Southern Region Congressional Interest Newsletter - FY2017 - Spring

Message from the Acting Regional Administrator Pearlis Johnson

Please allow me to introduce myself to you. I am Pearlis Johnson, the Acting Regional Administrator for the FAA Southern Region.

Before assuming this role, I was the Deputy Regional Administrator for more than ten years. I have more than 30 years in government and private sector aviation with extensive executive leadership experience.

Dennis Roberts, my predecessor, is now the Regional Administrator for the Western Pacific Region. Join me in giving Dennis a special “thank you” for his hard work and dedication for the last two years.

I am committed to engaging with stakeholders and the community, and to demonstrate that, I kicked off the year by hosting a State Aviation Directors meeting in late January. Bobby Walston, the North Carolina State Aviation Director, who also serves as Regional Director of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), joined me in Atlanta with the Aviation Directors from the eight Southern Region states and Puerto Rico.

The FAA and the State Aviation Directors provided updates, shared valuable information and discussed areas for continued cooperation. We discussed Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System - NextGen, and the new BasicMed rule for general aviation pilot medical certification. We also talked about the transition to a new Administration. The interactive exchange fostered an environment where we shared information and identified opportunities for future engagement.

I am pleased to share that this meeting was a great first step in collaborating, as we continue to determine ways we can work together to providing the safest and most efficient aviation system in the world.

Left to right: Steve Parker, KY; Aaron Smith, FL; Dr. John Eagerton, AL; Stephen James, SC; Pearlis Johnson, FAA; Bobby Walston, NC; Bill Orellana, TN; Tommy Booth, MS; Steve Brian, GA.

Atlanta TRACON Controllers Recognized

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) recently awarded one of its highest honors to a team of air traffic controllers at the Atlanta Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) in Peachtree City, GA, for assisting a private pilot who was in distress near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Air Traffic Controller Mason Braddock provided air traffic control instructions to pilot Cathy Lewan who declared an emergency as she was flying a Cessna 172 aircraft about 10 miles south of ATL on Valentine’s Day 2016. The throttle on Lewan’s single-engine aircraft was stuck, so she couldn’t slow down the aircraft. Braddock’s calm, steady voice reassured Lewan for 50 minutes as he guided her to a safe landing at the world’s busiest airport.

Braddock was assisted by ATC Nichole Surunis, and backed up by Controller-in-Charge Clay Sutton, Traffic Management Specialist Keith Tyus, who is a Certified Flight Instructor and provides his expertise from a pilot’s perspective. Controller Patrick Burrows handled all the other flights in the area so Braddock could focus on getting Lewan safely on the ground.

ABC World News with David Muir and local Atlanta media interviewed the award-winning team just before they received NATCA’s Archie League Medal of Safety in March. We are very proud of their accomplishment.

Left to right: Keith Tyus, Clay Sutton, Mason Braddock, Cathy Lewan, Nichole Surunis, and Operations Supervisor Bryant Vaughan.

Upcoming Events

Mississippi Airports Association Conference - April 19-21, 2017

Engineering Improves Aviation in the Gulf

Glenn Meier is the Gulf ADS-B Project Team Lead in the ATO Program Management Organization (PMO).

The ATO Program Program Management Organization (PMO) Engineers are improving flight safety over the Gulf of Mexico by implementing surveillance broadcast services where radar coverage has never existed.

Engineering Services Outreach to Youth

As part of the recent Engineer’s Week, members of Engineering Services recently traveled to Stonewall Tell Elementary School in College Park, GA to introduce the concepts of engineering to a specialized class of 5th graders hand selected for having interest in the engineering fields

Data Comm Now Reducing Delays at Miami

Data Comm, the NextGen technology that is revolutionizing communication between air traffic controllers and pilots, is now helping to enhance safety and reduce departure delays at Miami International Airport, the 12th busiest airport in North America and the largest gateway to Latin America

The Future of Flight Service

New national flight service functions will leverage automation to save time and enhance safety.

FAA Forecasts Continued Growth in Air Travel

The FAA released its annual Aerospace Forecast Report Fiscal Years 2017 to 2037, which projects sustained and continued growth in nearly every aspect of air transportation.

The FAA Aerospace Forecast 2017-37 is developed to support budget and planning needs of the FAA. The forecasts are developed using statistical models to explain and incorporate emerging trends of the different segments of the aviation industry. This year's document contains updated forecasts for US airline traffic and capacity, FAA workload, General Aviation activity and pilots, as well as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) fleet and remote pilots.

NextGen Arrives for UPS

UPS pilot Capt. Gregg Kastman describes the benefits his company is experiencing as a result of NextGen.

ADS-B 101

With the approaching January 1, 2020 deadline to equip with ADS-B Out, pilots and owners are looking for more information. Learn more about what it is, and how it will benefit the general aviation community.

True Stories of Air Traffic Control

Listen to a pilot’s grateful words after a recent close call in Fort Worth Center airspace.

U.S. Helicopter Accidents Decrease

The U.S. helicopter accident rate and the fatal helicopter accident rate have fallen for the third consecutive year, according to Federal Aviation Administration data.

FAA Issues General Aviation Medical Rule

The FAA has issued a final rule that allows general aviation pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements outlined in Congressional legislation. Beginning May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate.

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