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RTCA Spring Digest 2023

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RTCA Spring Digest 2023

IFA Comment: A useful perspective from RTCA

RTCA Hosts Second Successful AAM Workshop

RTCA recently hosted its second Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Workshop, focusing on avionics, concept of operations (conops), and spectrum. More than 100 members were in attendance to hear from regulators and manufacturers, focusing on advancing technology and the development of certification pathways to ensure safe and sustainable transportation in urban areas.

FAA Chief Scientist Steve Bradford told attendees that the FAA wanted “NextGen” to become the status quo of the future in aviation. He said new airborne and environmentally friendly vehicles are emerging and that traffic management services will be developed to coexist with traditional air traffic.

Flight Standards AAM Integration Lead John Posey (FAA) talked about the importance of the office of Flight Standards Service within the FAA, where operational certification and coordination of AAM integration into the National Airspace System (NAS) is conducted. Posey noted that airworthiness criteria for two companies was already underway to support the initial integration of AAM into the NAS. READ MORE

RTCA Special Committee Recap for February 2023

Feb 2 – SC-214, Standards for Air Traffic Data Communications Services (w/EUROCAE WG-78), hosted by Collins Aerospace, met in Melbourne, Fl. They continued updates to revisions on DO-350B, DO-351B, DO-352B, and DO-353B, scheduled for publication later this year.  The next meeting will be held virtually, March 17, to determine entering Final Review and Comment/Open Consultation.

Feb 6 & 10 – SC-227, Standards for Navigation Performance (w/EUROCAE WG-85), met in joint plenary and working sessions in Fort Worth, Texas hosted by American Airlines. The joint group is getting close to updating the MOPS for RNP, DO-283C. Working Group 3 of SC-227 continues its working to add digital derived charts to DO-257.

Feb 14-15 – SC-238, Counter UAS (w/EUROCAE WG-115), met in joint plenary hosted by EUROCAE in St Denis, France. They continued work on their SPR and INTEROP documents scheduled for publication in late 2023.


Standards Oversight Committee Acts on Emerging Technologies and Safety Oversight

RTCA’s Program Management Committee (PMC) held its Spring meeting and reviewed and approved administrative changes for three Special Committee (SC) Terms of References (TORs), received updates on important SC activities, and discussed several significant topics.

Chaired by Dr. Chris Hegarty of The MITRE Corporation, the 21-member PMC is the RTCA oversight body charged with producing timely and robust standards and guidance documents to ensure interoperability of aviation systems and equipment. The standards encourage innovation and serve as the basis for meeting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. An important responsibility of the PMC is ensuring the operational application of the technical standards.

Key areas and issues discussed:

  • Three administrative TOR changes concerned leadership changes.
  • SC-214 – Standards for Air Traffic Data Communication Services provided an update on two documents – one needing an out of cycle approval shortly after the June PMC meeting and one concerning tagging of requirements formatting.
  • SC-239 – Low Range Radar Altimeter leadership provided a status update on their interim document as a step toward the radar altimeter MOPS.  They also presented highlights of their  timeline review for the MOPS.
  • SC-242 – Spectrum Compatibility provided an update on their first deliverable and requested assistance in collecting data from the other SCs to support the effort.
  • The PMC discussed a potential plan for document review for relevancy and currency. Additionally there was dialogue on a way forward for SC-240 – Topics on Software Advancement as well as the Forum for Aeronautical Software.
  • Also, The PMC discussed ongoing AAM Workshops, Forum on Digital Flight Operations activities, International Coordination, SC Chair reports, and potential format availability  for document changes.
  • The FAA provided updates on actions on published documents.
  • RTCA provided an overview of the recent organizational bylaws as pertaining to the PMC.
  • The PMC reviewed and approved the list of award nominations for Outstanding Leaders and Significant Contributors for documents published in 2022.
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