Administrator Huerta Offers Farewell to MMAC Employees as His Term Comes to a Close
Vol.3 Issue 9
Administrator Huerta offers his farewell to many Aeronautical Center employees.

As the month of November comes to a close, so will Michael Huerta’s time as the FAA Administrator, as his 5-year term ends, January 2018. Aeronautical Center employees were pleased that the Administrator chose to make one last visit to the Center as he finishes out his 7-year career with the FAA. During his two-day visit to the Center, he and Max Slutsky, his special assistant participated in a Town Hall meeting where the Administrator recognized and praised the critical work being accomplished across the Center, and for the employees’ ability to stay focused on the core mission of providing the safest and most efficient aerospace system in the world. The Administrator commented, “Think about our narrative now vs. where it used to be. Think about the number of aircraft registered. It took us 100 years, to get to the point where 300,000 aircraft were registered; it took us only two years to get to having 1-million aircraft registered. We are more flexible and nimble as an agency than ever before.” Michelle Coppedge, Aeronautical Center Director, provided opening remarks and commended his efforts in providing invaluable support to the Center over the years. “He’s really stood behind many of our accomplishments as aviation has changed a lot in just 5 years,” Coppedge said. She highlighted several advances that have occurred during his term: the growth of the new common Air Route Surveillance Radar; renovations of the Systems Training Building; providing urgent support that was needed when the agency needed to hire over 1,400 air traffic controllers while receiving 29,000 job applications; and providing support during some of the state’s and nation’s catastrophic storms.

The Administrator fielded questions from the audience, and many employees prefaced their questions with personal compliments for a job well done, appreciating him as a valued spokesperson for the FAA, being an advocate for the people and acknowledging that safety cannot be compromised. Coppedge presented him with a framed Director’s coin with the backdrop of a specially designed Aeronautical Center postcard. Sheree VanNoy and Linda Pahdoco, members of the Center’s Employee Engagement Committee presented Administrator Huerta with a 6-foot banner signed by employees across several organizations.

Michelle Coppedge, Director of the Aeronautical Center presents Administrator Huerta with a token of appreciation.
Administrator Huerta examines his gift from the MMAC employees closely as Sheree VanNoy and Linda Pahdoco present him with a banner full of employee signatures.
Employees at the MMAC Town Hall were pleased that the Administrator took time for a final visit.
Throughout the halls, the Administrator took time for photos and brief conversations with employees. Administrator Huerta poses with Sylvester Ivory, Manager in the Navigation and Landing Systems Team.

Upon completion of the Town Hall, the Administrator toured several areas of the Aeronautical Center. He visited with employees in the FAA Academy getting an update about the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (N90) project, Advance air traffic control training, trying out a PRACTICE demonstration and spoke first-hand with several technical operations students.

The Administrator tries out the PRACTICE software located in the Student Services Center.
Dan Smith, Division Manager of the Technical Operations Training Division welcomes the Administrator to visit with many of the Technical Operations students.

The Administrator’s visit then took him to the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), where he and Dr. Melchor J. Antuñano, held a mini Town Hall with several AAM employees. There he was presented with a special case, lined with glass coasters representing each of the Aerospace divisions. He also received a memento signed by CAMI employees, a CAMI Director’s coin and a stein depicting an aeronautical theme. Administrator Huerta was also given a demonstration of the Impact Testing area, and then experienced motion inside the fuselage of the state-of-the-art FlexSim while it filled with theatrical smoke, providing a realistic simulation for an emergency exit.

Dr. Melchor J. Antuñano welcomes Administrator Huerta to the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI).
Rick DeWeese, an aeromedical engineering research scientist presents the Administrator with a gift from all of the Aerospace Divisions at CAMI.
Biodynamics Research Team Coordinator, David Moorcroft explains the impact test to Administrator Huerta as Dr. Antuñano listens in.
Members of the Tower Cab Glass Team at the Logistics Center brief the Administrator about some of the techniques involved in lifting 300 lb. glass structures.

The second day of Administrator Huerta’s visit, he met with employees at the Logistics Center where he received a close-up demo of the Tower Cab Glass Program. The original intent was to let the Administrator get a feel for what some of the technicians go through when installing these huge sections of glass, but the Oklahoma winds proved to be too strong for such a demonstration. However, a couple of technicians were able to provide Administrator Huerta with a front-row view of how a personnel rescue is handled on a tower. Since the structure was shielded from the winds, the maneuver could be performed safely.

Engineering technicians at the Logistics Center demonstrate the methods involved in rescuing someone from a tower structure.
Administrator Huerta with Jerald Wolf of the FAA Logistics Center sharing contents from a newspaper article.

Next stop on the Administrator’s Center tour was the National Airway Systems Engineering Group with engineers presenting examples of the Wide Area Augmentation Systems and the Runway Status Lights advisory system.

Members of the National Airway Systems Engineering Group pose with the Administrator after a briefing.
Engineers, Robin Oxenford and Christine Huckleberry talk with the Administrator about Runway Status Lights after a briefing.

The tour then went to the Enterprise Services Center (ESC), where the Administrator went into the SAFe Agile room where he was briefed on the latest in Lean-Agile thinking, showing the advancements in configurability, implementation guidance and enhanced capabilities surrounding financial management and IT services.

The Administrator takes time out to talk to the employees of the Enterprise Services Center.
Scottie Sawall, an Agile Release Train Engineer talks to the Administrator about the success of using Scaled Agile Framework in creating a lean process for the organization.

As the group broke for lunch, a team from the Aeronautical Center’s NextGen Integration Committee (ACNIC) provided an overview of a technology break-through via collaborations between Aeronautical Center employees and employees at the Technical Center in Atlantic City.

Administrator Huerta talks with the Aeronautical Center’s NextGen Integration Committee (ACNIC) members Chris Dumesnil, Manager of the NAS Technical Services Division and Tony Darnell, Manager of the Terminal Automation Section.
Prior to flying out of Oklahoma City, Administrator Huerta was able to virtually ‘fly out’ through the use of the flight simulator, thanks to the team in the Flight Operations Branch.

While the two-day visit passed quickly, Aeronautical Center employees were pleased that they were able to personally thank the Administrator for his time in office. Everyone wishes him the best, as he has undoubtedly served the agency and the Aeronautical Center well.

No visit would be complete without a trip to the Employee Association Bookstore.
As the tour concludes, David Palmerton, an industrial engineer in the Quality Systems & Business Resources Staff wishes Administrator Huerta and Max Slutsky the best.
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