Northwest Mountain Region faa Congressional Interest Newsletter - FY2017 - WINTER

Message from Regional Administrator KC Yanamura

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! – Happy New Year!

As we look ahead to 2017, the FAA is committed to preparing our workforce with the training, leadership and technical skills necessary to maintain the world’s safest and most efficient national airspace system.

A great way to keep our employees focused on their mission is to create a diverse and inclusive working environment. We encourage participation in agency-recognized Employee Association groups and the use of free Work/Life balance programs available to employees and their spouses. As the employer of men and women in safety-critical occupations, it's equally important for us to help foster a healthy atmosphere both at home and on-the-job.

In the Northwest Mountain Region, we have initiated mobile work programs throughout every division. We are designing our new building to accommodate collaboration areas, desk sharing, and mobile workstations.

I love highlighting the good things that are happening across our Region, as a result of the hard work and dedication of so many of our wonderful employees. Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta as my special guest for the 30th Annual Regional Administrator’s Awards.

Our “Above and Beyond” Award went to the Denver Metroplex Team for the quality of their work and its positive reflection on the agency and mission. Their efforts to proactively engage with local communities and stakeholders about their concerns regarding the airspace over Denver International Airport and seven additional airports in Colorado are building trust and opportunities for collaboration across the state. Their work is helping the agency make changes to arrival and departure procedures that will make Colorado airspace safer and more efficient as volume and capacity continue to climb in the area.

Our “Team Excellence” Award to the Special Response Team, whose quick actions helped mitigate the serious issues caused by a high-pressure underground water pipe that ruptured at the Seattle Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), jeopardizing air traffic operations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the surrounding area. In short time, the flooding was stopped and the safety of the employees and National Air Space (NAS) operations was secured, with efforts underway to repair the damages and restore the facility. The team’s collaborative efforts successfully returned the facility to full operations within record time and without any disruption to Air Traffic services or employee injury.

Our “Career Achievement” Award to Carl Dennhardt, who during his nearly 50 years of Federal Service as an air traffic controller and manager, has been on the front lines during the development and implementation of numerous air traffic control systems and technological advances. His professionalism, dedication, and commitment as a leader, mentor, teacher, and colleague are beyond reproach, and the lives he has touched have spread far and wide throughout the NAS and beyond, influencing many people and programs both within and outside the FAA.

We will continue to highlight noteworthy activities, programs and projects of interest in our region. Contact us with any FAA-related questions or concerns. Your primary regional FAA point of contact is Leslie Lardie. She can be reached at (425) 227-2040 or leslie.lardie@faa.gov.

FAA Evaluates Drone Detection Systems

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) that enter the protected airspace around airports can pose a serious threat to manned aviation safety. The FAA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are conducting drone-detection research with state and local officials, and academia, to evaluate new technologies for detecting unmanned aircraft near airports. Recent field-testing at Denver International Airport was a major milestone in the development of minimum operational performance standards for drone detection at major airport and critical infrastructure locations.

The work in Denver is one of six technical evaluations scheduled over an 18-month period as part of the FAA’s Pathfinder Program for UAS Detection at Airports and Critical Infrastructure.

NextGen Flight 101

“Take off” on NextGen Flight 101 to see firsthand how the FAA has optimized communications, operations, and performance to deliver direct benefits to airlines, airport operations and the flying public. From ground operations to in flight communications, this NextGen experience illustrates how the FAA and its partners are changing the way we fly.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Safety Outreach

Attention holiday drone shoppers: Fly smart this holiday season and all year long.

Controllers Save Lives

Listen to an air traffic audio recording of Jacksonville controller Dwayne McLean as he aided the pilot of a single-engine airplane struggling to maintain orientation in heavy cloud cover on Sept. 4.

NextGen at FedEx

A few seconds can make a big difference during the busy holiday package season. Dan Allen, managing director of flight technical and regulatory compliance at FedEx Express, describes benefits his company is experiencing through the use of three of FAA's NextGen technologies: Wake Recategorization, Optimized Profile Descents, and Data Communications.

ADS-B Rebate Program for General Aviation Aircraft Owners

Watch a video overview of the ADS-B Rebate Program Process and the five simple steps to claiming $500: Decide, Reserve, Install, Fly & Validate, and Claim:

Aeromedical Advisory: The Big Question

by Dr. James Fraser, FAA Federal Air Surgeon

The FAA Extension Act of 2016, with its provisions for medical certification relief, was signed by President Obama on July 15. When the law was signed, we immediately assigned a team to work on sorting out the details so we could write a rule that complies with the legislation and meets the required timeline.

Honolulu (HNL) Runway Safety Outreach

Runway operations seem routine, but every pilot knows that accidents can happen on the ground just as easily as in the air. By increasing awareness of the challenges pilots face on a complicated runway configuration like Honolulu International Airport (HNL), other pilots who may never fly in Hawaii will gain a better understanding of how to avoid runway incursions at their local airports.

Space Data Integrator

The Office of Commercial Space Transportation is testing the Space Data Integrator a tool to help reduce the size and time airspace must be closed for space launch and reentry operations.

The Space Data Integrator builds a flight plan based on launch and re-entry trajectories provided by the space operator. Once the mission begins, the operator constantly feeds flight data such as latitude, longitude, speed and altitude from the space vehicle’s telemetry system into the SDI via the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center.

New Small Airplane Safety Certification Standards

This innovative rule will reduce the time it takes to move safety enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace and will also reduce costs for the aviation industry.

"The FAA’s rule replaces prescriptive design requirements with performance-based standards, which will reduce costs and leverage innovation without sacrificing safety.” - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

FAA’s new Part 23 rule (PDF) establishes performance-based standards for airplanes that weigh less than 19,000 pounds with 19 or fewer seats and recognizes consensus-based compliance methods for specific designs and technologies. It also adds new certification standards to address general aviation loss of control accidents and in-flight icing conditions.

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