Grand Hyatt Washington •  1000 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Independence Ballroom B C

Modernization is a perennial process. As we approach the 2025 milestone for NextGen, we find ourselves asking again and again “What comes next?” 

Join ATCA on September 6 for a half-day discussion on the future of the National Airspace System (NAS) and how policy, operations, and technology will shape the next phase of modernization.

How much will aviation’s landscape change in the next seven years, and what does the future of aviation look like after that? With a boom in technology over the last decade, we need to change how we look at the transformation of operations, all the while leveraging newly implemented NextGen technologies to maintain the safest, most secure airspace system in the world. Regardless of if or when funding and FAA organizational structural changes occur, the aviation community is facing a fundamental paradigm shift in the functional and performance requirements of the global airspace system right now. The challenge will be to establish a conducive environment that will accommodate the increased pace of adoption of new technologies and new operational business models, such as autonomous vehicles and space transportation. 

This conversation is the second in a discussion series that ATCA started at the 2018 ATCA Technical Symposium in May.
The NAS can’t wait and neither can this conversation. We need your voice and expertise. 

 Won’t you join us?

ATCA Blue Skies Agenda 

Thursday, 6 September 2018
7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Registration Open Independence Ballroom Foyer
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Networking Breakfast Independence Ballroom
8:30 a.m. Welcome/Opening Remarks
Peter F. Dumont
President and CEO, Air Traffic Control Association

Gene Hayman,
Vice President, FAA Account Executive, CACI International, Inc.

Independence Ballroom 

8:45 – 10 a.m. Panel 1 – Policy

How do we leverage the successes of NextGen without repeating the mistakes of our past? Conversations and ideas abound regarding what business structure would best foster an increased pace in technology adoption and enable the operational changes our aviation system needs to address in order to remain the largest, safest, and most efficient in the world. This panel will focus on how policy changes could solve many of challenges we face today and what obstacles will need to be examined moving forward.


James Washington, JJW & Associates LLC

Donna McLean, PlanzerMcLean
Rich Swayze, Delta Air Lines
Nan Shellabarger, FAA 
Nathan Tash, FAA
Josh Turner, Wiley Rein LLP

Independence Ballroom 
10 – 10:30 a.m.
Networking Break
Independence Ballroom Foyer
10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Panel 2 – Technology

We are all aware of how fast technology changes these days. Our ability to adapt – and most importantly, implement – technological advances will determine how competitive we will be in the decades to come. How do we in the aviation community keep up? Looking beyond current topics related to autonomy, what’s next? Other industries are driving or leveraging advancements in artificial intelligence and block chain to meet their missions. Surely they’ll play a role in aviation someday. How does the (re)introduction of supersonic (or even hypersonic) transport play in the future of aviation and air traffic management? This panel will focus on how we can exploit these and other capabilities to move aviation into the next golden age.


Michael Hawthorne, Veracity Engineering


Vincent Capezzuto, Aireon
RK Paleru, Booz Allen Hamilton
Robert Pearce, NASA
Jim Piavis, Microsoft

Independence Ballroom
11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Short Break Independence Foyer
12 – 1:15 p.m. Panel 3 – Operations

The newest air transportation system entrants, some that travel high and extremely fast and some that travel low and slow, have proliferated faster and in larger numbers than we ever thought possible. At some point in each of their missions, all aircraft must share the same airspace, even if only for a few minutes. Historically, the place where policy determinations and technology enablers were pressure-tested for their safety and efficacy was in the control facility and, more particularly, on the screen in front of the controller working the sector. Will that be the case in the future, and if so, what will the operation on the ground look like when we add supersonic, UAS, and space flights, as well as hundreds of thousands of VLJs to airspace already congested with today’s fixed and rotary wing users? What will these users demand in terms of autonomy? What can they offer in terms of greater situational awareness? How much will the future compel the operation finally to evolve from air traffic control to air traffic management? Or possibly even air traffic monitoring?


David Grizzle, Dazzle Partners

Sean Cassidy, Amazon Prime Air
Kevin Hatton
, SpaceX
Chris Martino, Helicopter Association International
Jim Ullmann, NATCA

Independence Ballroom
1:15 p.m. Closing remarks
Gene Hayman
Vice President, FAA Account Executive, CACI International, Inc.

Peter F. Dumont,

President and CEO, Air Traffic Control Association

Independence Ballroom

last update: September 5

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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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