Monday, September 15, 2008

Sorry Charlie



If you followed yesterday’s link to eWeek you would have read a lot about the JPDO -- the Joint Program and Development Office.

The JPDO is one of those mega-committees in government that is supposed to coordinate all of the needs of all of the groups into a comprehensive plan. DOD, FAA, DOT, NASA, TSA -- all the government alphabet groups are on it and they’re supposed to move the National Air Transportation System into the future. The future of the moment is NextGen.

All this is only important for today in recognizing one name in the news -- Charlie Keegan.

If you keep up with the news, you probably saw this story too.

FAA Awards Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution Contract to Raytheon Team

But you may have been like me and skimmed through it fast enough to miss this tidbit.

"Our systematic approach to designing training solutions will help the FAA provide safe, uninterrupted travel for air travelers," said Raytheon Program Manager Charlie Keegan. "The training we will deliver to the FAA is built on more than 40 years of experience delivering a full range of training to the air traffic control community."

Those of us that worked in the FAA recognize Charlie’s name from his previous jobs in the FAA -- including his stint at the JPDO. Fortunately for you and me, an alert reader of Get the Flick noticed it.

Skimming is such a bad habit. In today’s world, with too much information to absorb, it’s just a fact of life I suppose. But did you notice this from that last link I just gave you ?

May  , 2005 Interview with JPDO Director Charlie Keegan(Extracted from Raytheon's Defender Magazine)

Considering Mr. Keegan’s new job, I bet the word “interview” takes on a whole new meaning for you.

You can dig a lot deeper if you’d like. Mr. Keegan is quite famous in the FAA. Here are just a few of my personal favorites;

It's a high-profile effort for an agency that has seen major modernization efforts fail before. Its evolutionary, one-step-at-a-time approach departs from previous plans—most notably the Advanced Automation System, an ambitious program to modernize systems throughout all air traffic control centers that was broken up into smaller projects in 1994, after six years and $1.5 billion of agency money. Keegan said the FAA has learned from past mistakes such as AAS, which he worked on as an air traffic specialist. This time around, officials have made a point of including controllers, ...“

”'Free Flight program, a high-profile effort to provide technologies to enable pilots to fly more direct and timesaving routes. The Free Flight experience helped him prepare for his new challenge, Keegan said. He learned that listening and providing candid feedback help ensure success—as does focusing on a clearly defined mission.“

I’m guessing I don’t need to explain to my regular readers how I feel about controllers being included in decisions, Free Flight and a clearly defined mission. Nor backdoor privatization.

Don Brown
September 15, 2008

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