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National Airspace/Established on Required Navigation Performance (EoR) 

Josh Haviland is the Article 114 National Airspace Representative and Article 114 National EoR Representative.  

Background:  Required Navigation Performance (RNP) describes an aircraft’s capability to navigate using certain performance standards. When an aircraft is “RNP equipped”, it has the ability to monitor the aircraft’s flight track conformance and alert pilots when area navigation performance that cannot be met.  The typical RNP conformance requirement for an RNAV (RNP) instrument approach procedure is 0.3 nautical miles from the centerline of the final approach course.  

Unlike vectoring an aircraft to the extended runway centerline for an approach, once established on an RNP approach on the downwind or a base segment, controllers can allow an aircraft to turn to final without providing a minimum of 1000 feet vertical or 3 miles radar separation from aircraft established on an approach to a parallel runway.  Application of EoR is available to airports having independent operations with the following runway configurations:    

     Parallel Dual – Runways between 3600 and 9000 feet separated for dual  operations.  

     Parallel Triple – Runways between 3900 and 9000 feet apart.  

     Parallel Widely-Spaced – Runways greater than 9000 feet apart.  

Established on RNP (EoR)  

Efforts to establish EoR at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) have resumed, with anticipation its availability sometime this coming fall. Initial plans are to remove several transitions from the RNAV (RNP) approaches to prevent flight crews from accidentally loading the incorrect procedure. A NextGen EoR stakeholders meeting is expected to happen within the next few weeks.  

Multiple Airport Route Separation (MARS)  

Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) radar simulations are still be developed, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s uncertain as to when the HITL trials begin.  Other research is continuing as MITRE presented its Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) Parametric Evaluation of MARS.  

PBN Priorities and Strategy  

Weekly meetings with HQ Air Traffic Services (AJT) and Mission Support Services continue. The objective is to develop a PBN Roadmap, which outlines an overall strategy for meeting the objectives of the FAA’s 2016 PBN NAS Navigation Strategy. Several FAA initiatives compete for priority and the Agency has determined that a comprehensive plan that considers all of its commitments is necessary to ensure success.  Next month I will be presenting a proposal to develop an analysis tool that could help provide a visual presentation of potential project complexities aimed at preventing project “scope creep”.  Many projects require coordination with multiple AJT districts and an initial assessment of its resources is necessary to ensure a project is feasible to kick off or resume.  

Eastern Service Center (ESC) Performance Based Navigation (PBN) & North East Corridor (NEC) Airspace and Procedure    

Bill Wise is the Article 114 Representative for ESC PBN & NEC Airspace and Procedures.    

Background:  PBN Co-Leads are responsible for the oversight of designing, developing, and implementing PBN procedures and/or routes. Using a collaborative work group structure, PBN Co-Leads are also responsible for organizing work group activities and making every effort to reach agreement through a group consensus. Each FAA Service Center is represented by an FAA and NATCA Co-Lead, with the exception of the Eastern Service Center, which has two sets of Co-Leads due to the high demand of PBN resources for ongoing national initiatives.    

The Standard Instrument Departures (SID) at Washington National (DCA) were modified to help reduce incursions into P-56 and the STARs at Washington Dulles (IAD) were amended to solve coding issues that allowed some aircraft to descend below their assigned altitude. They were published on 12/31/2020 with no significant issues. We are gathering data on the DCA SID but it appears the adjustment has accomplished the need move away from P-56.  

NEC

No updates from the November report.  

Eastern Service Center (ESC) PBN   

Joey Tinsley is the Article 114 Representative for ESC PBN.   

The ESC PBN Co-Leads are working on multiple projects to include VORMON, NEC ACR (Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Routes), Charleston (CHS) STARs/SIDs, NY Area STARs/SIDs, Philadelphia (PHL) STAR/SIDs, and Boston (BOS) Massport.  The CHS STARs/SIDs and a few NY Area STARs were implemented on 11/5/20; along with 8 Q-Routes and 11 J-Route removals/modifications.  No major issues were reported with this implementation.   We started our bi-weekly telcons with the Facility Point of Contact (POC) on the NEC ACR project last week.  The remainder of the NEC ACR project has a tentative publication date in the fall of 2021, and we need to make sure everything is ready. As Covid has continued, this date may be in jeopardy depending on facility needs.  The ZBW VORMON project is moving forward with a few T-Routes that were published on 11/5/20.  More T-Routes and STARs are being published on 6/17/21.  The Atlanta Center (ZTL) VORMON project is moving forward with tentative meeting dates in mid-March 2021.  The facilities are selecting SMEs and POCs for this virtual project.  The BOS Massport Block 1 SIDs received the approval from Massport (BOS Community Advisory Committee) and has a proposed implementation date of 12/2/21.  Massport has also been working with our team on the Block 2 recommendations. Our team is meeting weekly with A90 on the concepts presented to see what works best for ATC.  

Central Service Center (CSC) Performance Based Navigation (PBN)  

Eric Johnson is the Article 114 Representative for CSC PBN.  

The CSC PBN Team held a Kickoff/Design meeting on 1/6 with Minneapolis Center ( ZMP), Kansas City Center (ZKC), Omaha Tracon (R90), and Sioux City (SUX) for new RNAV STARs at Omaha (OMA) due to VORMON.  We are still working issues with wind spirals and the JHART SID at St Louis (STL).  Bennie Hutto is working to address the issue with MITRE and AFS.  I attended multiple meetings throughout January that were internal to the  CSC regarding Standiford (SDF) and how the project will move forward in the future when it is prioritized and given a green light to start.  Teri Bristol has requested an update from the CSA due to political pressure from UPS.  I helped to organize a meeting on 1/19 with SDF, CSA, and Southwest Airlines (SWA) regarding an issue with ILS approaches at SDF. Currently the ILS approaches all require GPS, and the change was made because of VORMON.  Currently there are no ground-based NAVAIDS that are suitable for a missed approach at SDF.  This is another negative impact of VORMON.  The CSA conducted an internal meeting on 1/20 concerning possibly an Enviormental Assesment (EA) needed at Tucson (TUS) when their new runway opens and we implement new SID’s, STAR’s, and RNP’s.  

Western Service Center (WSC) Performance Based Navigation (PBN)    

Chris Thomas is the Article 114 Representative for WSC PBN.    

Western Service Area PBN has continued to work single site projects.  Current COVID restrictions are still affecting our performance and ability to meet some timelines for implementation of new procedures.  Flight Check availability is currently over a year behind! Project approval has moved from AJV to the Western Service Area (WSA), which seems to have helped some of the bottleneck of project development but due to the other issues associated with COVID implementation times are still way behind schedule.   

Full Work Group Meetings 

Alaska Western PBN has been working remotely with Alaska ATC facilities and Industry partners to modernize Alaska’s Air Traffic Service route structure using satellite-based navigation.  Development of new T-Routes and optimization of existing T-Routes will enhance safety, increase efficiency, access, and will provide en route continuity that is not subject to the restrictions associated with ground-based airway navigation.  Full Work Group Meeting is currently scheduled for February 18 & 19, 2021 to complete design and work out facility agreements to complete this project.  This should be our last Full Work Group (FWG) for Alaska.  Project Graceland (Memphis VORMON – ESA) Western PBN Co-Leads have been asked to help support Eastern Service Area decommission 4 VORs and re-locate 1 around Memphis, TN.  Initial discussion with ESA OSG Manager have taken place and the project has been scoped to begin work.  We held a telcon with ESA Flight Procedures Team (FPT) Specialists that will help support this project this week.  Also, on the telcon were members from Memphis Center (ZME).   Full Work Group and Kick-off meeting should be scheduled sometime mid-March or early-April 2021.  Van Nuys (VNY) (SoCal Airports) Western PBN Leads were asked by Western OSG manager to prioritize a congressional inquiry at VNY.  We are currently working with Southern California Tracon (SCT) to identify a timeframe we can kick-off a FWG meeting with facility SMEs.  The FWG should begin prior to May 2021.  We will also try to identify additional airports or procedure amendments to include in this FWG meeting in order to maximize facility SME participation.  In Hawaii there are several projects waiting to be worked around the Hawaiian Islands. Due to COVID and restrictions associated with the pandemic, we have been unable to complete any of this work.  There will be a large-scale project in and around Hawaii in the near future when some of the current restrictions have been lifted. In Northern California, we have several projects in the Bay Area that have been moving forward.   Some of these have high visibility due to community concerns. The WSA has been working with the Western Pacific Regional Administrator to help facilitate some of these concerns.  We will need to develop a FWG with some of the facilities when current COVID restrictions have been lifted.  

Florida Metroplex   

Christian Karns is the Article 114 Representative for Florida Metroplex.   

Background:   The Florida Metroplex project consist of two projects. One project is tasked with design and implementation of new Q & Y routes to replace existing J-Routes. The second project is the design and implementation of new Standard Terminal Arrivals (STARs) and Standard Instrument Departures. (SIDS) The intent for the STARs and SIDs is to make them Optimized Profile Descents (OPD) and Climb Via.    

Jan 4th-14th we held Facility TEAM Meetings for the following facilities to get weekly status updates.  Fort Meyers (RSW), Tampa (TPA,) Miami Center (ZMA), Orlando (MCO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Miami (MIA), Daytona Beach (DAB), West Palm Beach (PBI), and Jacksonville Center (ZJX), Jacksonville Tower (JAX).  All are working on Automation and video maps. All training plans are completed.  Work continues on all LOA’s with about 30% complete and sent up to Eastern Service Center for review.  Requested I-SIM for FLL familiarization only. Worked on GOP questions requested by Congresswoman Wilson about Miami. We are working on Freedom of Information (FOIA) questions.  Training will be an issue if we cannot train in the labs for our April 2021 implementation. We need the facilities to get back to a 5-2 work schedule and have the training lab open NLT 2/1/2021.   Our Go/No/Go date with procedures that require lab training is now 1/28/2021.  With the new out breaks of COVID, we may be forced to change what is implemented on 4/22/2021.  We have a list of procedures that can be implemented without lab training.  The Metroplex Team met with ZJX and Jacksonville District personnel to discuss options related to April implementation. While 54 procedures (43 STARS/SIDS/T-Routes) are scheduled for publication, it may not be possible to complete training at ZJX.  An alternative plan that would NOTAM out 15 procedures was discussed as an option.  The Jacksonville District Personnel requested we delay our decision until Jan 28 so they can see if training can be supported for full implementation. We have agreed to do that. Jan 19th-22nd, we held Facility TEAM Meetings for the following facilities to get weekly status updates: Fort Meyers (RSW), Tampa (TPA), Miami Center (ZMA), Orlando (MCO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Miami (MIA), Daytona Beach (DAB), West Palm Beach (PBI), Jacksonville Center (ZJX), and Jacksonville (JAX).  All automation SOP’s LOA’s and training is moving forward for successful publication for the 54 procedures April 22.   However, it is still the opinion of the two ZJX POC’s that training for the full implementation of the 54 procedures cannot be met and are requesting for Plan B and NOTAM out 15 of the 54 procedures till August. Jan 21st, I briefed NATCA leadership (Tom Adcock, Josh Haviland, Mark Mckelligan, Jim Marinitti, Ed Hulsey, and Jeff Woods) on the training issues for ZJX April Implementation. Viki Turner and I will make the decision on Thursday Jan 28 on plan going forward for April Implementation.  

Las Vegas Metroplex  

Jeff Plendl is the Article 114 Representative for Las Vegas Metroplex.  

Background:  The recommendation to include the Las Vegas area into a Metroplex was decided in a September 2009 Final Report from the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Task Force 5. The report identified McCarran Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas as a Core airport and provided recommendations to optimize the airspace and procedures around Las Vegas. Subsequently, in May 2012 an Operational Study Team (OST) was formed. In August of 2017, a Design and Implementation (D&I) team was formed to address identified operational and efficiency issues. Design work continued through February 2019. Since then the Las Vegas Metroplex has been working through the Evaluation and Implementation phases of the project. Implementation date is currently scheduled for November 5, 2020.  

Los Angeles Center (ZLA)/ Las Vegas Tracon (L30)/ Las Vegas Tower (LAS) Training is proceeding extremely well.  ZLA had one delay due to a COVID-19 positive test result.  ZLA will need to reschedule 3 controllers for training.  This should not be an issue as ZLA has 10 days available prior to implementation. The team conducted briefings to the Flight Plan Dispatchers, NCF and two sessions with Industry. Everything is progressing very well.