Mark Ostronic is the National Requirements Representative
Background: The National Requirements Representative works with the Mission Support Services Strategy & Planning (AJV-S) Director to provide a vision, a plan, and the requirements for airspace modernization programs. The NATCA Representative works with internal and external stakeholders to understand the operational needs, confirm the feasibility, and plan for changes to the National Airspace System (NAS.) The NATCA Representative maintains an awareness of current system capabilities and services provided by the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and identify gaps in the modernization process from an operational perspective.
En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) Enhancement 3 (EE3)
Background: The FAA is currently undergoing a prioritization effort for EE3. This prioritization is activity includes sixty identified needs. These needs come from issues identified in the field, ERAM Enhancement 2 needs that could not be implemented due to funding, and NextGen identified needs.
NATCA is currently engaged in the process of prioritization of the identified needs along with other lines of business across the FAA. This prioritization effort should be completed and handed off to the PMO by the end of March.
Safety & Technical Education Program (STEP)
Background: STEP is a program to Modernize ATO’s safety and technical education platform to enhance FAA workforce training (i.e., improve curriculum content, training delivery methods, and learning outcomes for Air Traffic Controllers and Air Transportation System Specialist Technicians).
NATCA SMEs engaged with the agency to determine current training shortfalls. The program is in the early stages and many investment decisions have yet to be made by the FAA, in the coming months this program will be reviewed by the JRC to determine funding allocation.
Background: Two Operational Needs Assessments (ONA) are currently being worked on by AJV-S to support automation tools as the transition from single aircraft equipage suffix to multiple aircraft capabilities (i.e., ADS-B, RNV, RNP, DataComm) takes place.
The first ONA for ERAM had input from NATCA and has been approved by the Directors Forum. The ability to rapid adapt ERAM to process new aircraft equipage is being considered as part of ERAM EE3. The second ONA for Terminal equipment has been approved at the Directors Forum. NATCA is currently engaged with the agency in prioritizing the capabilities with respect to controller interaction.
Terminal Weather on the Glass
Background: Current issues with the accuracy of precipitation displayed on STARS have been identified throughout the NAS.
NATCA has been engaged with the agency to look at potential solutions for issues with precipitation being displayed on STARS. Shortfall and ConOps documents have been created and an initial demo of possible weather sources was conducted. Two more extensive demos are planned for 2021.
Background: Current technology exist that can indicate multiple types of weather phenomena beyond precipitation.
NATCA has been engaged with the agency to develop an ONA that identifies which phenomena is pertinent to be displayed to controllers.
Future Flow Management (FFM)
Background: AJV-S11 has been tasked with developing a vision and action plan to describe how we get from iTBO to full TBO operations NAS wide.
The agency has created a vision document that is being messaged to other FAA lines of business and some industry groups. NATCA is engaged with the agency to determine how to take the vision document into an actionable road map.
ATSAP CAR 2016-14 Weight/Wake Classification for Aircraft Types in Tools and Automation Available to the Controller
Background: Filing or entering a Non-ICAO aircraft type can cause STARS and ATPA to display an incorrect wake class to the controllers.
NATCA and the agency submitted a rewrite of the corrective action plan and is awaiting approval of the new corrective action plan.
ADS-B – Phase 1 Applications
Background: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In applications can help address the demand-capacity problems. Interval Management (IM) seeks to increase usable capacity, using avionics and supporting ground automation, to reduce the variability of Inter-Aircraft Times (IATs), and in so doing, improve the delivery accuracy of aircraft to common Timed-Based Flow Management (TBFM) Constraint Satisfaction Points (CSPs) such as Extended Meter Points, Coupled Meter Points, or Meter Fixes (MFs). The ADS-B In-enabled Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) Assisted Separation (CAS) application is intended to enable the continued use of visual-like separation throughput between successive departures or arrivals in conditions where flight crews may not be able to identify or maintain out-the-window (OTW) visual contact with a leading aircraft.
NATCA has been working with the FAA, MITRE, and contract support on operational requirements for the TBFM, STARS, and ERAM platforms to enable Phase 1 of ADS-B. Multiple NATCA SME’s and ART. 114 Reps have been engaging in activities to understand and identify the needed requirements for particular platforms.
Surface Surveillance ONA
Background: Resiliency and sustainment planning require a better understanding of how ATC is using surface surveillance today to help evaluate safety and system availability needs for future investments.
NATCA has been working with the FAA to evaluate how ASDE-X and ASSC are used and what other automation tools utilize these systems. The ONA will be going in front of the Directors Forum for a funding request.
Separation Automation System Engineering (SASE) for ERAM
Background: Improvements are expected in the planned ERAM System Enhancements and Technology Refresh investment to incorporate new, NextGen-driven enhancements into the ERAM system. To achieve that goal, SASE program was established as a pre-implementation program to mature emerging NextGen Separation Management automation enhancements to support planned NextGen operational improvements and emerging TBO concepts.
The capabilities identified in this activity are being taken into consideration as part of the ERAM EE3 activity.