John Murdock 1s the 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.
Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS)
A Safety Risk Management Document was prepared and agreed to relating to the status monitoring requirements for Air Traffic. The document clearly states that the sponsor of the GBAS system is solely responsible for monitoring and updating the appropriate FAA entities on the status of the system.
Performance Based Operations Aviation Rule Making Committee (PARC) Pilot Controller Procedure System Integration (PCPSI)
The PARC PCPSI is a group comprising of FAA, NATCA, industry and international representatives that are evaluating phraseology and procedures in an effort to harmonize them across North America and ICAO. The Phraseology Subgroup made its recommendation to the PCPSI regarding changes to the phraseology associated with SIDs and STARs. The PCPSI will forward the recommendations to the PARC for evaluation and if adopted they will send it to the FAA for consideration. NATCA made it abundantly clear that any changes to phraseology and procedures associated with SID and STARs must be evaluated and vetted prior to adaptation and implementation.
A new PCPSI Subgroup was formed to address NAS issues associated with STARs connecting to Instrument Approach Procedures (IAPs). Bennie Hutto and John Murdock are members of the Arrival to Approach Connectivity (AAC) Subgroup. Currently, there are issues in the NAS and in the flight management computer associated with the connection of a STAR and IAP. There is no proscribed phraseology in FAA Order JO 7110.65 for controllers to use and there are no AIM entries that clearly define the expectations of pilots when the two procedures connect. The initial meeting was held to identify and clearly define the scope of the work to be completed, the working groups members and future meeting dates.
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 November meetings yielded very important information for the development of AAM and integration into the NAS. The most significant question is, can an unmanned vehicle operate in the current system without talking to Air Traffic? The work to address this question is just being and there is no answer yet. The AAM group is also involved in some tabletop exercises to identify issues with the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) concept. The information identified in the tabletop exercise will help develop national policy and procedures for UAM operations. During the latest meeting AJI made a presentation on the ATO’s SMS process. This presentation was to assist the group on preparing for the required Safety Risk Management Panels that will be required to integrate UAMs into the NAS.
Suspicious UAS Reporting
A collaborative workgroup was formed to address issues with the guidance regarding the reporting of suspicious UASs. This group met multiple times during the past few weeks. The FAA issued Notices 7110.776 Supervisory Notification of Suspicious UAS Activity and 7110.926 Reporting Suspicious UAS Activity. Parts of the notices conflicted with other documents on the methods and reasons when UAS activities must be reported. The group is developing recommendations on eliminating the conflictions between the orders and developing guidance that is clear and concise for Air Traffic.
UAS on Airport Operations
A change is being finalized to incorporate guidance into FAA Order JO 7210.3 to assist facilities approving on airport operations of UASs. These approvals specifically deal with airport operators that desire to utilize a UAS to conduct operations on the airport; these operations included the inspection of fencing, runways, aircraft etc. The change is being evaluated to verify it clearly provides the guidance the facilities need when approving on airport operations.
ATSAP Information Request 2020-016 Automated Point Outs
The ERC requested clarification to the use of Local Interim Altitudes (LIA) during the automated point out process. The points of contact for NATCA and the Agency are working to provide answers to the questions and identify possible changes to FAA Orders that will assist in clearly stating the appropriate use of LIAs.
ATSAP Information Request 2020-021 WSI App
The ERC requested information regarding the use and abilities of the WSI APP by flight crews. The WSI app maybe part of an air carrier’s electronic flight bag (EFB) program and may be available for pilots to reference. The app is not part of an “app store” or available for download by anyone. This app is software that a company purchases and can incorporate into the pilot’s EFB. The information that is available to the pilot, from the WSI app, can vary depending on the subscription the carrier pays. It may be confusing if controllers attempt to prompt a pilot to use the app for something they cannot access or have. It is also important to note that the WSI app is not the only app available to carries to incorporate into their EFBs.
Class D Wake Turbulence
In 2019 there was a wake turbulence incident involving a SR22 and the B778 on final. The SR22 was upset by the wake turbulence of the B778, took a significant roll and lost a few hundred feet of altitude on short final. There is a desire to address the lack of wake turbulence separation rules while VFR aircraft are operating in the Class D airspace. We are working on a possible solution to prevent another similar incident from occurring. This effort is in its infancy and will require a lot of thought and consideration to be a quality correction and useful.