But FAA Actions Raise Concerns

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Rick Thompson, NATCA's regional representative in Alaska, told AVweb that before last month, controllers had been working on the understanding that ADS-B and radar returns were to be treated the same. But recent communications from the FAA had referred to a "mixed environment" and it became clear that not everyone was on the same page. Controllers asked for clarification, and that's when the FAA made the decision to suspend the program pending a review of the standards. Safety advocate Felix Maguire expressed concern that due to structural changes in the FAA, decisions that affect Alaska now are made in Seattle or L.A. or D.C. But the underlying problem "is a breakdown in the collaboration and collegiality that we established and fostered between the FAA and aviation industry over the past 10 years," he told AVweb last week. "Prior to that, both sides were always at loggerheads. We changed that. It was out of this professional respect that Capstone was born and thrived." A return to the pre-Capstone status quo is not acceptable, Maguire said. "I think the folks in D.C. are now getting to understand that."