President’s Message

Margaret Jenny, RTCA President

Over the course of 2016, thousands of participants in RTCA committees with many unique perspectives, ambitions and objectives, worked alongside the FAA, and found common ground on ways to overcome impediments to building and maintaining the world’s safest, most efficient and secure air transportation system.

In a year marked by divisiveness and uncertainty, the FAA remained focused on its mission to operate and modernize the National Airspace System. Turning to RTCA, the FAA requested industry consensus technical performance standards and guidance along with policy and operational recommendations. And you, the members of RTCA, delivered.

The NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) brought the FAA and industry together on reporting a common understanding of the benefits being derived by the implementation of high-priority, early NextGen capabilities. The NAC also provided consensus feedback on the FAA’s forward plans and the challenges of community outreach for new procedures.

Recognizing the emerging issues associated with new technologies, the FAA turned to RTCA to establish the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). Starting strong, the Committee is identifying recommendations for top issues such as access and federal preemption.

The Special Committees produced the first ever standards for Command and Control and Detect and Avoid for UAS. We updated our GNSS standards, and published joint (with EUROCAE) standards documents for digital data communications, as well as standards for Airport Security Access Control Systems, along with other critical aircraft systems.

The Tactical Operations Committee (TOC) provided valuable input on procedures, dealing with airport construction, PBN routing, and graphical temporary restrictions. Both SC-159 (GNSS) and the TOC responded quickly to an FAA request to review a proposal from Ligado, commenting on its potential impact on airspace operations and certified avionics.

The staff of RTCA are honored to serve as the trusted venue for forging consensus responses to the challenges given to us by the FAA. Together we have made powerful progress toward our collective goals of modernizing the air transportation system that meets the needs of airspace users that are increasing in size, complexity and diversity. You identified the challenges and then you came together to solve them.

- Margaret Jenny, RTCA, Inc. President