John Murdock is the NATCA National Procedures Representative
Background: The NATCA Procedures Representative works collaboratively with the Mission Support Services Policy (AJV-P) developing, implementing, correcting, and interpreting Air Traffic rules and regulations in FAA Orders 7110.65, 7210.3, Airman’s Information Manual (AIM) and others. The National Representative also works closely with other Article 114 and project representatives to assist them developing and incorporating policy and procedures into the NAS. Controller input is critical in the successful development, interpretation and correction of Air Traffic rules and regulations. Working collaboratively with the agency provides continuity between FAA Headquarters and the field.
Enroute NOTAM distribution: Two clarifications to the dissemination of NOTAMs were issued this month (7110.65 4-7-12). Work began to consolidate all the interpretations and clarifications on the subject and will be published on the interpretation website maintained by AJV-P.
Ground Based Augmentation System (GABS)
San Francisco (SFO) is continuing the progress on installing and preparing for operations of the GABS. The airport is working on developing procedures to reduce the impact of noise on the community around the airport. The system is expected to be operation in October 2021. The projects at Kennedy (JFK) and Laguardia (LGA) are still put-on hold and the correction to the monitor at EWR is scheduled to be completed (but could be delayed due to COVID).
Work began on changing the required phraseology when issuing a departure release off an airport without an operating controller tower. Two areas of specific concern are making sure it is absolutely clear to the pilot that they must hold for release or are released off the airport and what NOTAMs and/or airport conditions must be issue prior to the departure release.
Time Based Operations (TBO)
Assisted the TBO group developing and writing DCPs to edit and organize Time Base Operations in the 7210.3. Also, assisted developing new procedures to incorporate in the 7210.3 to prioritize TBO.
A21N Workaround SRM
Participated as a safety panel member in the A21N workaround proposed by American Airlines. The workaround is to facilitate the ADS-B In Retrofit Spacing Evaluation (AIRS Eval) Project. The system being evaluated will allow aircraft to establish a particular interval between two equipped aircraft. The A21N workaround will indicate to a controller that an American Airlines flight is capable of participating in the test. American Airlines will equip all of their A321s and A321neos (A21N) aircraft with the AIRS system. When an A321 is equipped with the system American Airlines will file that aircraft as a A21N in the flight plan to indicate to a controller that the aircraft can participate in the test. The controller, at the test site, will use the type aircraft in the flight plan to determine if they can participate.
Performance Based Operations Aviation Rule Making Committee (PARC) Pilot Controller Procedure System Integration (PCPSI)
The PARC PCPSI is a group made up of FAA, NATCA, industry and international representatives that are evaluating phraseology and procedures to harmonize them across North America and ICAO. There are differences, some significant, in the way SIDs and STARs are developed, used, applied and the phraseology associated with them. After review of NAVCANDA, ICAO and Mexico use of SIDs and STARs the group is developing a recommendation for the FAA to consider in an effort to align the systems procedural and phraseology differences more closely. The focus of the group is working to narrow down the differences in phraseology when issues and using Climb Via and Descend Via clearances. The PARC PCPSI will make a recommendation to the PARC on whether phraseology in the U.S. should be changed and if so, what should be changed.
Departure Working Group
This group is working to develop operational guidance for pilots and procedures for Air Traffic (AT) that accurately reflect IFR departure procedures. There are instances were Air Traffic procedures conflict with the intent of IFR procedures that were developed. There are also instances when it is not clear to a pilot who is responsible for separation and what procedures or policy AT is using to protect the aircraft. Currently, the group is working on making recommended changes to the AIM and 7110.65. A particular area of concern is Visual Climbs Over the Airport (VCOA). There are issues with the charting pilots use and expectations of AT when a VCOA is flown.
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)
The AAM group is made up of representatives from the FAA, NATCA and NASA to develop concepts and implementation strategies that will provide benefit to the public and users of Advanced Air Mobility concepts. The group will address issues pertaining to unmanned operations and the integration of those vehicles in the NAS.
ATSAP CAR 2019-009 Hazardous WX Dissemination
The changes associated with this CAR are being completed and AIRMET dissemination via GI message will start including the geographical area of the AIRMET. This will provide facilities the ability to determine if the AIRMET needs to be broadcasted to the pilots.
ATSAP CAR 2019-007 No Weight (NOWGT)
Interim guidance for separating NOWGT aircraft should be issued soon. The guidance will provide controllers a separation minimum to apply when they are working NOWGT aircraft.
ATSAP CAR 2016-014 Weight Classification for Aircraft Types
The corrective action for this CAR was submitted and accepted by the ERC in 2017. One of the final corrective actions identified in the CAR ended up not being attainable. The corrective action is being reevaluated to correct the safety issue identified in the CAR. The workgroup is working to identify and mitigate the issues associated with using non-ICAO aircraft type designators in a flight plan. Proposed corrections are being evaluated to determine the best way forward.