NGATS Institute selects leader

 - October 4, 2006, 8:15 AM

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) Institute, which will work with the FAA’s Joint Planning and Development Office (JDPO) to design and develop a system to meet ATC needs 20 years into the future, now has an executive director andan institute management council (IMC) to foster government and industry collaboration.

Executive director Dale Goodrich, a former Air Force and United Airlines pilot, told attendees at the Airport2025 conference in late June in Washington, D.C., that his job is to be the eyes and ears for the IMC, which is composed of aviation leaders from a broad spectrum of the industry.

“The board of directors is populated by very senior, very busy people from associations that represent industry,” he said. “So they don’t have time to do the day-to-day work of the IMC and the institute itself.”

The NGATS Institute will operate under guidelines set forth in the funding agreement between the FAA JPDO and the host organization, a nonprofit branch of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).

Paul Bollinger Jr., president of the Air Traffic Control Association, and James May, president of the Air Transport Association, will co-chair the IMC. They will also serve as members of its executive committee, along with AIA president and CEO John Douglass; Phil Boyer, president of AOPA; and Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association.

Other members of the IMC are Ed Bolen, president and CEO of NBAA; Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; John Carr, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association; Bill Connors, executive director and CEO of the National Business Travel Association; Steve Hampton, associate dean for research at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Deborah McElroy, president of the Regional Airline Association; Henry Ogrodzinski, president of the National Association of State Aviation Officials; Greg Principato, president-designate of the Airports Council International-North America; Roy Resavage, president of the Helicopter Association International; and David Watrous, president of RTCA. Charlie Keegan, director of the JPDO, is an ex officio member of the IMC.

The FAA has signed a contract with AIA’s National Center for Advanced Technologies to form the NGATS Institute. It will operate in coordination with the JPDO to create a collaborative enterprise between government and the private sector to coordinate goals and priorities of NGATS and to define, develop and implement a next-generation air transportation system capable meeting the safety, security, capacity, efficiency and productivity demands through 2025.

The IMC will oversee the policy, recommendations and products of the NGATS Institute. It also will be responsible for review of the institute’s contract selection process to ensure that it remains fair and effective.

Goodrich said he is there to serve the board and the JPDO’s integrated product teams (IPTs), which will concentrate on ATC, airports, environmental protection, global harmonization, safety, shared situational awareness, security and weather.

The NGATS board will have monthly meetings, he explained, and his job is to listen to the IPT leads, understand what they need and then develop the process whereby the board can communicate those needs to industry through the associations that represent industry.

Those requests from industry to participate on the IPTs will be vetted through some yet undefined process; recommendations will be forwarded to the board for the final decision about who is going to be involved. “That is what’s going to be used as the starting point for going out and recruiting the help that the IPT needs,” Goodrich said.

Airports2025 was the first meeting of government, research institutions and private industry. It was organized by the non-profit National Safe Skies Alliance to chart the course of aviation and aviation security for the coming decades.

According to the JPDO, the private sector will join the government as a full partner in the NGATS development process.

“The private sector will contribute its best and brightest technical, scientific and professional talent and companies to serve on selected work groups, perform studies and projects and conduct technology demonstrations in support of NGATS,” said the JPDO. “And the stakeholder community itself will manage how those private sector resources are selected and applied to the NGATS mission.”

When the JPDO tasks the NGATS Institute to recruit an expert for assignment to an IPT or working group, or to perform a specific project, the executive director will publish an announcement and initiate a search for candidates and/or bidders and will make a selection after consulting with a panel of at least three advisors.

An IPT assignment is subject to review by the IMC. Project award decisions are subject to review by a standing contractual awards oversight board, a subcommittee of the IMC.