ATCA Bulletin | Issue 2, 2017

Page 1

Air Traffic Control Association

No. 2, 2017

FAA REAUTHORIZATION What About the Stakeholders?

IN THIS ISSUE: »» Preventing Rogue Drones from Endangering Airport Flight Operations »» Join us for World ATM Congress 2017 »» A Moment in Aviation History


No. 2, 2017 Published for

By Peter F. Dumont, President & CEO, Air Traffic Control Association

Government Disruptions


was not surprised to see that one of President Trump’s first actions was to issue a Presidential Memorandum ordering a hiring freeze. Candidate Trump included a hiring freeze in his “Contract with the American Voter” speech last October in Gettysburg, Pa. The freeze was number two on the list, right behind proposing a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress. The pledge promised “a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public heath).” While the freeze came as no shock, the swift roll out and the lack of details were jarring. Here is how it progressed: On Monday, January 23, the president signed the memorandum and the press covered it, but neither provided substantial details. Once the news crossed the wire, departments and agencies looked for additional guidance. The White

House website failed to keep pace with the president’s flurry of policy announcements, and the memo was not immediately posted online. Even the “beachhead” transition teams the Administration had deployed to departments and agencies were asking for more direction. On January 25, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released additional guidance, but it still simply stated, “Department and Agency heads may make limited exemptions that they deem necessary to ensure national security or public safety.” The FAA and its stakeholders hoped that air traffic controller candidates would be exempt from the moratorium, but of course the agency needed confirmation. NATCA wanted to tell their members how the freeze might impact their workforce. Without a definitive direction, the uncertainty was unnerving. The president has the right and power to order a hiring freeze, and President Trump

1101 King Street, Suite 300 Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone: 703-299-2430 Fax: 703-299-2437 President & CEO: Peter F. Dumont Managing Editor: Kristen Knott Director, Communications: Abigail Glenn-Chase Formed in 1956 as a non-profit, professional membership association, ATCA represents the interests of all professionals in the air traffic control industry. Dedicated to the advancement of professionalism and technology of air traffic control, ATCA has grown to represent several thousand individuals and organizations managing and providing ATC services and equipment around the world.

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March 7–9, 2017 World ATM Congress 2017 Madrid, Spain 2

ATCA Bulletin  |  No. 2, 2017

May 16–18, 2017 ATCA Technical Symposium Atlantic City, N.J.

© 2017 Air Traffic Control Association, Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of ATCA. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors of the editorial articles contained in this publication are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of ATCA. Cover photo:

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE is not the first to take such an action. Our country is carrying a debt of nearly $20 trillion, so some adjustments to our country’s budget are reasonable and expected. We now know that air traffic controllers are currently exempted from the hiring freeze. But political, government-wide decisions, such as a federal hiring moratorium, can put the FAA in a tailspin for days, even if they are not officially affected once the dust settles. Disruptive political decisions can come from either party, and any of the three branches of government. In fact, when I discuss the pros and cons of FAA reform, I always ask, “What problem are you trying to solve, and will restructuring solve that problem?” In addition to possibly providing a predictable and reliable revenue stream, avoiding political whims could be another problem we might be able to cross off the list if we were to restructure. The FAA has its own funding stream that does cover all but a small amount of its operating costs deemed to be government responsibilities. The Airport and Airway Trust Fund has a balance. FAA’s hiring has not added to the deficit. Air traffic control-

Time and again, the FAA is subjected to policies – sequesters, shut-downs, hiring freezes – that impede aviation efficiency and safety. lers are crucial to maintaining our citizens’ safety and fueling our economy. These facts should exclude FAA controllers from the government-wide budgetary and hiring policies that are often employed to control cost and federal workforce growth. But time and again, the FAA is subjected to policies – sequesters, shut-downs, hiring freezes – that impede aviation efficiency and safety. I am pleased to hear Speaker Ryan include FAA reform when he mentions the need to address infrastructure investments. I think that during this congressional session we will see a serious debate about FAA reform that will also engage top leadership who were absent in the past. As we debate FAA reform, we must look to our international counterparts, their lessons learned,

and their best practices as independent air navigation service providers (ANSPs). Of course, World ATM Congress in Madrid on March 7-9 will include many of the largest independent ANSPs. ATCA develops, builds, and manages the event’s Exhibition Hall, which is filled with both ANSP representatives attending the conference as well as ANSP-sponsored exhibits. I know that I will be taking advantage of the ANSPs present by discussing FAA reform at World ATM Congress. Will you be there asking questions with me? I hope so.

ATCA Bulletin  |  No. 2, 2017


FAA Reauthorization What About the Stakeholders? Kristen Knott, ATCA Managing Editor and Writer


ome September 30, it’s anyone’s guess what will come of FAA Reauthorization. It can be akin to waiting for water to boil. Regardless, David Grizzle and Kate Hallahan, each a consultant for Dazzle Partners, LLC and Team Hallahan, LLC, respectively, hypothesized this exact thing at ATCA’s Young Aviation Professionals (YAP) Lunch & Learn event on February 16. The last FAA Reauthorization bill was delayed over five years with 23 extensions before finally being signed into law in February 2012. With little more than 200 days until the next deadline hits, the clock is ticking. Will we face another extension come fall? As the NAS and the ATM industry grow more complex, it’s increasingly difficult to suit all stakeholders’ changing needs. It would be easy to assume that we’re screwed with the current process, but at the end of the day that’s all it is: an assumption. It can be hard to see the forest for the trees. During the volley between Grizzle and Hallahan, two industry veterans with decades of experience with the FAA, airlines, and on Capitol Hill, the discussion inevitably turned to budget. It begged the question: Is the process the problem or are we? “The current budget process is most ineffective and inefficient process, and it is also the best process,” said Grizzle. “At FAA, they attempt to do projects with timelines that vastly exceed our visibility.”


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Hallahan agreed. “Dramatic shifts aren’t always the answer. Look at our entire transportation system – the FAA is not alone,” she said, citing President Trump’s new infrastructure plan. So, where and when did the process start to go awry? Hallahan noted that problems started with 9/11 when FAA funds through airline ticket taxes went down; both agreed the budget sequestration of 2013 was a breaking point for the agency, creating issues that remain unresolved today. “We all live within a number — we are still living under those [2012] budget caps,” says Hallahan. “Appropriators are all ears if people have suggestions for how it can work better — short term extensions are horrible for planning and program execution.” In Grizzle’s opinion, the problem is the procurement system. “Budget shortfalls are not the primary problem. In federal government, they don’t have the capability to do incremental technology rollouts,” he said, citing the best practices of companies like Verizon. For Grizzle, the agency needs to first answer what is the best plan for the most people. “I don’t think you can get all stakeholders in agreement but there are some you have to get,” he said. “Major transformative legislation can’t be done with just legislators.” Of course, only time (about 200 days) will tell what becomes of FAA Reauthorization.

ATCA Bulletin  |  No. 2, 2017


The ATMosphere for Business


Register Today at

lobal air traffic management (ATM) professionals will gather at World ATM Congress 7-9 March 2017, in Madrid, Spain, for its fifth annual ATM event. World ATM Congress 2017 combines a large-scale Exhibition Hall, world-class conference, and exclusive networking opportunities, plus the chance to learn the latest trends and developments in the air traffic management (ATM) industry. A joint effort between the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) and the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), World ATM Congress has become a premier international event – organized for the industry, by the industry.

The Top Three Reasons to be a part of World ATM Congress in March 1.

One Stop Shop: Award-Winning Conference and Exhibition All in One Place.

In five short years, World ATM Congress has built a reputation for excellence, earning gold for Best Congress overall from the Eventoplus Awards in 2013 and Bronze recognition as one of the Best Congress/Conferences in 2014 at the EuBEA (European Best Events Awards) Festival. As a conference delegate, you have access to it all! World ATM Congress leverages its network to develop a programme that is both stimulating and thought-provoking. The Conference Programme provides a unique platform for discussing the future of air traffic management by bringing together the world’s foremost aviation leaders to share their insights, views, and expertise on the major issues and challenges facing the ATM industry. This year’s agenda, “Adapting to Change in ATM – Creating the Right Culture,” will focus on creating the best culture for change for airlines, stakeholders, and the ATM community as a whole. When the Conference Programme is over for the day, explore our Exhibition Hall, featuring over 220 stands and hundreds of the world’s most repected organisations.

2. Connect with the Community.

Everyone is invited! Join more than 7,000 industry professionals, including 80-plus air navigation service providers (ANSPs), air traffic controllers, manufacturers of aviation products, consultants, and representatives from government, military, and academia from over 130 countries around the world. With more than 150 organisations already signed on to take part in 2017, World ATM Congress is the largest gathering of 6

ATCA Bulletin  |  No. 2, 2017

air traffic control (ATC) and ATM technology showcased under one roof. Airbus ProSky, Boeing, Leidos, NTT Data, Saab, NAV CANADA, Thales, Rohde & Schwarz, and many more will return to Madrid. New exhibitors from Japan, Russia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States will be joining the show this year. In addition to the free Exhibition Hall, World ATM Congress 2017 is once again offering complementary educational programming in the Hall. Enjoy three Presentation Theatres showcasing over 120 presentations on research findings, new product launches, new ATC technology, and perspectives on ATM policy presented by EUROCONTROL, SESAR Joint Undertaking, the Federal Aviation Administration, private industry, labor, academia and more. Your customer will be at World ATM Congress. Will you?

3. Experience Madrid: Leisure, Accommodations, and More.

World ATM Congress 2017 will be a true celebration – taking a cue from its location of Madrid, Spain’s capital and the European Union’s third largest city. The kaleidoscope of Madrid’s neighborhoods and buildings help mold the city’s role in political and economic spheres. Its historic monuments stand as icons of a beautiful city filled with cafés and terraces. You will also find here some of the world’s most exciting museums in the “Triangle of Art,” including the world famous Museo del Prado. World ATM Congress staff is ready to help organise meetings and leisure activities in Madrid, including but not limited to: the venue (in a hotel or special location), catering, audiovisual requirements, business lunches, informal dinners, and more. If you are interested in any of the above activities and services, email Register Today at

HOW TO CONNECT: Website: Twitter: @WorldATM_now Facebook: LinkedIn: World-ATM-Congress-4395622

Join Us at World ATM Congress 2017

Preventing Rogue Drones From Endangering Airport Flight Operations A Counter UAS System For Airports Alan Kraft, CACI Executive Director for Cybersecurity Business Development


light 1972 is descending through 2,500 feet on approach to runway 180 when the first officer sees what looks like a large bird on the port side. Except this bird is flying alongside and parallel with the plane. It is actually a small unmanned aerial system (UAS) and it has no authority to operate anywhere near the airport. Welcome to the new world of aircraft technology, where a child can now operate real world flight systems in the form of a UAS. Just a few years ago, military drones were the bulk of the mature UAS and available only to government users. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, commercial sales of UAS have exploded, with over 700,000 units sold in 2015 in the U.S.


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alone. It is as easy as signing on to your favorite e-commerce website and buying a full system for less than $1,000. While most of the buyers and users will be paying attention to the law, many will not, either through ignorance or maliciousness. Drones have yielded many positive benefits for society. Legitimate use of drones by law enforcement, government agencies, and commercial operators is on the rise and the FAA and NASA are working hard to put systems and procedures in place for their use in the NAS . The need to protect airports, high value targets, and critical infrastructure from rogue drones is now paramount in institution decision-making.

SkyTracker’s passive RF detection ensures that the system does not interfere with other RF-spectrum-dependent functions, such as FAA or airport electronic systems.

Until recently, commercial technologies lacked the precision and reliability to effectively address the threat of UAS misuse. For example, areas where drones commonly intrude often contain sensitive equipment, and counter-UAS technologies, such as broadband jamming, significantly disrupt area communications, airport systems, and electronics systems, making them an unviable solution for airports. Radar has some advantage, but is sometimes unable to distinguish between non-UAS flying objects, such as birds. Geo-fencing technology involves outfitting commercial drones with built-in safety parameters, but operators modifying their aircraft may circumvent these safeguards. Moreover, none of these technologies has the capability to locate the drone operator, significantly limiting law enforcement’s ability to find and engage operators in incidents of inadvertent or unlawful misuse. SkyTrackerTM, CACI’s proprietary system, effectively addresses the scope and scale of all these challenges.


CACI’s SkyTracker system enables customers with legal authority to accurately and reliably detect, identify, and track UAS threats flying in banned or protected airspace like as the five-mile area around airports. SkyTracker works by establishing an electronic perimeter around sensitive locations that cannot be circumvented by individuals modifying their aircraft. SkyTracker:

• • • • •

Identifies and locates UAS and their operators, speeding law enforcement’s and airport authorities’ response time in intercepting unlawful operators. Rapidly detects UAS and delivers countermeasures within seconds. Is not affected by drone size or shape. Does not disrupt legitimate electronics, area communications systems, or responsible UAS operators due to its nonkinetic mitigation. Is unaffected by weather, time of day, or non-UAS flying objects such as birds or large aircraft platforms.

Passive Detection

The SkyTracker system is composed of multiple sensors that can be networked to existing airport security systems. SkyTracker deploys this sensor array to create an electronic perimeter around an airport. The RF-based system provides long-range, high-fidelity detection and identification with low, near-zero, false alarm rates. The sensors detect the RF communication link between the drone and its operator. SkyTracker’s passive RF detection ensures that the system does not interfere with other RF-spectrum-dependent functions, such as FAA or airport electronic systems. SkyTracker is designed to support automated functionality, using an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) for system operation. Since SkyTracker relies on software-defined technology, simple web-based software updates are provided to ensure that the sensors are properly configured to the latest drone technologies and communication protocols. Skytracker can also fully integrate with existing security and status tracking systems, eliminating the need for a separate terminal. The sensors are in constant communication with networked command and control centers, reporting detected signals, forensic data collected from selected signals regarding the identity and location of UAS and their handheld controllers, as well as the health and status of the sensor system – all displayed to users via the GUI.

Alexander Kolomietz /

According to the FAA, airline pilots report nearly two drone sightings daily, including a total of 238 sightings in 2014 and more than 650 by August 2015. Other reports of UAS misuse include: • Multiple reports of drones used to deliver cell phones, narcotics, or other small packages inside the perimeter of U.S. prisons. • Drones spotted flying above 13 French nuclear power plants. • An emerging threat of weaponized drones, including drones with traces of radiation landing close to the Japanese parliament. • Reports of drones illegally flying over stadiums – in one instance crashing into the bleachers at the U.S. Open Tennis Championship. • Drones interfering with firefighters and first responders.

Location and Tracking

SkyTracker utilizes UAS RF emissions to identify and locate aircraft systems flying within the electronic perimeter defined by the sensor system. Multiple sensors extract the UAS communication ATCA Bulletin  |  No. 2, 2017


Non-Kinetic Action

From the moment UAS threats are detected, SkyTracker rapidly locates the misused aircraft and is capable of delivering non-kinetic countermeasures. Because these countermeasures are RF-based, effects can be achieved from long distances and will not interfere with legitimate electronic or communication systems in the area, or with responsibly operated aircraft. SkyTracker’s targeted ability to stop specific UAS allows responsible UAS users systems to remain unaffected and mission capable.


CACI’s SkyTracker system leverages precise signals detection to address the evolving threat posed by the misuse of commercially available UAS platforms. The SkyTracker system exemplifies the necessity of cyber solutions to keep pace with the proliferation of commercial technologies that are increasingly cheap, available, and sophisticated, and which pose significant challenges to the safety of the NAS. Further, the SkyTracker system has also been

Until recently, commercial technologies lacked the precision and reliability to effectively address the threat of UAS misuse. successfully tested by the FAA as part of the agency’s Pathfinder Program, which found that SkyTracker does not interfere with normal flight operations at commercial airports. CACI advances such solutions by leveraging the full range of its cyber expertise and strategic goals. For example, the company combines niche digital signals and RF expertise with years of cyber and electronic warfare experience to deliver significant defensive and offensive platform cyber capabilities. These solutions include the passive detection of signals emitted by platforms. By leveraging all available resources, CACI is able to respond to rapidly emerging, non-traditional global threats with precision technologies and techniques. Now, the company is applying these solutions to address safety issues posed by commercial drones in a manner that supports public safety even as it benefits responsible UAS hobbyists.
















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signals, working in coordination to provide accurate geolocation and tracking both of UAS and their operators, and a greater number of deployed sensors provides highly accurate geolocation and tracking. The efficacy of the sensor system is unaffected when increasing the scale of the electronic perimeter. The SkyTracker system supports multiple users and automatically alerts users to drone tracking data and drone operator and handset location. The forensic data collected by the sensors may be further used for analysis or in support of legal enforcement efforts.

A Moment in Aviation History On February 7, 1983 …

Elizabeth Hanford Dole became Secretary of Transportation. Dole had directed the President’s Committee for Consumer Interests under the Johnson Administration. She remained at that post after Nixon succeeded Johnson in 1969, then moved to other posts, including a seat on the Federal Trade Commission. Originally a Democrat, she registered as an Independent on taking the FTC post in 1973, and became a Republican about the time of her marriage to Senator Robert Dole in Dec. 1975. She resigned from the FTC in March 1979 to campaign for her husband in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination, then participated in the Reagan campaign. In 1981, she became Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and remained in that position until accepting the cabinet post.

Officers and Board of Directors Chairman, Charles Keegan Chair-Elect, Cynthia Castillo President & CEO, Peter F. Dumont East Area Director, Susan Chodakewitz Pacific Area, Asia, Australia Director, Peter Fiegehen South Central Area Director, William Cotton Northeast Area Director, Mike Ball Southeast Area Director, Jack McAuley North Central Area Director, Bill Ellis West Area Director and Secretary, Chip Meserole Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico Area Director, Rudy Kellar Europe, Africa, Middle East Area Director, Jonathan Astill Director-at-Large, Rick Day Director-at-Large, Vinny Capezzuto Director-at-Large, Michael Headley Director-at-Large, Fran Hill

– FAA Historical Chronology

Staff Marion Brophy, Communications Specialist Ken Carlisle, Director, Meetings and Expositions Theresa Clair, Associate Director, Meetings and Expositions Glenn Cudaback, Manager, Digital Media and Marketing Abigail Glenn-Chase, Director, Communications Ashley Haskins, Office Manager Kristen Knott, Managing Editor & Writer Christine Oster, Chief Financial Officer Paul Planzer, Manager, ATC Programs Rugger Smith, International Development Liaison Sandra Strickland, Events and Exhibits Coordinator Tim Wagner, Manager, Membership