3 NJ Members of Congress claim that they saved the Tech Center from FAA Headquarters- REALLY???

faa ORG CHART
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Was the Hughes Technical Center at risk due to straight lining to FOB-10?

NJ Delegation thought so

Since 1958 Headquarters has had 100% control over the Atlantic City organization

The NJ press (below) has proclaimed victory for Rep. Van Drew (R) plus Senators Booker (D) and Menendez (D) in their battle against the FAA Washington bureaucracy. The issue?  the organization lines between the agency headquarters and the Hughes Tech Center. This South Jersey PREMIER federal technical is SAFE from unnecessary control by the political[1] and career know nothings in DC.

Yes, indeed,  the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center (Tech Center) is the nation’s premier federal aviation laboratory.  In 1958,the Federal Airways Modernization Board established National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center; renamed the FAA Technical Center in 1980; 1996 was renamed to recognize Ambassador/Congressman William J. Hughes. In the 60+ years the Tech Center has been managed by the FAA Administrator and a couple of different executives in the FAA Headquarters.

Budgets, staffing levels, research agendas including their priorities, executive promotions and all of the ordinary macro tools of managing a technical organization came from 800 Independence Ave. And oh yes, FAA budgets are heavily scripted by the Secretary of Transportation, the White House/Office of Management and SURPRISE, CONGRESS (authorization and appropriations CAN specify details of the Tech Center, inter alia)!!!

The macro FAA organization chart is at the head of this post and here is a more microscopic structural analysis of the control of the Tech Center:

Assistant Administrator for NextGen (ANG-A) – Paul FontainepAUL fONTAINE

o Management Services (ANG-A) – Suzanne Styc

o NAS Systems Engineering & Integration (ANG-B) – Greg Burke (Acting)

o Portfolio Management & Technology Development (ANG-C) –

sHELLEY yAKo William J. Hughes Technical Center (ANG-E) – Shelley Yak

o NextGen Collaboration & Messaging Office (ANG-M) – John Egentowich (Acting)

 

 

 

 

 

Whether the proposed REorganization was implemented or NOT, these two talented executives would oversee the Tech Center’s programs, priorities, etc. Rep. Van Drew’s characterization of what was at issue (below quote) seems unrelated to the facts:

“The FAA had submitted a reprogramming request last year to split the center’s research and development, testing and evaluation, and labs and facilities into three separate organizations, each to be overseen from FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.”

This quote may reflect the real concerns of the 3 Members of Congress and the NFFE—the loss of jobs to Washington or furlough:

“That would have moved major parts of the FAA out of South Jersey and would have given the Washington bureaucracy control[2] over the FAA, costing hundreds of local jobs, according to Van Drew.”

An analysis of the major organizations at the Tech Center really minimizes the loss of jobs to DC risk:

 

tECH cENTER CAPABILITIES

The Atlantic City facility is home to laboratories, special technical facilities and other specially created buildings/offices. Removal of all of these positions (see green programs) to 800 Independence Ave. would make NO SENSE. The support/administrative functions (orange) benefit from close proximity to their “clients” (i.e., HR’s ability to advise about a personnel issue is enhanced by opportunities to see the behavior involved). The redundancy of their work might be hard to defend in a “sacking” of them.

FAA plane over Hughes

 


 

Joe Del Balzo

  • Unfortunately, this assessment lacks the expert, fair opinion of Joe DelBalzo, once Executive Director: Systems Operations, System Development;. and Director, FAA Technical Center. Having had direct management of the organization that he called NAFEC and having had macro responsibility as Systems Operations, System Development from FAA HDQ, Joe would have known the RIGHT answer to this government conundrum.

 

FAA tech center stays independent after Congress rejects reorganization

Hughes aerial

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Federal Aviation Administration will not reorganize the William J. Hughes Technical Center into three separate groups, which critics warned could compromise its research independence and threaten jobs.

Dr. VanDrewU.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew[3], R-2nd, said Wednesday that Congress had rejected the FAA reorganization request by not putting it into the omnibus legislation to keep the government funded that went to Congress earlier in the day.

“The FAA didn’t technically withdraw it,” Van Drew said. “It would have had to go through my committee, where it was not supported. It was also not supported in the Appropriations Committee. It didn’t get any support whatsoever. It was not like a simple up-or-down vote.”

A spokesperson for the tech center declined a request for comment.

The FAA had submitted a reprogramming request last year to split the center’s research and development, testing and evaluation, and labs and facilities into three separate organizations, each to be overseen from FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

That would have moved major parts of the FAA out of South Jersey and would have given the Washington bureaucracy control over the FAA, costing hundreds of local jobs, according to Van Drew.

Hughes people

FAA in DC wants more control of Egg Harbor Township tech center; lawmakers push back

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Saying the future of aviation research is at stake, New Jersey’s Congressman Van Drew and U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez said last year that such a move would fracture the Booker and Menandez center’s ability to function, and began a campaign to stop it.

Van Drew called stopping the reorganization a huge win for South Jersey and said moving forward he will focus on improving infrastructure at Atlantic City International Airport and on legislation to improve FAA policies and expand the Technical Center’s role in emerging technologies.

“The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) is very pleased to see that the reorganization plans for the Hughes Technical Center are shelved,” union Executive Director Steve Lenkart said in an email response to questions Wednesday. “The workers at the Hughes Center perform critical research and technical development services for the country and the aerospace industry. In order to maintain American aerospace dominance and keep the sky over the country safe, the work at the Hughes Center must continue.”

 NFFE VanDrew Dickson

Lenkart said the NFFE looks forward to working with the FAA in the future, “and we are extremely grateful to U.S. Representative Jeff Van Drew for his exceptional leadership in Congress fighting for the Hughes Center and the critical mission of the facility and the FAA.”

In a letter to FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, who has announced his resignation effective March 31, the senators said they were concerned the changes “may jeopardize the integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the nation’s premier aviation research facility.”

Senators Letter

“Any changes that remove jobs or diminish the prominence of the Tech Center could undermine efforts to revitalize this distressed economy,” the senators wrote of the Atlantic County region. They could also jeopardize the county’s attempts to diversify its economy by creating an aviation hub with the tech center and Atlantic City International Airport, the senators said.

 

 

 

 

[1] The FAA political appointees have been named primarily by Sec. Buttigieg and the Biden White House.

[2] Already exists.

[3]  an American politician and dentist serving as the U.S. representative for New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district since 2019. Formerly a Democrat, he has been a member of the Republican Party since 2020.Before being elected to Congress, Van Drew held several public offices, including fire commissioner, town committee member, mayor of Dennis Township, New Jersey, and Cape May County freeholder. He represented New Jersey’s 1st legislative district in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2002 to 2008, and represented the same district in the New Jersey Senate from 2008 to 2018.Van Drew was the Democratic nominee in New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district in the 2018 election..



 

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2 Comments on "3 NJ Members of Congress claim that they saved the Tech Center from FAA Headquarters- REALLY???"

  1. WRONG–
    United States – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
    Reg: N1 full info | N1 photos
    Aircraft: Gulfstream G-IV
    Serial #: 1071

  2. You are correct N1 is a Gulfstream GIV, I’m talking about the picture in your article of the Tech Center with what appears to be a Bombardier product in it. Google a picture of a GIV – it has 6 trademark oval windows. N1 also has Rolls-Royce Tay engines with “silver” thrust reversers. The airplane in the picture appears to have Rolls Royce BR700 series engines. And has 11 “rectangular” windows. The airplane in the picture has a Type III exit over the wing. The Gulfstream GIV incorporates 2- Type IV exits over the wing.

    If memory serves me right the picture you are showing comes from some Bombardier marketing information when they were trying to sell the FAA some airplanes.

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