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Strategy National Representative

Mark Ostronic is the Strategy National Representative  

Background:  The Strategy National Representative works with the Mission Support Services Strategy & Planning (AJV-S) Director to provide a vision, a plan, and the requirements for airspace modernization programs. The NATCA Representative works with internal and external stakeholders to understand the operational needs, confirm the feasibility, and plan for changes to the National Airspace System (NAS). The NATCA Representative maintains an awareness of current system capabilities and services provided by the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and identify gaps in the modernization process from an operational perspective.  

Safety & Technical Education Program (STEP)   

Background:  STEP is a program to modernize ATO’s safety and technical education platform to enhance FAA workforce training through improving curriculum content, training delivery methods, and learning outcomes for Air Traffic Controllers and Air Transportation System Specialist Technicians.   

NATCA is currently in the process of identifying seven additional SMEs to work with the agency on the STEP program. The program is currently creating the required documents to receive Investment Analysis Readiness Decision (IARD) approval.  

Advanced Equipage    

Background: Two Operational Needs Assessments (ONA) are currently being worked on by AJV-S to support automation tools as the transition from single aircraft equipage suffix to multiple aircraft capabilities (i.e., ADS-B, RNV, RNP, DataComm) takes place.   

The first ONA for ERAM had input from NATCA and has been approved by the Directors Forum. The ability to rapidly adapt ERAM to process new aircraft equipage was prioritized as part of ERAM Enhancement 3 package. NATCA worked with the agency in prioritizing the capabilities of terminal equipment with respect to controller interaction. A final report of this effort is currently being created and will be briefed to the Directors Forum to determine next steps.   

Terminal Weather on the Glass   

Background: Current issues with the accuracy of precipitation displayed on STARS have been identified throughout the NAS.  

NATCA has been engaged with the agency to look at potential solutions for issues with precipitation being displayed on STARS. Shortfall and ConOps documents have been created and an initial demo of weather sources was conducted. Two more extensive demos are planned for 2021. 

Emerging Weather Capabilities 

Background: Current technology exists that can indicate multiple types of weather phenomena beyond precipitation, along with more advanced technology to predict and utilize computer learning to fill in current coverage gaps. 

NATCA has been initially engaged by NextGen to identify shortfalls in the current weather products that affect the operation. NATCA, AJT, and AJV-S are working closely to begin this process. 

Future Flow Management (FFM)   

Background:  AJV-S11 has been tasked with developing a vision and action plan to describe how the ATO adapts and capitalizes full TBO operations NAS-wide.   

The agency has created a vision document that is being messaged to other FAA lines of business and some industry groups. NATCA is engaged with the agency to determine how to take the vision document into an actionable road map.  

ATSAP CAR 2016-14 Weight/Wake Classification for Aircraft Types in Tools and Automation Available to the Controller   

Background: Filing or entering a non-ICAO aircraft type can cause STARS and ATPA to display an incorrect wake class to the controllers.  

NATCA and the agency submitted a rewrite of the corrective action plan and is awaiting approval of the new corrective action plan.  

Surface Surveillance ONA 

Background: Resiliency and sustainment planning requires a better understanding of how ATC is using surface surveillance today to help evaluate safety and system availability needs for future investments. 

NATCA has been working with the FAA to evaluate how ASDE-X and ASSC are used and what other automation tools utilize these systems. An ONA has been approved by the Directors Forum and initial work has begun by AJV-S2 to baseline how the system is being used.  

Separation Automation System Engineering (SASE)  

Background: The SASE program was established as a pre-implementation program to mature emerging NextGen Separation Management automation enhancements to support planned NextGen operational improvements and emerging TBO concepts. 

NATCA has been working with the SASE program on the initial scope of the new phase in development. Currently, this phase is looking at how services in the cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning could be utilized to better assist the operation with separation across all primary automation systems.  

Runway Incursion Device (RID) system 

Background: RID systems are currently installed throughout the NAS with no standardized equipment or requirements, creating maintenance and sustainment issues.   NATCA is working with the FAA to create a preliminary operational requirements document that will guide the acquisition process of new standardized system(s). 

Non-CTRD Tower Situational Awareness  

Background: An ONA request was filled by AJT to determine if there is a need for towers currently without airborne surveillance equipment to be able to install or receive some form of airborne surveillance equipment.  

NATCA is working with the FAA to determine, prioritize, and do an initial look at what equipment would potentially satisfy this need. This ONA will be going to the Directors Forum for approval in the coming months.  

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