RTCA elects a valued volunteer on its Board from AOPA

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RTCA is a most effective Aviation Safety Institution

Contributes to the Advances of Standards

AOPA’s Rudinger elevated from Volunteer to Board Member

A frequent refrain, although recently the volume, heard from aviation critics from within and without of the industry, is THAT EVERY REGULATORY ACTION TAKES FAR  TOO LONG. Whether tardiness is still a valid complaint is debatable. What is certain is that RTCA is an expert engine which facilitates revisions and advances to aviation standards. The Board Members and many volunteers devote many hours to provide much needed technical advice.

The four incumbent Members represent aerospace manufacturing companies, the major scheduled airlines and business aviation.

Added to that stable of talent is AOPA Vice President of Government Affairs Melissa K. Rudinger and her election to the position is clearly merited:

Rudinger has participated in developing policy recommendations and standards for GPS, airspace, the FAA’s NextGen modernization program, and drones—an area described by RTCA’s outgoing president, Margaret Jenny, as “the single biggest change since the advent of aviation.” In 2015, Rudinger received the RTCA Achievement Award in recognition of her role on the NextGen Advisory Committee’s NextGen Integration Working Group.

Rudinger is a commercial pilot with a lighter-than-air rating who has been in aviation for more than 30 years, has run a local airport business, and has received FAA Academy training in Airspace Design and Analysis, Air Traffic Management, Terminal Procedures Development, and Environmental Policy.

She currently heads AOPA’s participation in the FAA’s NextGen modernization initiative, is serving as co-chair of the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee Subcommittee and is leading AOPA’s initiative to promote sound policies for safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System.

Other major AOPA initiatives she has worked on include:

  • Establishing the FAA’s User Group Process for designing Class B airspace nationwide;
  • Leading AOPA’s advocacy efforts to get general aviation flying again and restore airspace access nationwide after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001;
  • Leading AOPA’s advocacy efforts to modernize the FAA Flight Service Station system; and
  • Serving as AOPA’s representative to the European Union for establishment of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).


More information about RTCA:

RTCA is a private, not-for-profit association founded in 1935 as the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, now referred to simply as “RTCA”. We are the premier Public-Private Partnership venue for developing consensus among diverse, competing interests on critical aviation modernization issues in an increasingly global enterprise

Who is RTCA?

RTCA has provided the foundation for virtually every modern technical advance in aviation. Our products serve as the basis for government certification of equipment used by the tens of thousands of aircraft flying daily through the world’s airspace. A Standards Development Organization (SDO), RTCA works with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop comprehensive, industry-vetted and endorsed standards that can be used as means of compliance with FAA regulations. Our deliberations are open to the public and our products are developed by aviation community volunteers functioning in a consensus-based, collaborative, peer-reviewed environment.

The Value of RTCA

RTCA provides the venue for public-private collaboration that achieves the necessary improvements to advance the state of aviation, encourage innovation, expand the marketplace of ideas and solution, and facilitate US leadership in a manner that maintains the enviable safety record of aviation in the United States.  The FAA has taken positive action on recommendations it has sought from RTCA, leading to tangible outcomes such as timely availability of certified avionics and improvements in the performance of the air traffic management system.

Ms. Rudlinger’s promotion to the Board and her prior work on various RTCA committees serve as a reminder of the importance of volunteers to this public-private partnership. For anyone who works in aviation should consider offering to work for this important organization.

Most who volunteer find their work rewarding; contributing to the advancement of one’s profession provides a high level of personal satisfaction.








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