Washington, D.C., OAPM Update
Thursday, June 28, 2012
On Wednesday, June 20, two Washington, D.C., area Optimization of Airspace Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM) industry team members - US Airways Captain Brian Townsend and United Airlines Captain Chris Osterman - hosted the first pre-implementation briefing at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). With NATCA President Paul Rinaldi present, they informed other industry carriers and other members of the aviation community about the procedural changes scheduled to take place on August 6, 2012.
These procedures include two Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs), an RNAV Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR), a Conventional STAR for IAD, two RNAV STAR’s and a STAR for Washington National Airport (DCA). Several airspace changes to support these procedures are also scheduled. The STARs into DCA commemorate the 11th anniversary of September 11, 2001; one STAR is named TRUPS, pronounced “Troops,” and includes waypoints to honor the brave men and women of our armed forces. The other STAR is named FRDMM, pronounced “Freedom.”
Additionally, Townsend and Osterman spoke about the importance of ensuring that air traffic controllers and other members of the industry use the proper phraseology when handling aircraft executing an Optimized Profile Descent (OPD). They also spoke about the Flight Management Systems (FMS) boxes they use on the aircraft and about how data entered incorrectly could drop certain key way-points as well as published altitudes.
The briefing started with Rinaldi and FAA Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Deputy Chief Operating Officer Rick Ducharme discussing the importance of collaboration and how OAPM is the right way to address the changes needed to support the National Airspace System (NAS). Other speakers included ATO Vice President Mission Support Lynn Ray, Airspace Services Manager Dennis Roberts, OAPM Program Manager Howie Callon, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Senior Policy Analyst Mike Romanoski, and D.C OAPM co-leads, NATCA Article 48 Representative Bennie Hutto and FAA Program Manager, Design & Implementation Dave Perkins.
Hutto and Perkins spoke about how all the parties are working together in a collaborative environment. The team has always focused on the “why” of the project and their reasons for participating as well as “doing the right things for the right reasons.” Overall, there will be 56 procedural changes and 13 airspace changes associated with the project, which will run through April 2014.