Free Flight vet to lead FAA effort

 - May 8, 2008, 6:50 AM

Charlie Keegan, who has headed the FAA’s Free Flight Office since its inception three years ago, has been named to lead the modernization effort outlined in the FAA’s new Operational Evolution Plan (OEP).

The OEP, announced in early June, is an industry-wide effort to address the growing gap between demand and capacity in the air transportation system. The Free Flight Office is implementing several new tools to allow controllers to move air traffic more efficiently.

“Charlie’s exceptional success in leading Free Flight certainly qualifies him to take on greater responsibility in implementing the OEP,” said FAA Administrator Jane Garvey. “He has built an extremely effective relationship with key parts of the aviation industry and with the FAA’s main labor organizations.” She added that both are key elements in implementing the OEP.

The FAA estimates that the 10-year OEP will accommodate a 30-percent increase in commercial operations  while delivering on Free Flight capabilities. At the same time, changes in airspace design and navigation procedures will boost system flexibility and access.

As part of the Administrator’s and deputy administrator’s office, Keegan will be responsible for implementing, managing and executing the OEP. Before taking over Free Flight, he was acting director of the Air Traffic Systems Requirements Office.
Keegan is a 22-year FAA veteran and a former controller who worked in Boston, New York and Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H. His replacement at the Free Flight Office will be Robert Voss, currently the deputy director.