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). ATCA Annual introduced a new programming series in 2020. Together we will move our industry forward!

 Participants joined for 1.5-hour sessions. Each session pertained to one of FAA Administrator Steve Dickson's five strategic focus areas. The sessions were very small, between 20-30 attendees each, to allow for in-depth conversations and to build meaningful connections. Each session included opening remarks and closing remarks from our invited guests and three small roundtable sessions to discuss key topics and questions on the session's theme. 

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2020 ATCA Annual Roundtable Sessions

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

Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!

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

Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!

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

Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!


Driving Change Through Data and Technology

The telecommunications world has undergone an extraordinary degree of transformation since 2002, when the original FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) contract was awarded, and predictions are that the pace of change will accelerate over the next decade. The FAA’s The Future of the NAS (2016) document laid out the FAA’s plans for the continued modernization out to 2025, but what comes next? New technology, increased data processing power, and the advent of 5G will change the landscape of our industry. Third party providers are already helping enable safe UAS integration. In addition, cyber capabilities must evolve along the way to support new paradigms and counter sustained, malicious attacks and to enable the safe incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI)- and Machine Learning(ML)-based technologies. Join us to explore how we can harness data and technology to take us into the next decade and beyond.

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

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

Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!


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

Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!

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

Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!

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

Click HERE to view some key takeaways from this great session!

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