NEWSCLIP-2001-11-08: Jane Garvey’s Speech to ATCA

copied 6/29/2014 from:

“Air Traffic Control Association”
Jane F. Garvey, Washington, DC
November 8, 2001

Good evening. It is a pleasure to be a part of the Glen Gilbert Award recognition of Bill Pollard. Recognition from your peers, the people you work with and who share a passion for aviation, is always gratifying. A leader in worldwide aviation, Bill is probably the only person who has run air traffic for two nations. Bill’s achievements, his contributions to aviation — here and around the globe — are considerable. It’s great to join in the salute to someone who has dedicated his life to aviation and air traffic control.

Last year, I spoke with you about our sense of urgency about expanding the capacity of our nation’s aviation system. At that time, we faced a crisis — congestion, delays, too many aircraft for too few runways and too little airspace. Americans were frustrated with airline travel.

This year, those concerns pale in comparison with the challenges our nation now faces. Our current crisis is far graver — its impact on aviation far more acute. For each of us in aviation the events of September 11th were especially painful. Our professional lives are tied to aviation in so many ways — the use of airplanes as weapons was not just an attack on our nation, it was an assault on everything good we know aviation to be.

Before September 11, civil aviation was the sound — it was the symbol of commerce. We knew with certainty that aviation built economies – tied the world together – improved our quality of life. On September 11, terrorists turned tools of commerce — they turned instruments of unity — into weapons of hate. What we saw on September 11 was new — and it was devastating. Those acts were outside the bounds of human behavior or imagination. We must now anticipate what we never anticipated.

For each of us — government and private sector alike — the attacks challenged long-held assumptions. They changed the way we view national security and aviation security. We need to act swiftly — and confidently — to reassure our citizens that air travel remains one of the safest forms of transportation ever devised. Safety and security aboard commercial aircraft must be unquestioned.

We are taking additional security measures.We are sharing information across key government agencies. We are increasing employee background checks. We are pushing hard to get the technology and the procedures in place to help us meet our goal of screening every bag, every passenger, every airport employee. All these actions — and more — provide layers of security. Every measure is important and must create a seamless web of security.

And while it’s true that we need to view our projects and all our priorities through the prism of September 11, it’s also true that we cannot lose our focus. Unable actually to imprison us, the terrorists want us to imprison ourselves. We must stay the course and build an aviation system for the 21st century. Our modernization plans will move ahead full throttle. Traffic will rebound. Demand will come back. Aviation is simply too important — too integral — to our economy — to the fabric of our society — to our quality of life. It would be the height of irresponsibility for us to think or plan otherwise.

One hundred and forty years ago, the last wooden ties were laid down in Utah and a golden spike driven into the ground to mark the completion of a single transcontinental railroad route. Engineers, surveyors, and laborers alike risked their lives blasting through mountains, avoiding avalanches, raging rivers, and prairie wildfires to accomplish this remarkable feat. The building of the transcontinental railroad was one of the events that transformed the 19th century.

The men that built the railroad had a goal and they reached it. We are taking the same approach with ATC modernization. We intend to plan — to build — for growth. We will be ready. We know some priorities will shift. This is why Charlie Keegan is developing version 4.0 of the Operational Evolution Plan — to ensure that government is doing everything that it can do — at the same time we have a comprehensive plan that lays out realistic expectations based on who has the ability — to do what — and when.

Importantly, the final destination of version 4.0 is the same as it was before — a near 30 percent increase in capacity by 2010— and to grow that capacity, as we need it, over the next nine years. Let me highlight some progress on near-term OEP initiatives:

There will be no Spring Summer Plan next year. That’s because this tactical, real-time approach to managing delays and demand around weather and other issues is a year-round approach. It is standard operating procedure — fundamental to how we do business. We’re using this collaborative, tactical approach every day of the year. In fact, Jack Kies constantly uses new methods — and is developing new tools and capabilities that better define airspace constraints and support corrective actions.

RNAV routes in the Gulf of Mexico were implemented on September 6. They are a big success with estimated annual savings to operators of about $22 million dollars. We’re implementing RNAV routes around the nation. They are on schedule to meet OEP milestones.

We’ve made major progress on the choke points. Nine sectors are opening this fiscal year — one opened earlier this week at the Cleveland Center. Four radar positions open at the Philadelphia and New York TRACONS in late December. We will finish the choke-points initiative in June with four more enroute sectors in the Cleveland, Indianapolis, and New York Centers.

We’ve got a new runway coming on line. A 10,000-foot runway opens at Detroit Metro late this month and will be fully operational with CAT-III capability by the end of the year.

We’re accelerating URET. It’s about to go operational in Kansas City — possibly as early as next week — one month ahead of schedule. Kansas City Center controllers are excited about this tool — for the increased productivity, for the ability to focus on important tasks, as well as for the conflict probe capability. The NATCA representative in Kansas City says that URET, “is as big, if not bigger, than DSR.”

URET at the Kansas City Center begins the final segment of Free Flight Phase 1. Memphis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington Centers will rapidly follow in the URET waterfall. This will complete the commitment the FAA made to the aviation community to deliver.

And deliver we have, providing tangible benefits with Surface Movement Advisor, Collabor active Decision Making tools, Traffic Management Advisor, and not the User Request Evaluation Tool. Shorter, more direct routes, increased arrival capacities, and a more predictable flight experience for the passenger. We did what we said we were going to do — when we promised. What was critical — what was essential — to this success was holding the consensus, following the plan, communicating with the community, and the commitment by all to get this done.

While we work to expand capacity, we also need to acknowledge the reality that civil aviation security will get more of the capital budget. That makes it even more imperative that we all remain focused on the high benefit capacity-enhancing items in the Operational Evolution Plan.

The transcontinental railroad was the 19th century’s answer to the question of how to speed up the movement of people and freight. During World War II, General Eisenhower took important lessons from the German autobahn network. As President, he led the nation to an Interstate Highway System that forever changed the face of our country. And later in the 20th century, the jet age tied America to the rest of the world.

Now it is time for the next step — laying the groundwork for the transportation legacy of the 21st century — for an aviation system that safely, securely, and efficiently links the nation and the world. There is no more exciting — or challenging — or difficult — time for aviation.

Abigail Adams wrote her son John Quincy: “It is not in the still calm of life…that great characters are formed…The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. All history will convince you of this…Great necessities call out great virtues.”

History is most often written in terms of inventions and events, revolutions and revolutionary ideas. But it is always essentially the story of people. If you are fortunate you can see history being made; more fortunate still to participate in its making.