NBAA Convention News

Getting bizav into the CDM loop

 - June 20, 2008, 4:40 AM

Collaborative decision-making (CDM), the effort instituted by the FAA and the airlines to reroute traffic each day away from anticipated weather trouble spots across the country, is a major topic among NBAA Airspace/Air Traffic Committee members.

“CDM is a program that has been in place for some time,” said David Maib, Airspace/Air Traffic Committee chairman. “Every day there is a conference call between the ATC command center in Virginia to the major airlines and weather personnel to determine which areas of the country may have delays due to weather, and then they proactively reroute traffic away from those trouble spots. Business aviation has not been part of that process, but NBAA is trying to get involved.”

Maib said NBAA is making an effort to get key corporate flight departments to participate in the CDM program. It is still unclear how corporate operators will participate in CDM in light of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Members of the Airspace/Air Traffic Committee have been tasked with advising NBAA members how they can get involved in CDM.

The committee will soon hear reports from its members on reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) standards and controller/pilot datalink communications (CPDLC). Both programs carry the same type of concern for business aviation operators, namely trying to make sure that the standards don’t go into effect until the equipment is available for the entire business aviation fleet.

“We are in favor of both RVSM and CPDLC,” said Maib. “But what we don’t want is to have these new standards shoved down our throats without the chance for our aircraft to be properly equipped in a timely manner.” Maib and others in NBAA are working with equipment manufacturers and the FAA to ensure that business aviation is factored into the new standards, and especially in the timing of when standards go into effect.

To that end, NBAA is looking for operators based in or near Miami to participate in a CPDLC experiment being conducted by the FAA. “Miami Center is being equipped with CPDLC and American Airlines has agreed to equip some of its planes with the new system as well,” said Maib. “We’d like to get corporate operators to participate in this test, too. Our goal is to make sure that whatever rules are set in place regarding CPDLC are not written such that business aviation cannot participate in this new technology.”

Although these issues are in flux as the NAS undergoes changes to bolster security, Maib encourages NBAA members who may have other airspace or air traffic issues to bring them up with the association. “Our mission is to help members with their air traffic issues,” said Maib. “If you’ve got issues, we’d like to hear them.”