Interview published October 20, 2008
FLY NEXTGEN: Why is Embry-Riddle taking such a strong interest in NextGen?
CHRISTINA FREDERICK-RECASCINO: We consider it part of our mission not only educate students and people around the world in aviation education, but also to lead, to become thought leaders in those areas. So when there are new trends that come around, we want to be fully engaged not only in understanding them, promoting awareness about them and conducting research in those areas, but also putting ourselves in the forefront of the transformation of any kind of aviation system in the U.S.
What’s really important to think about is that NextGen is not just aviation. It’s aerospace technology, it’s engineering, it’s the impact on the traveler. And at Embry-Riddle, we have experts from every single discipline related to aviation and aerospace. We’re unique in that we can provide a very full picture to either a highly sophisticated audience about what this is, or a fairly naïve “how does this affect me, the common traveler.”
FLY NEXTGEN: You’ve got two demos scheduled at the Daytona Beach test bed facility in November and December. What are your goals?
CHRISTINA FREDERICK-RECASCINO: The first demo is to show the results of a task that we were given by the FAA. All four of the SWIM alliance members are in our consortium, and we believe that SWIM is a very important piece of the modernization system. We have to have a backbone that allows easy integration across the various processes and technologies. So our demo on November 18th is to show that we can, using a SWIM-enabled environment, integrate weather displays into the Traffic Management Advisory System. The type of people that we want at this demo are people from the FAA who need to see that these disparate systems coming from different companies can be married together and could be implemented, you know, across the country.
About December 10th… the FAA has really sponsored and helped develop the testbed facility, supported by a consortium –- Embry-Riddle, Lockheed Martin, Harris, CSC, Boeing, and about 10 other corporate partners –- that have agreed to work together to develop NextGen projects and project work… some funded, some unfunded. Next month’s demo will actually be the third demo that we’ve had at this facility – the first two were unfunded, we just wanted to show the FAA what our capabilities were. Well, they’ve noticed – we’ve got funding now. And December is really the opportunity for a more general audience to come to this facility, do the ribbon-cutting, and to see what specific capabilities we have.