The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) is pleased to announce the next step of the ATCA Blue Skies Initiative (BSI). ATCA BSI is seeking industry and government feedback to inform the BSI working group committee’s approach in the development of the national airspace system (NAS) Future-Ready Framework. Our latest engagement will inform decisions that prioritize investments in the areas of infrastructure, operations, and research and development (R&D) activities that will shape the NAS in a post-COVID-19 world. 

The ATCA BSI survey allows us to gather inputs from stakeholders from traditional aviation (airlines, air traffic controllers, Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration) and new entrants (commercial space, UAS traffic management, advanced air mobility, and high-altitude operators). 

“ATCA BSI is actively engaging all aviation stakeholders and using that feedback to shape the strategic vision of the future NAS,” said ATCA BSI Executive Chair Gene Hayman. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, BSI and the working group committee (WGC) were creating a strategic vision for how we evolve to meet the needs of the NAS beyond 2035.” Infrastructure, Operations, and R&D are areas that encapsulate the vast majority of the challenges we as an industry face with or independent from the impact COVID-19 has levied on aviation. Each is interrelated and impacts how aviation meets the challenges of modernization.

“The areas that we identified as priorities for industry and government alike are a result of the committee’s work over the last year,” said ATCA BSI Working Group Committee Chair Frank Matus. “Infrastructure, operations, and R&D categories encompass the majority of the challenges the NAS faced prior to COVID-19 and in the recovery. Without tackling these areas head on, we won’t be able to evolve the NAS and maximize the resiliency and flexibility required to meet the needs of the aviation community in the next decade and beyond.”

The ATCA Technical Symposium (May 17-21, 2021) features specific roundtable discussions for these critical areas. The survey results will help the industry and government table leads take the pulse of the aviation industry and harness ideas to identify critical areas for investment and concept exploration. 

“The ATCA BSI working group has done a great job of wide industry engagement on these critical topics,” said ATCA President and CEO Peter F. Dumont. “Our goal all along was to gather feedback from a broader audience to identify the most compelling challenges to tackle first. This is exactly the type of work we envisioned when we set up the ATCA BSI.”

Formally launched in September 2019, ATCA 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 NAS.

ATCA’s latest survey activities are designed to stimulate conversation and identify priorities. The survey and roundtables will help to balance the needs of aviation stakeholders with the investments the FAA is making in the evolution of the NAS across infrastructure, operations, and future concept development. The feedback will contribute to the NAS Future-Ready Framework that will have an initial release prior to ATCA Annual in September 2021. 

ATCA is proud to be leading the industry response to the COVID-19 recovery and the shaping of the NAS beyond NextGen. 

Please complete this short survey to have your inputs included in the Blue Skies ahead.

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