Welcome to the 17th Integrated Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems (ICNS) Conference.
I am pleased to announce that distinguished Mr. Jim Eck, Assistant Administrator for NextGen at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will deliver the keynote address. Mr. Eck is leading the modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS) from legacy air traffic control to future air traffic management (ATM) through the use of advanced procedures and digital technologies that will ensure safe and secure air travel while making the NAS more agile and efficient.
However, due to the global interdependence of aeronautical operations, it is not enough to modernize just the NAS. A harmonized approach across air traffic service providers is required to achieve efficiency and to provide benefits to the airspace users. The plenary session on Tuesday, April 18, chaired by Mr. Steve Bradford of FAA and Mr. Michael Standar of SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) will address the“Global Harmonization.” Mr. Steve Creamer, Director of Air Navigation Bureau, ICAO, will deliver the opening remarks. He will be joined by leaders from EUROCONTROL, ENRI, Airbus, Boeing and Rockwell Collins. “Satellites for CNS,” chaired by Mr. Rainer Koll of Stellar Solutions and Dr. Nikos Fistas of EUROCONTROL, will be the plenary topic for Wednesday, April 19. This plenary will explore the transversal role of satellites supporting CNS functions as well as UAS/RPAS operations with input from Aireon, Inmarsat, Iridium and MITRE.
The introduction of unmanned airspace systems (UAS) into the NAS will be transformational for the aviation industry. In June of 2016, FAA published the“Small UAS Rule” that permits operations in Class G airspace up to 400 feet altitude without air traffic coordination. The hobbyists and consumers embraced drones and they became one of the hottest items on 2016 holiday wish list. However, the utility of the drones is not confined to hobbyists! Commercial organizations such as Amazon, UPS, and new ventures are pushing the boundaries to invent novel ways to employ UASs to improve efficiency and quality of life. We can now clearly visualize a world, in a not too distant future, where our sky will be full of them.
Coexistence of UAS with conventional aircraft in the controlled air space will require new capabilities for ATM. Advanced CNS capabilities will be the key enablers for the realization of this vision. As such, I offer you the theme of this year’s ICNS Conference –“CNS Challenges for UAS Integration.” We have organized a plenary session on Thursday, April 20, led by Dr. Stephen Van Trees of FAA and Mr. Paul Bosman of EUROCONTROL to specifically focus on this conference theme with panelists from FAA, EUROCONTROL, MCRI, EUROCAE and NLDA.
In addition, an interactive workshop, titled “Drones, the Sky’s the Limit,” is planned on Wednesday, April 19. The workshop will be led by Professor Lance Sherry of George Mason University and Ms. Denise Ponchak of NASA with participation from AirMAP, Expert Drones, MITRE and NC DOT. Please participate actively in the workshop to contemplate how the leading entrepreneurs and experts are facilitating the use of drones in the U.S.
Starting this year, the ICNS Executive Committee will be recognizing one professional from the aviation industry who has worked to advance research, development and implementation of new CNS technologies and systems to help improve the performance of the aviation infrastructure. It is my pleasure to announce Ms. Diana Liang as the first recipient of the 2017 “ICNS Champion Award.” Diana has dedicated herself towards the advancement of the CNS tools that will support the aviation community’s needs of the future.
She has successfully provided direction on the development and fielding of many of the FAA’s NextGen programs and enabling technologies. Please congratulate Diana when she receives her award after the keynote address on Tuesday, April 18.
I thank you for your attendance. Please make the most of the opportunities to learn from the excellent technical program and to network with your colleagues during our morning breakfasts, breaks, lunches, and evening social events. I invite you to join the exhibitors and sponsors reception on Tuesday evening and enjoy an entertaining presentation,“Kelly’s Greatest Challenge – The SR-71,” from Buz Carpenter, USAF, Col., Retired.
Finally, my heartfelt thanks to the sponsors, exhibitors, chairs, the ICNS Executive Committee, outstanding staff and volunteers who make the ICNS conference a premier event for the aviation industry.
Conference General Chair, 2017 ICNS