RTCA Launches Standards Development Organization

Margaret Jenny
Margaret Jenny

RTCA has announced the formation of the RTCA Standards Development Organization (SDO) to continue its 83-year track record of producing timely and robust standards and guidance documents to ensure interoperability of aviation systems and equipment, encourage innovation, and serve as the basis for meeting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

“We are excited that beginning May 30, 2018, RTCA will make the transition from being utilized by the FAA as a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) to an independent SDO, with on-going FAA involvement,” stated RTCA President, Margaret Jenny. “We will also continue to work closely with our European counterpart, EUROCAE, to develop joint standards.”

The change comes as a result of the May 29, 2018 expiration of the umbrella agreement (Charter) under which RTCA has operated. In lieu of renewing the Charter for the Program Management Committee and the nearly 20 Special Committees (SCs), the Department of Transportation and the FAA have recognized that RTCA will continue to produce performance-based standards as an independent SDO.

“Mindful of the FAA’s desire to continue without interruption, the production of high-quality standards and guidance materials, RTCA is committed to a seamless transition,” explained Jenny.

Under the new SDO, industry leadership of SCs and their working groups will remain the same.  Leaders within the FAA and RTCA are working now to define the ongoing, and very important relationship between RTCA and the FAA on the Program Management Committee and the SCs.

According to Jenny, “the output of the committees is even more important now as we turn our attention to providing risk-based performance standards for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and other new entrants as they are integrated into the airspace.”

RTCA’s time-honored processes and committee leadership guidance will ensure that all the work of the committees is conducted in a manner that is compliant with U.S. anti-trust laws, and continues to reflect the high standard of quality that industry expects. The transition to an independent standards organization will minimize changes to processes and will be mostly transparent to the committee members.

“RTCA remains committed to working with government and industry to advance the state of aviation, encourage innovation, expand the marketplace of ideas and solutions, and facilitate US leadership in a manner that maintains the enviable safety record of aviation in the United States,” concluded President Jenny.