miércoles, 20 de agosto de 2014

FAA UAS Integration Office manager visits Grand Forks AFB

According to Aviation Week Magazine, "the UAS Integration Office has the extraordinary challenge of accomplishing the efficient and timely integration of UAS in the National Airspace System while balancing the political pressure and economic needs of the nation." 

Although Jim Williams was there primarily for the joint test flight, he did take full advantage of his official visit by taking the time to speak with the Airmen"I enjoy speaking to people like the UAV pilots and maintainers because workers at the tactical-level may provide us with more valuable information about how we can evaluate and improve our UAS mission," said Williams. "It's important that they know that what they do for this mission matters greatly, and any future success of this program will depend heavily on the work they continue to do here because it starts with them."

"I'm here to observe your UAS operations and see how I can be of help," said Williams at the start of his meeting with Col. Paul Bauman, 319th Air Base Wing commander, and three other base leaders. "Colonel Bauman had previously invited me to the base, but I could not come at the time of his original request, so when I was invited to come here for the joint flight test involving the two UAVs, I decided to meet with him and the rest of the senior leadership so they could share with me their perspective on how things were going." Since being selected to be the manager of the FAA UAS Integration Office in March 2012, Williams has had the responsibility of coordinating all aspects of the FAA's efforts to integrate UAS into the NAS. This includes activities for rulemaking, standards, guidance material, industry coordination, interagency coordination, research and development, and planning to support UAS integration. The new office combines the formerly independent efforts of the Air traffic Organization and the Aviation Safety Organization.

The 319th Operations Support Squadron gave Williams a tour of the Radar Approach Control Tower, the primary facility used for directing approaches and departures of all aircraft in and out of the installation, to include UAVs. The tour of the RAPCON tower was followed by visit to one of the Global Hawks, where two Airmen from the base waited for Williams in order to talk about their work and challenges of maintaining the base's largest UAV. Williams also spent time meeting and speaking with junior Airmen who directly impact the UAS mission there. Williams expressed his appreciation for tour of the tower and getting to speak with the Airmen.