More Air Traffic? No Problem, Says Chew

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The FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO) is preparing to make the necessary changes to handle predicted increases in air traffic over the next two decades, says Chief Operating Officer Russell Chew. "It isn't about being the best and the brightest," he told aviation industry executives last Thursday, at the Aerospace Industries Association's civil aviation council meeting. "It's about being able to change." Chew stressed that the ATO needs to pursue a single "revolutionary" goal, and avoid spending years developing programs that will be obsolete by the time they're done. "Whatever you build, you have to have the future in mind," he said.

He also told the council that it's essential for ATO leaders to understand the value of the services they provide. "You have to be able to go to the [Joint Planning and Development Office] and say 'If you shut off this program, these four services will be delayed.'" Chew told attendees the ATO appreciates their input. "This is very much a team effort," he said. "In the ATO, we value our partnership with you. It's important to get the perspective of industry as we chart the course of aviation." The ATO was established three years ago to bring more businesslike practices to the FAA's air traffic control division.