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June 16, 2017 // PMO Rep Jeff Woods Speaks on Aircraft Metering: Time, Speed, Spacing Panel

What: RTCA Global Aviation Symposium panel about Aircraft Metering: Time, Speed, Spacing

When: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fran Hill, Senior Vice President of Transportation Solutions, Leidos Innovations, Leidos


  • Jeff Woods, Project Management Organization (PMO) Rep, NATCA
  • Dan Allen, Managing Director, Flight Technical and Regulatory Compliance, FedEx Express
  • Bruce E. DeCleene, Division Manager, Flight Technologies & Procedures, FAA
  • Steve Fulton, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Sandel Avionics
  • Kirk Kolek, Principal Systems Engineer, Rockwell Collins

Woods participated on a panel covering time-based metering at the 2017 RTCA (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) Global Aviation Symposium. Panelists discussed how to integrate management of aircraft timing, speed, and spacing using ground and cockpit-based capabilities.

Panelists focused on Performance Based Navigation (PBN) as well as near, mid, and far-term recommendations for the National Airspace System (NAS).

Near-term recommendations developed by the RTCA workgroup include defining the path of PBN and why the NAS needs time-based metering. Creating these definitions presents challenges. The changes involve multiple aircraft with different capabilities in the airspace. The changes also require aviation safety professionals to adopt new ways of doing things that are different from the current system, which supports the safest airspace in the world.

Pictured from left to right: Hill, Woods, and DeCleene.

Woods discussed the cultural change necessary to move to a time-based system. He explained that managing expectations is important. He noted that each site is unique, and he stated it’s important that all parties involved understand what they’re trying to accomplish.

Woods explained that to successfully shift the culture, it’s important to educate the users by going out to facilities and discussing new capabilities and successful integration of this technology into the operating environment.

Panelists discussed a mid-to-far term goal as being able to use predictability as a metric when looking at time-based metering. The goal is to be able to adhere to a pre-planned path with minimal deviation. This requires not just controllers and pilots to fully embrace this new technology, but for everyone in the NAS to get on board with this new way of separating aircraft.

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