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October 2004

ATCA Conference &

Attend the ATCA 49th Conference & Exposition!

The 49th Annual Air Traffic Control Association Conference & Exposition, scheduled October 31 - November 3, 2004 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.

This year, the conference theme is "Global Airspace System: Turning Vision Into Reality." ATCA promises an outstanding event, which will combine informative program topics and one of the largest exhibitions in ATCA history.

JPDO is participating in the event. We hope to see you there!

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OSTP to Weigh in on
National Plan
Principal Series
OSTP Principal Marty Phillips

The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy is best known for its ability to provide expert advice to the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.

However, when Congress wrote the language to create the Joint Planning and Development Office, it decided to change the OSTP's role from being an advisor to the JPDO's Senior Policy Committee to that of a full playing member.

JPDO Principal Marty Phillips - a 14-year FAA veteran - and now FAA Agency Representative on OSTP's National Science and Technology Council and advisor to OSTP Director Dr. John H. Marburger III on aviation matters explained the new level of involvement in a recent interview for the JPDO Web Site.

"Traditionally, OSTP looks at the balance of things. It does not favor a given solution. However, this change will allow Dr. Marburger and OSTP to weigh in fully as the National Plan is developed and implemented," he said.

Moreover, he pointed out that OSTP brings even more to the JPDO table. "OSTP can also be a facilitator - opening up doors and starting an important dialogue with such critical parts of government as the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council of the Executive Office of the President."

Mr. Phillips went on to note that the OSTP has been committed to the idea of transformation ever since it was first enunciated in the Walker Aerospace Commission Report. "Transformation of the nation's air transportation system is directly tied to our economy, security and defense," said Mr. Phillips. "We are also very strongly aware of how the U.S. aviation industry is struggling. This is a must do."

He further underscored the so-called "good government aspect" of what the JPDO is trying to accomplish. "There is a general acknowledgement that we must dramatically raise the level of our national air transportation system. However, until now there was no agreement on the manner in which to address the issue. Employing a multi-agency approach, aligning objectives and taking a disciplined approach to programs in accordance with a broader plan are critical to JPDO's success."

Mr. Phillips also believes that early JPDO accomplishments and victories can be seen as "stepping stones." One of these early successes could be the facilitation of the complex process leading to the "graceful integration" of UAVs (unmanned air vehicles) into the National Airspace System. "Ultimately, you may want a properly sanctioned governing and coordinating organization to provide standardization and standards for UAVs," he said.

However, Mr. Phillips also cautioned that a number of hurdles must be overcome. "There are cultural, industrial and international challenges. In addition each agency and department has its own charter and goals. Aligning a part of their initiatives can be very complicated for them. Moreover, we're dealing with international airspace and the interface and integration challenges they bring. We must also confront resource issues."

Mr. Phillips concluded his interview by noting that there is no real "end-game" for JPDO.

"The National Plan is a living plan that ushers in a long-term sequential development of airspace and air transportation out to the year 2025 in which growth and other emerging issues can be handled over present capabilities. This is a national imperative."

Envisioning 2025: Inside the JPDO Futures Workshop

Envisioning 2025

Last month in Colorado, a group of executives met to see the future - and consider how it will affect the aviation industry and their businesses. At JPDO's Transportation Users Futures Workshop, representatives of companies that depend heavily on transportation heard about potential future "scenarios" - potential trends or issues for the future - and considered a range of plausible "environments" that could result.

The scenario planning workshop is meant to help participants manage uncertainty, according to Charles W. Thomas of The Futures Strategy Group LLC. "This is a strategic planning process that factors in a range of plausible alternative future business conditions," said Thomas. "It provides a unique window into future enterprise requirements and issues."

The approach is not a new one. Companies including IBM, Monsanto and the Panama Canal, to name just a few, have participated in scenario planning workshops.

The workshop in Colorado focused on transportation users. Representatives of Toyota, UPS, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon participated. Previous Joint Planning and Development Office workshops involved representatives of the government and the aviation industry.

During the workshops, participants work in teams and consider a list of "drivers" for future trends and collapse them into broader, universal topics, such as national economic strength, the pace of globalization, and the future of aviation. From there, the participants "foresee" five potential future operating environments. For example, one team envisioned a world in which markets shift resources and capital around the world quickly and relentlessly. Another foresaw an environmental crisis.

With this perspective, decision-makers can "think" a decade into the future and develop wiser strategies to succeed.

The workshops are just one component used by the JPDO to develop the National Plan. VISION 100, the FAA Reauthorization Act, requires that the JPDO present the plan to Congress in December. The plan is considered a "road map" for government and industry as the nation's air transportation system develops in the next twenty years and beyond.

Finding NEO:
Experts Discuss Network Enabled Operations at ATCA/JPDO Symposium

On September 9, 2004, the Joint Planning and Development Office and the Air Traffic Control Association NEO Panel co-sponsored a symposium in Washington, DC on Network Enabled Operations (NEO) for Aviation. Attended by more than a hundred representatives from the private and public sector, it featured a diverse group of speakers who delved into how NEO relates to the Next Generation Air Transportation System, its potential benefits, and the changes and barriers that must be overcome if transformation is to be achieved. The following is a synopsis of the symposium's sessions.

Session 1: Why Transform?
In this first session, the four speakers addressed potential mechanisms to provide for increased capacity while ensuring that air defense and security needs are met. Dave Bushy, Vice President of Flight Operations for JetBlue Airways was first up and offered some examples of how "best to operate in the current system," such as by placing "more real estate in the cockpit" and through the greater use of Required Navigation Performance(RNP) and "electronic flight bags." He also suggested a redefinition of airspace where "we avoid separating airplane from airspace in lieu of airplane from airplane." In response to the question, "Why transform?" Mr. Bushy concluded, "Because we must transform to succeed."

Doug Davis, representing FAA Air Certification opened his remarks by noting that the events of September 11th underscored the critical need for access to real time data and therefore, a neo-centric operation. "We don't need new stovepipe systems," he said. Mr. Davis also reported that some progress has been achieved in making inroads into the Transportation Safety Administration - an important JPDO stakeholder. He concluded that "it is imperative that we act as government" and create a system where "we can knock on a gatekeeper's door" for access to critical safety and security information.

James Williams, FAA's Acting Director for Technical Operations ATC Communications Service said that the FAA's new Air Traffic Organization (ATO) is all about transformation. Mr. Williams laid out four key strategies to help achieve it: (1) achieve operational excellence; (2) enhance financial discipline; (3) increase capacity; and (4) ensure a viable future. "We have no choice but to transform," he concluded.

Filling out the panel was Darryl Jenkins, Visiting Professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University who gave a provocative presentation entitled, "Innovate, Consolidate or Liquidate: The Pain is Just Beginning" on what is occurring today in the U.S. commercial aviation industry. Professor Jenkins said that it is easy to innovate "if you are starting from scratch," but it is much more difficult for the legacy airlines.

Session 2: Transforming Air Transportation Through Network Enabled Operations
The second session focused on actually transforming air transportation through Network Enabled Operations. Tim Wallace, ISAC Team Lead and Director of Transformation Assurance for the JPDO said, "Ready or not, we're going to be networked." He noted that NEO is not a program in the classic sense, but rather a systems engineering approach in which "we share information in a way that's advantageous." While underscoring that NEO can convey "new benefits that we can't conceive," Mr. Wallace also pointed to a number of challenges including, security of sensitive information, pushing out NEO to the broader industry community, the present reliance on geographically-based air traffic control operations and assorted policy issues.


John Loynes, FAA's Product Team Lead for Data and Communications discussed how the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) vision is very similar to NEO - providing the "right information at the right time to the right place." He said that at the present time there is no ability to share all air traffic information, and that the collaborative decision making process provided through SWIM/NEO is very different from what currently exists. Mr. Loynes concluded that the biggest challenge to SWIM is the "ability to work with people to provide assurances that the information is timely and accurate."

Randy Kenagy, Director of Advanced Technology for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association brought a general aviation perspective to the discussion. He noted that in spite of the restrictions following 9/11, general aviation is alive and well and enjoying record sales. Moreover, general aviation is in the process of being transformed though new technology, according to Mr. Kenagy. Satellite navigation is being used for some or all parts of the flight and it is "already NEO to some degree at non-towered" facilities. Number one on his "top five" list was that air traffic control remain a government-provided, no-fee service.

Neil Planzer, Boeing's Vice President, Strategy, Advanced ATM Systems, looked at the "hidden challenges and obstructions" to transformation. He said that the root problem is that there is "no political imperative today for us to change." Moreover, he contended that previous technological failures and budget constraints could further contribute to hindering transformation. Mr. Planzer also argued that the hub and spoke system "embeds in the [ATC] system a capacity problem." He concluded that if transformation is to succeed, a strong argument has to be made as to its security value to the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (DHS).

Session 3: Technology is Not the Barrier
In this session, the speakers described how a lack of technology is not a barrier to using NEO. Anthony Simon from Networks and Information Integration in the Office of the Secretary of Defense said that under the NEO vision, data would be visible, searchable and accessible and this vision is directly tied to get getting required funding. He saw three challenges: (1) people don't want to share their information; (2) there is a very strong need-to-know security policy; and (3) transitioning programs from the current legacy systems.

Derek Smith, Information Technology Program Manager for the Transportation Security Administration in DHS saw five issues influencing the transformation towards NEO: (1) socio-political, such as the inability to motivate the workforce to change from the legacy systems to NEO; (2) missions may not be able to accommodate future needs and process controls; (3) full start-up funding; (4) security needs and; (5) the socialization of each issue.

Marc Viggiano, President of Air Traffic Systems for Sensis Corporation said that technology is not the issue and that there are no insurmountable barriers to NEO. He argued that it could provide better, faster, more reliable, affordable and cost-efficient operations and decisions. However, he said that the biggest concern to date is data integrity, e.g., "Is the data good and how can I tell that automatically?" Mr. Viggiano also observed the most important step needed at this time is a single, standard data link to provide a common way to get information back and forth from aircraft. He too made a call to action to get the transformation work started today.

Ken Arkind, Director of ATMS Network Centric Operations for the Raytheon Corporation said that a good example of how NEO can provide value and worth is the Internet itself. In addition to breaking down the stovepipe legacy, he saw some of the bigger challenges to NEO to include the need for multi-levels of security, a trusted network and the ability to provide shared situational awareness. Mr. Arkin noted that these challenges have been around for 10 years and quipped that to help meet them, we should "steal" the solutions developed by DOD.

Session 4: Transforming the Air Transportation System Culture Towards NEO
The last session of the symposium focused on people, technology and operational barriers that could prevent the aviation community from deriving the maximum benefits from NEO and transformation. Tom Chrzanowski, Director, FAA Programs and Domestic C41, Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems said the major challenges to a NEO transformed air transportation system were interagency cooperation, technology, safety and security, funding, business motivators and workforce acceptance. To break down some of these barriers, he suggested showing, for example, the strong return on investment and how NEO can improve workforce performance while cutting costs.

Robert Coulson, Senior Manager of Business Development, Civil Business Unit of the Harris Corporation, contended that the barriers to NEO are cultural. Specifically, he said that the 9/11 terrorists attacks initially prompted security concerns over voice and surveillance services and prompted the Government to halt any movement towards network centric operations and to retain the existing stovepipes. Mr. Coulson thought that it is only now that the Government is coming back to take another look at NEO and its benefits.

Professor George Donohue of George Mason University argued that any NEO must be designed for a highly non-linear system and be highly adaptive. He stated that continuing the existing paradigm will never improve system performance and that deregulated market forces will not solve existing and future problems. Professor Donohue further contended that the cultures of the FAA, DOT, Office of Management and Budget, Congress and the airlines must change if NEO is to be achieved.

John Fearnsides, Consultant, Lockheed Martin Corporation TSS argued that "if you want to change a culture you have to change the processes." As an example, he pointed to the highly successful User Request Evaluation Tool (URET) which was "developed in the counter-cultural" Free Flight environment and has now been "absorbed into the culture."

Mr. Fearnsides went on to tell the symposium that "we are not moving towards NEO as quickly as needed." He said that technological and architectural barriers exist, noting that operational and major system changes are hard to accomplish at the same time. Moreover, Mr. Fearnsides believes that "cultures do not change in the absence of well-defined reasons for change." To this end, he contended that safety and security are "more powerful catalysts" than efficiency and capacity. Mr. Fearnsides challenged the symposium's members to come up with a better definition of the capacity problem and the implications of not solving it.

Michael Wambsganss was the final speaker of the session and the NEO symposium. He too believes that it is important to demonstrate the value of NEO for aviation to justify the needed resources. Mr. Wambganss saw some of the potential benefits as including improved predictability and adaptability and the ability to address current NAS inefficiencies. Pointing to system that is highly interdependent, he argued that congestion must be addressed on a system-wide basis, taking into account its "non-linear aspects." Mr. Wambganss stated that we "should stop worrying about demand versus being reactive" and that we should start extending the network concept into the user community. Lastly, he observed that roles and responsibilities often change with information and automation. "Air Traffic Management is not about Air Traffic Control," Mr. Wambganss concluded.

Honored Guest Speaker
Vice Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski (ret.), Director of DOD's Office of Force Transformation told the symposium that transformation is made up of "many small jumps and a few big bets." Using GPS as an example, he said, "If you are not making big bets, you are a fixed target at risk." The Vice Admiral described the elements of transformation, which include: creating and anticipating the future; the co-evolution of concepts, processes organizations and technology; and a change in attitudes, values and beliefs. Pointing to change versus infrastructure, he said, "You have to decide which is the tail and which is the dog if you want to do transformation."

JPDO Highlights Strategies at AIAA Event

Speaking before the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' (AIAA) 4th Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Forum in Chicago last month, Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) Deputy Director Bob Pearce provided a snapshot of the some of the strategies needed to create the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

Currently, the JPDO is completing the draft of the National Plan -- the roadmap for 2025 and beyond - which will be delivered to Congress in December. The national vision is: "A transformed Air Transportation System that provides services tailored to individual customer needs, allows all communities to participate in the global economy, and seamlessly integrates civil and military operations."

According to Mr. Pearce, to fulfill this vision of a transformed system, JPDO came up with six clear,integrated goals:

  1. Retain U.S. Leadership in Global Aviation;
  2. Expand Capacity;
  3. Ensure Safety;
  4. Protect the Environment;
  5. Ensure Our National Defense; and
  6. Secure the Nation

Mr. Pearce observed that by their very nature, the goals are intertwined. "Each one affects the other. Each one links to the other. Each reinforces the other. This is truly the case of the whole being greater than the sum of its individual parts," he said.

Mr. Pearce went on to point out that JPDO then compiled eight different but interdependent strategies that will help it meet the six goals and objectives. Using "Establish an Agile Air Traffic System" as an example, Pearce went through the strategy's four components.

He said that the first involves a better allocation of human resources, such as automating routine tasks and defining the roles of dispatchers, controllers and pilots. "It also involves infrastructure improvements, including Conflict Probes and new automation that will allow data to be pre-checked, and the airspace to be more dynamic."

Second is a move toward performance-based service. "One size doesn't fit all, especially when it comes to aircraft performance these days. We'll start with improved navigation systems, reduced vertical separation and reduced separation standards and interdependencies between airport runways," the JPDO Deputy Director observed.

Third, he said, is the creation of the capability that enables dynamic adjustments in airspace and workload. "For example, you could standardize operations to allow for the dynamic allocation of airspace across facilities. We could eventually have the equivalent of HOV lanes in the sky," Mr. Pearce commented.

Fourth is improving air traffic management's response to uncertainty. "In other words, you have backup capabilities that ensure continued operations - no matter what," Pearce said.

Looking at all of the strategies in greater detail yields a full picture of the future system's characteristics and capabilities, he noted, adding, "The transformed system would be able to adapt to new and unanticipated changes in transportation, safety and security, and would better reflect our global knowledge-based economy."

Turning these strategies into action requires partnerships, Mr. Pearce said. "More than creating the Next Generation System, the JPDO is creating a new model of collaboration between government and industry. Neither government nor industry can achieve the transformation alone."

He told the group that the draft National Plan will be submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget on November 1st for its approval and delivered to Congress in mid-December. However, the work does stop there, according to Mr. Pearce. "We then continue to develop and implement the government-industry partnerships to achieve specific plans and programs. We continue to coordinate international harmonization of transformation plans and programs. We measure and report on progress. We continue to work and learn because the planning never really ends," he concluded.

AIAA is the world's largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space and defense, with 31,000 members.

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