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Santa Tells ATD-2 Press Conference, ‘NATCA Remains Committed to Collaboration With the FAA’

NATCA President Rich Santa on Tuesday afternoon told a virtual press conference that Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) is “an excellent example of how our collaboration in the area of safety and technology has been very successful.” Santa joined the administrators of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Steve Dickson, and NASA, Bill Nelson, and several airport and airline representatives to discuss the project, which will eventually become Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM).

“ATD-2 is operational right now and working at Charlotte and Dallas Fort-Worth airports. Controllers are using the technology in the day-to-day operation,” Santa said. “When ATD-2 becomes Terminal Flight Data Manager, it will help us solve traffic management problems within complex and busy terminal environments.” NATCA members can watch the press conference on demand here. Read Santa’s full opening remarks below:

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Good afternoon. I am proud to begin my term working for the dedicated aviation safety professionals represented by NATCA. I want to thank Administrator Dickson and Senator Nelson for their leadership and all of my fellow participants here today for their partnership on this important modernization project.

NATCA remains committed to collaboration with the FAA and ATD-2 is an excellent example of how our collaboration in the area of safety and technology has been very successful. The National Airspace System deserves the best tools to advance our shared mission of ensuring safety and efficiency.

ATD-2 is operational right now and working at Charlotte and Dallas Fort-Worth airports. Controllers are using the technology in the day-to-day operation. We’re excited to have controllers at additional facilities involved in the current Phase 3.

When ATD-2 becomes Terminal Flight Data Manager, it will help us solve traffic management problems within complex and busy terminal environments.

Another benefit to controllers is that TFDM will replace the paper flight progress strips we’ve used for decades with electronic flight progress strips. It’s a benefit anytime we can automate a manual process. We believe our collaboration with the FAA on ATD-2 has been critical to the current success, and we’re proud of that.

NATCA is excited to be a collaborative partner in this important technology, but we must be able to maintain the system around it. Continued collaboration is vital for the development, the testing, and the deployment of TFDM, and we welcome working with the FAA to accomplish this modernization.

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