RTCA is a federally funded advisory committee, which helps guide the FAA on a number of critical technical issues, like NextGen. Its composition should be of able leaders, who both understand the details of air traffic control, navigation systems, the cost/benefits of on board avionics and other elements of the system AND comprehend the vagaries of policy making at the federal level. The recent appointment of AOPA’s Craig Fuller as chair of RTCA was a similarly well considered action .
The position of chair of the RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee must be an individual who has all of that knowledge and skills. Fortunately the man who will take that leadership is incredibly well positioned to lead this special group. Alaska Air Group Chair, Bill Ayer, has been named to follow Jet Blue’s Bill Barger for a two year term. His company’s primary area of operations is its namesake and that territory poses the most demanding challenges for air operations. Ayer holds commercial and flight instructor pilot certificates with instrument and multi-engine ratings, was a regional manager for Piper, held the position of senior vice president of operations for Horizon and currently flies for Angel Flight America, a volunteer group that ferries patients needing air transportation for their medical needs. Mr. Ayers has intimate knowledge of technology advances from Next Gen’s early deployment of ADS-B under a pilot project called Capstone from 1999-2006 in Alaska to the current status of the navigational system’s use as the standard in the 49th state.
From a GA background to his experiences in Alaska, Mr. Ayer will be able to lead the Advisory Committee with truly comprehensive knowledge. GOOD CHOICE!!!Share this article: