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June 18, 2014

Heiderstadt key contributor in International Flight Inspection Symposium to consider issues impacting flight safety worldwide

An influential international aerospace organization meets in Oklahoma City this week to consider technologies and environmental issues impacting global flight inspection operations, and contributing to its deliberations is a key employee from Commuter Air Technology (CAT).

John Heiderstadt, CAT's Integration Manager, is among those working to develop new flight inspection and safety recommendations for the International Committee for Airspace Standards and Calibration (ICASC). The Committee will gather at the 18th International Flight Inspection Symposium (IFIS), to be held at the Skirvin Hotel June 16 - 20. The theme of this year's IFIS is "Flight Plan to Innovation."

The Symposium promotes collaboration between industry and governmental stakeholders and focuses on flight inspection procedures, techniques, and training equipment.

Heiderstadt serves on the IFIS technical working group, which works to develop guidelines for developing areas of flight navigation such as automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, and makes recommendations to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which oversees flight rules around the world. "We develop the criteria by which other international organizations such as ICAO or the FAA will provide oversight for both the airlines and the aviation industry," Heiderstadt said. "One area is performance criteria; both the implementation and the measures of effectiveness of implementation."

Engineers, academia, and flight inspection professionals from around the world gather at the IFIS every two years to tackle such challenges as isolating radio frequency interference, ensuring navigation database integrity, developing meaningful flight inspection criteria and ensuring appropriate regulatory oversight of emerging technologies.

The 2008 IFIS also was held in Oklahoma City. Other cities that have hosted recent IFIS have been Braunschweig, Germany; Beijing, China; and Toulouse, France. The next IFIS is scheduled for 2016 and will be hosted by the Serbian Montenegro Civil Aviation Authorities (SMATSA) in Belgrade, Serbia.

“Recommendations by IFIS and other industry groups have helped improve aviation safety around the world, especially in the United States, Heiderstadt added. When you are on an international air carrier, the reason an airplane flies reliably and consistently from point A to point B is in part due to the recommendations made by the ICAS and IFIS organizations who have provided input on the design, implementation, and oversight over the past 30 plus years. The behind-the-scenes diligence of regulators, engineers, and scientists is the reason why the aviation industry in the U.S. is the safest in the world."