ASSURE Leader Joins Top Officials at Resiliency of Airspace WRP Principals’ Meeting

Senior leaders from state, federal and Tribal agencies atttended the 2022 Western Regional Partnership’s (WRP) Principals’ Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. This was the first in-person WRP Principals’ Meeting since November 2019 and was considered a great success.

Throughout the meeting, Principals were updated on accomplishments detailed in the 2022 report on Building Resilience in the West for America’s Defense, Energy, Environment and Infrastructure through Enhanced Collaboration. The bulk of the meeting was focused on the WRP’s deep-dives through a number of plenary sessions including the Resiliency of Airspace.

The panel noted the WRP Region arguably has the most complex and busiest airspace in the nation and highlighted DoD aviation readiness requirements; Integration of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the NAS; and Counter UAS State and Federal policy.  This panel was moderated by Mr. Rob Lowe, Regional Administrator, FAA, Southwest Region, and speakers: included:

  • Mr. Lorne Cass, Former Member and current subject-matter-expert for the Advanced Aviation Advisory Committee (AAAC)
  • Col. (Ret.) Stephen “Lux” Luxion, Executive Director, ASSURE (Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence)
  • Ms. Jennifer Roberson, Deputy Director, Office of National Security and Incident Response, Security and Hazardous Materials Safety Organization at Federal Aviation Administration, and
  • Colonel (USAF) Geoffrey J. Roche, Senior Military Representative to the FAA, HAF/A3OJ. 

Outcomes of the WRP Resiliency of Airspace Chapter in the 2022 Report were also summarized, and included:

  • Importance of working together and identifying needs
  • Technology is a great enabler (communications, awareness, etc.)
  • Use of airspace has changed, more demands by diverse stakeholders and platforms
  • Policies are changing but technology is faster
  • Dynamically managed airspace
  • Integration is robust
  • Aviation spectrum needs
  • Safety is most important

WRP Co-Chairs Mr. Ron Tickle, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Real Property, and Mr. Gary Harter, Executive Director, Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs (representing the Honorable Spencer Cox, Governor of Utah), welcomed the 137 senior policy-level leaders and supporting staff in attendance.

By Kim Stevens, State Aviation Journal

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