NATCA Bookshelf

National Office Update: Dec. 30 - Feb. 3

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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Page 29 of 40

vector (heading) in excess of the 45-degree restriction to complying with the crossing course angle approved under ALR. The wording will be changed to clarify. The Jan. 21 meeting was specifically to address a myriad of questions brought forth by industry stakeholders, including ALPA and AOPA, who had representatives in attendance. Many of the questions pertained to NOTAM language and when ATC services will be suspended/resumed at airports within a THA. Several policy questions came to light and the group agreed to meet again on Feb. 18 to finish this discussion. Another ALR item is the applicability of ALR to both winged and capsule reentries. A series of meetings were held in November 2019, of which NATCA was only invited to one, to develop a briefing for Agency executives on the feasibility of applying ALR to reentries. The main issue here is that reentry THAs to inland landing sites can be hundreds of miles long and could potentially overlie many medium-sized controlled airports and several large/major airports. Since ALR rules state that airports within a THA cannot provide ATC services, this would create a major impact on NAS operations. This briefing to Agency executives was completed on Jan. 15 and it was decided that the FAA's position is to not apply ALR to reentries. Mr. Behan was awaiting receipt of the official memo/policy statement and then planned to raise the issue at the next ALR meeting, which occurred on Feb. 4. Joint Space Operations Group (JSpOG) - The Joint Space Operations Group meets every two weeks at the ARTSCC in Warrenton, Va. The Jan. 8 meeting covered the following items: • Boeing's Starliner capsule launch attempt is schedule for no earlier than March 31, the mission may last up to six months. • DARPA launch challenge: Astra Space is the only remaining competitor and will conduct the qualifying launches from Kodiak, Alaska, and Wallops Island, Va., in mid-February. These will be commercially licensed launches and ALR will be applicable. • Several upcoming LOA kickoff meetings are being scheduled including Blue Origin (Cape Canaveral, Fla.), Sierra Nevada Corporation (Huntsville, Ala.), and Generation Orbit (Cecil Spaceport, Jacksonville, Fla.). • SpaceX polar launches (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) are tentatively scheduled for March 2020. This launch will be unique in that it will have a southernly trajectory over South Florida and could potentially have a major impact on the NAS. The Jan. 22 meeting covered the following: • DLRW/TBLP outreach with industry is ongoing with details below. • An update on the ERAM "QP Draw" efforts with details below. • DARPA: Astra Space will conduct the first launch from Kodiak, Alaska on Feb. 21. • The 50114 ALTRV course operational tryout was scheduled for Jan. 28-30 at the ATCSCC. More details are below.

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