to ATCA members. The sessions are free with full conference registration. The sessions will be held on a platform called We will send instructions on how to access and navigate the platform before each session. 

Sample Agenda:

11 - 11:30 AM ET:
Attendees enter room, ATCA provides an intro to how session works and how to navigate the platform. Attendees receive their three table assignments.
    (Those who don't need help troubleshooting can network with other attendees.)
11:30 - 11:40 AM ET:
Introductions and short overview of problem set or topic by invited speakers/table leads.
11:40 - 11:45 AM ET:
Brief introductions of attendees through a poll or chat.
11:45 AM- 12 PM ET:
Question 1 roundtable discussion.
12 - 12:05 PM ET:
Table leads from each group  provide quick summary of discussion to all participants. Attendees will then be scrambled and assigned to another table.
12:05 - 12:20 PM ET:
Question 2 roundtable discussion.
12:20 - 12:25 PM ET:
Table lead from each group provide quick summary of discussion to all participants. Attendees will then be scrambled and assigned to another table.
12:25 - 12:40 PM ET:
Question 3 roundtable discussion.
12:40 - 12:50 PM ET:
Return to larger group and table leads recap session and key takeaways. 
12:50 - 1 PM ET:
Open networking and contact exchange.

Check out the topics and sessions below and register today!


Completed Sessions and Key Takeaways

Tuesday, Nov. 10

Driving Change Through Data and Technology
Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!

Table Leads
David Almeida, LS Technologies
Marseta Dill, FAA
Joshua Gustin, FAA
Sherry Yang, Boeing

Thursday, Nov. 12

2 - 4 PM ET:
Safety and Efficiency - A Mutually Beneficial Outcome
Traditionally, every entrant that wishes to operate in the NAS is required to complete a safety case. This regulatory process requires a data driven approach as well as strong guiding principles often provided by long standing standards.  With the increase of new innovations influencing the NAS, it is critical to maintain safety as the north star, especially as hundreds of thousands of new drones and the inexperienced pilots who fly them  can go from checkout to airspace in a matter of minutes. But safety cannot excuse unnecessary processes. How do we balance the need to drive efficiency in  processes while maintaining a best in class approach to safety? Can we ensure safety and also be open to novel ideas at the same time?

Table Leads
Mark Blanks, Virginia Tech
Amit Ganjoo, ANRA
Dr. Chip Meserole, Boeing

Monday, Nov. 16

11 AM - 1 PM ET:

Operating in this [Crazy!] New Norm

From 9/11 to the sabotage at Chicago Center to hurricane season, ATM systems are built to withstand crisis. COVID-19 has introduced an entirely new risk in the global airspace system, one that has already profoundly changed the aviation ecosystem and the behaviors of users that operate within it. We must also consider the rapid influx of new entrants into a system designed for specific types of aircraft and business cases. This session will discuss lessons learned from the integration of new entrants, the pandemic, and other crises, and explore new ideas on how we can better safeguard the ever-changing NAS.

Table Leads
Patricia Gilbert, National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Rebecca Guy, FAA
Dan Smiley, CGH Technologies
Heidi Williams, NBAA

2 - 4 PM ET:
Achieving More with Less

Airplanes may travel around the world, but it's money that makes the world go 'round. Operational excellence is not created by happenstance, and it doesn't come cheap. Modernization is a perennial process, one that requires foresight, thoughtful regulation, and financial predictability. So where does that leave us in 2020, the year of the unpredictable?

Table Leads
Carlos Cirilo, IATA
David Grizzle, Dazzle Partners
Markus Klopf, Frequentis


Tuesday, Nov. 17

9:30 - 11:30 AM ET: 

Embrace New Surveillance

From the ground to the edge of space, the airspace over our nation is one of our most valuable and versatile resources. Future aviation operations must accommodate the increasing demand for airspace access by traditional civil aviation users as well as new entrants to include low/mid/high-level UAS and ultra-high hyper/supersonic and commercial space vehicles. Natural and man-made barriers challenge our traditional surveillance methods. There exists a growing body of research into the potential use dense networks of small, low power, collaborative short range X-band radars as a supplement–or perhaps as an alternative–to today’s long range radars. Active electronically steered phased array technology, made cost effective by the advancement of telecommunication markets, provides key enabling technologies. The National Aerospace System (NAS) is changing, and so too must surveillance. Let's talk about how to make it sooner rather than later!

Table Leads:
Dan Hicok, FAA
John Moore, Collins Aerospace
Sarah Staab, DTIS


Wednesday, Nov. 18

2 - 4 PM ET:

Addressing the Frozen Middle - How to Support Creativity and Innovation

Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking used when we created them." The federal government, and specifically the FAA, have employed similar approaches to new technology and ideas for decades. While the FAA decided to drive to a new playbook moving from FAR to AMS in the late 1990s, we are still challenged by a framework that limits our abilities to innovate and access new ideas (and acquire and integrate those new ideas in a timely manner). Creativity begins at an organization by creating a culture that fosters, encourages, and embraces new ideas. Good ideas can come from all levels and all functions, so how do we more effectively tap into that wealth of knowledge? This session will focus on creating tangible steps towards innovative approaches, because let's be honest, "that's how we've always done it" just doesn't cut it anymore.

Table Leads
Mark Denicuolo, FAA
Donna McLean, PlanzerMcLean
Marvin Poindexter, FAA
Jeff Tornell, Source Selection Consulting LLC

Thursday, Nov. 19

9:30 - 11:30 AM ET:

Engaging the Workforce - Our New Normal

Given the ongoing pandemic, nearly everyone made a very rapid shift to a work from home (WFH) environment or a hybrid of in-person and remote work. it required us to break the preferences of our old ways of interacting with one another to achieve the goals of our missions. This experience, while challenging, has also provided an immense opportunity to rethink the way we work, which in turn provides the FAA, or any organization for that matter, new opportunities to internalize in their culture going forward. Join us in exploring how we can access, develop, and retain new and existing employees with WFH opportunities that harness and take advantage of new technologies and shifting ideas on what it really means to be a productive employee.

Table Leads
Catherine Lang, FAA
Chris Sharp, FAA
Lisbeth Mack, FAA
Jan Smith, FAA

1:30 - 3:30 PM ET:

Harnessing Technology - Adapting with the Workforce 

Technology changes quickly, but humans don't. New technologies only become valuable when people adopt and then adapt. With careful planning up front, short-term effort can have long-term benefits for everyone involved. Join leaders in FAA and industry to discuss the challenges of new technology affecting workplace culture. Share your experiences on how the aviation community can address the culture shift as new entrants and platforms impact our daily work.

Table Leads
Kim Coplen, FAA
Jim Linney, FAA
Stephanie Perlick, Evans Consulting