US Survey 2013

Air Traffic Management presents its US Survey 2013, an essential insight into the thinking of the nation’s key NextGen industrialists. All active in the modernisation of US air traffic system, these experts offer their insights into what will ultimately drive the delivery of benefits to the NextGen stakeholder community. This year’s survey participants are:


Mike CaflischMike Caflisch, director, airspace programmes: Together with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Alaska Airlines, Boeing pioneered the Greener Skies over Seattle programme. Greener Skies Initiative II, a NextGen programme, shows the value of RNP AR approaches to improve efficiency and capacity across the National Airspace System.

Booz Allen Hamilton

Roberta LeftwichRoberta Leftwich, principal, aerospace practice: As one of the FAA’s primary system engineering and integration contractors for its System Engineering 2020 (SE2020), research, and mission analysis contract, Booz Allen is working across the air transportation industry to help integrate NextGen planning and implementation, providing a broad range of integrated support services.

GE Aviation

Steve FultonSteve Fulton, technical fellow: Under contract between the FAA and ITT Exelis, GE Aviation’s PBN Services is designing 10 RNP AR instrument approach procedures at five US airports. Integral to the design effort, GE will enlist the input of controllers, airlines, airports and communities to ensure that the RNP procedures are integrated in the airspace and produce operational, economic and environmental benefits for all the stakeholders.

Harris Corporation

John O’SullivanJohn O’Sullivan, vice president, civil programmes: Harris is the prime contractor for many other critical NextGen programmes, including NAS Voice System and Data Communications Integrated Services – as well as the FAA’s weather information service. Harris provides the network backbone that connects all FAA facilities with voice, data and video services as a managed service from its facilities in Florida.

Honeywell Aerospace

Chris BenichChris Benich, vice president, regulatory affairs: Honeywell pioneered the use of In-Trail Procedures (ITP) with United Airlines in the South Pacific, designed to reduce oceanic and remote area aircraft separation. Using the ADS-B-enabled capabilities of the Honeywell Traffic Collision Avoidance System with SmartTraffic computer, aircraft using ITP can save over $100,000 per aircraft per year.

ITT Exelis

SayedianEd Sayadian, vice president of air traffic management: ITT Exelis is a prime contractor on both the FAA’s SBS and SE2020 programmes through which it is deploying nationwide ADS-B coverage. Under its SE2020 contract, ITT Exelis is helping to bring early benefits to the user community including partnering to develop third party RNP procedures at five airports, and leading a R&D effort focused on defining and validating benefits of advanced flight-deck capabilities.

Lockheed Martin

Sandy SamuelSandy Samuel, vice president, transportation solutions: Lockheed Martin partners with the FAA on the ERAM system, which provides the FAA’s platform for NextGen. ERAM is replacing and upgrading the FAA’s current En Route automation with an advanced ATM system that includes 4D trajectory based flight data processing, multi-sensor fusion surveillance tracking, highly accurate tactical and strategic aircraft and airspace alerting.

Metron Aviation

Carol HuegelCarol Huegel, senior vice president, business development: Metron Aviation has a long history of bringing together stakeholders, via a structured Concept Engineering process to forge consensus on and develop operationally acceptable improvements that provide early benefits to the FAA and stakeholders.


Jim McCoyJim McCoy, vice president, air traffic systems: As the FAA's provider of terminal automation, space based precision navigation systems, surveillance capabilities, and critical weather technologies, Raytheon provides air traffic controllers and aircraft operators with foundational technologies and training designed to support the NextGen goals of enhanced safety, increased efficiency and capacity and reduced environmental impact.

Rockwell Collins

Bobby SturgellBobby Sturgell, senior vice president of Washington operations: Within the SE2020 contract for the FAA, Rockwell Collins is developing advanced concepts to modernise the US national airspace system. It is working across all dimensions of air traffic control, which includes avionics, ground systems, aircraft and human factors, safety and security.

Thales ATM US

Todd DonovanTodd Donovan, vice president, aviation solutions: Thales is a key contributor to NextGen deployment via the FAA Surveillance and Broadcast Services and Data Communication Integrated Services contacts and supports NextGen research and studies through System Engineering 2020 and avionics software and digital systems contracts.

Survey Questions:

Inconsistency has become a major theme within the field of NextGen implementation. What needs to be done to rectify that?

Interoperability has become a highly controversial topic. Do you think there is a global lack of priority to establish interoperable airspace systems? If so, what are the possible solutions?

Everyone talks about ‘low-hanging fruit’, but in your opinion what immediate actions need to be taken to implement NextGen processes and technologies?

Do you believe there is a prevailing lack of trust in aircraft technology to fulfil the potential of NextGen? If so, what do you think is going to change perceptions – and what is the risk of allowing a lack of trust to dominate?

Do you think Europe’s SESAR is advancing much faster than NextGen and could it be more successful than its US counterpart?

In terms of Best Equipped Best Served and AirPASS concepts, do there have to be ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ regarding equipage?

The US Survey 2013 is part of the US Special Report which appears in the Issue 3 of Air Traffic Management. Further coverage features:

  • Michael Whitaker, deputy administrator of the US Federal Aviation Administration, explains the continuing necessity for NextGen
  • Waving Or Drowning? The US faces ever greater challenges in a bid to resolve barriers to NextGen’s much needed benefits
  • Innovation #1: Juneau Airport showcases advanced wind profiling
  • Insight: Rick Ducharme asks whether everyone can be winner in the debate on whether better performing aircraft should receive preferential treatment
  • Interoperability: US and Europe’s are attempting to stop conflicting technology agendas from undermining the transatlantic partnership
  • Innovation #2: Is the US falling in love with space-based aircraft tracking?
  • Funding: Michael Dyment argues that airlines may soon control the pace of modernisation of the world’s air traffic infrastructure
  • Innovation #3: Dr Dave Byers outlines the SATAS solution to increasing safety while delivering cost-saving automation

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Click here to view the 2012 US Survey