COE for UAS Public Meeting May 28-29

The FAA will be accepting applications for registration beginning April 18 and is accepting questions at

In accordance with Public Law 101-508, the FAA plans to competitively select a Center of Excellence for UAS within the next year. The COE will be a geographically disbursed consortium of the FAA, university partners and their affiliates selected by the FAA Administrator to conduct UAS related research, education and training while working jointly on issues of mutual interest and concern. The FAA will initially issue cooperative agreements to the selected university team members and specific projects will be defined and funded through matching grants over the life of the COE. In accordance with Public Law 101-508, the COE is responsible for matching all funds granted to establish, operate and conduct related research, and may contract with others as appropriate. Following the COE competitive process, the FAA sponsor may also generate requirements that would be supported through contract tasks awarded by the FAA to the COE member universities for FAA purpose.

Download the Announcement

Registration Open April 18 - May 22

Applications for registration to the Public Meeting to discuss the Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems will be accepted beginning April 18, 2014. The open period for registration will end on May 22, 2014 or until participant enrollment reaches room capacity, whichever comes first. The meeting is open to the public on a first come, first served basis by online registration only. To allow equal access for all Academic and Industry registrants, the maximum number of participants from each University or Organization is limited. Please coordinate from within your group before you start the registration application process. You will receive confirmation of your registration application within two business days for the public meeting. Application acceptance will include a link to the meeting venue that offers group rate lodging (including meals).

Through enabling Congressional legislation (Public Law 101-508), the FAA establishes partnerships with universities throughout the country to create the Air Transportation Centers of Excellence (COEs) in aviation research, education and training. These Centers form flexible, multi-disciplinary teams with other government organizations and industry affiliates. The team members coordinate research and development in areas of aviation technologies that are important to the agency's mission and long-term vision.

To enhance research efforts in this topic area, in March 2014, the FAA Administrator announced the intent to establish a COE for UAS which will serve to advance aerospace technology to meet the current and future needs of the U.S. UAS community. This effort is in support of the FAA's mission to ensure safety during the integration of UAS in the National Airspace System (NAS). The Office of Primary Interest (OPI) for the COE is the Research and Development Integration Division (ANG-C2).

The successful COE applicant shall be required to perform research to assist the FAA fill some gaps in its roadmap to integrate UA in the NAS. The FAA needs to identify and develop criteria and standards required for the civil certification of UAS pilots, equipment and operations. Eight focus research areas have been identified that represent examples of the challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve safe, efficient, and timely UAS integration in the NAS.

The identified Research Areas are:

  • Air Traffic Control Interoperability
  • Airport Ground Operations
  • Control and Communication
  • Detect and Avoid (DAA)
  • Human Factors
  • Privacy Practices for UAS Operations
  • Spectrum Management (Updated April 8, 2014)
  • Unmanned Aircraft (UA) Pilot Training and Pilot Certification Including Other UA Crewmembers

To begin the Registration process, visit:

Click on either "REGISTER FOR PUBLIC MEETING 2014" in the upper right-hand corner of the home page, or select the "PUBLIC MEETING" tab under the banner.

For FAA COE Program specific legislative requirements, visit the COE Program website.

The FAA looks forward to your attendance and participation.

Kind Regards,

Patricia Watts, National Program Director
FAA Centers of Excellence

The FAA Administrator will select the COE team on the ability of the applicant to meet the following criteria mandated by Congress:

  • The extent to which the needs of the State in which the applicant is located are representative of the needs of the region for improved air transportation services and facilities.
  • The demonstrated research and extension resources available to the applicant for carrying out the intent of the legislation.
  • The capability of the applicant to provide leadership in making national and regional contributions to the solution of both long-range and immediate air transportation problems.
  • The extent to which the applicant has an established air transportation program.
  • The demonstrated ability of the applicant to disseminate results of air transportation research and educational programs through a statewide or region-wide continuing education program.
  • The research projects that the applicant proposes to carry out under the grant.

Please Note:

  • All criteria are weighted equally.
  • A page limit will be specified in the Draft and Final Solicitations.
  • The actual projects supported through the COE will be defined and further evaluated following selection of the COE members. A research agenda will be developed during the first year of operation, and additional topic related tasks will be funded throughout the life of the Center.

Download the Announcement

The FAA intends for the Center members to support a broad range of research areas. Topics will include, but will not be limited to, the following:

  1. Air Traffic Control Interoperability
  2. Airport Ground Operations
  3. Command and Control (C2)
  4. Detect and Avoid (DAA)
  5. Human Factors
  6. System Performance
  7. Privacy Practices for UAS Operations
  8. System Engineering
  9. Unmanned Aircraft Pilot Training and Pilot Certification Including Other UA Crew Members.

The FAA anticipates the COE will attract organizations such as industrial groups and other public and private entities interested in collaborating with and coordinating the research and related activities that will generate solutions to immediate and long-term UAS related issues. These organizations may be considered as affiliate members by the COE core universities and may provide matching contributions and receive funding from the COE.

The FAA will issue a Draft Solicitation, allow for a period of public comment, and discuss the COE and UAS technical requirements at a public meeting that will be conducted in the Washington, DC area in May. For additional UAS information and public meeting registration details, visit the COE UAS website:

This meeting is a condition of the procurement process and potential applicants are encouraged but are not required to attend. Registration prior to the meeting, however, will be mandatory. Contact: to be placed on the COE mailing list for future COE notifications.

Download the Announcement

The FAA Administrator expects to announce the final selection of the COE for UAS core team within the next year.

Download the Announcement

Issued in Atlantic County, New Jersey on March 28, 2014.


DOT Secretary of Transportation Student RAISE Award
Open: April 1 - October 31, 2014


Meet Kyle Smith: USAF Lieutenant, STEM student, aviation problem-solver

Photo of Secretary Foxx meeting Lt. Kyle SmithThe Secretary's RAISE Award, an aviation innovation challenge, asks the best and brightest minds from American high schools, colleges, and universities to help us manage our limited airspace more safely and efficiently, and this year's winning submission from USAF Lieutenant Kyle Smith promises to do exactly that.

One man, one idea, and millions of air travelers who could benefit...

Read more:
Meet Kyle Smith: USAF Lieutenant, STEM student, aviation problem-solver
USAF Officer Contributes to Commercial Aviation Safety

NEXTOR Presents Airport Systems Planning and Design 43rd Annual Short Course

June 23-26, 2014 in Berkeley, California

For Registration and Details See:

Dear Colleagues,

The University of California, Berkeley is pleased to announce that the 43rd Annual Short Course on Airport Systems Planning and Design will be held June 23-26, 2014. The course will take place at the Faculty Club on the Berkeley campus, and is offered through the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR). A discounted early registration fee will be available through March 21. Please forward this announcement to those who might be interested.

This four-day course is an in-depth introduction to the issues involved in planning airport systems, in developing new and existing airports, and in designing airport facilities to handle both aircraft and passenger demand. These topics are examined in light of current, evolving trends in airline service, fuel costs, industry structure, and efforts to address climate change and sustainability. This is an opportunity to explore these issues with industry experts.

Full details of the course, including the program, registration and hotel arrangements are available on the course website. Please note that class size is limited. We look forward to welcoming you to Berkeley!


Jasenka Rakas
Deputy Director, UC Berkeley NEXTOR
Course Director, Airport Systems Planning and Design Course

Mark Hansen
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, UC Berkeley NEXTOR
Faculty Member in Charge, Airport Systems Planning and Design Course

DOT & FAA Grant Applicants - Re System for Award Management (SAM)

NOTICE - Waiting until the last minute to register in the System for Award Management (SAM) is never a good idea — especially for those registrants who hope to apply for an open grant opportunity on — but we see it all the time. Potential grant applicants are encouraged to register in SAM as soon as they see an interesting opportunity notice.

Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) requires prime applicants and recipients, excepting individuals, of Federal financial assistance to register in SAM and maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by an agency pursuant to 2CFR Subtitle A, Chapter I, and Part 25 (75 FR 5672).

A report (MS Excel)shared with IAE by the program office at HHS shows the number of grant opportunities closing over the next three months along with the projected number of respondents. It identifies the opportunity number, allowing you to know where the opportunity was issued.

The SAM Quick Start Guide for New Grantees (PDF)is also posted on the home page of along with a recorded SAM grantee webinar. Those who have not already done so should include language in your opportunity announcements to begin the SAM registration process as soon as possible.

Funding Opportunity

The Transportation Research Board has issued requests for proposals for the following Airport Cooperative Research Program projects:

ACRP Project 02-49: Addressing Significant Weather Impacts on Airports

ACRP Project 02-50: Deriving Benefits from Alternative Aircraft-Taxi Systems

ACRP Project 03-35: Improving Airport Services for International Customers

DOT FAA COE Outstanding Students of the Year

Philip James Wolfe Philip James Wolfe

Center of Excellence: FAA Centers of Excellence Partnership for Air Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction (PARTNER)

School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title of Student's Thesis/Dissertation: Development and Application of Environmental-Economic Models of Climate, Air Quality, and Noise Impacts of Aviation

Matthew Opliger Matthew Opliger

Center of Excellence: FAA Joint Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials (CECAM)

School: Wichita State University

Title of Student's Thesis/Dissertation: The Development of the Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA) Calibration and Testing Procedures


COE Announces Selection of a New COE for Alternative Jet Fuels & Environment

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected a team of universities to lead a new Air Transportation Center of Excellence (COE) for alternate jet fuels and the environment. Led by Washington State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the COE will explore ways to meet the environmental and energy goals that are part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Read More » (MS Word)

DOT Sr. Procurement Officers visit the FAA Technical Center

Patricia Watts, director of the FAA's Air Transportation Centers of Excellence program, hosted a group of DOT senior acquisition executives for a tour of the William J. Hughes Technical Center. The group – (from left) Andrea Simao, Ryan Forman, Kathy Greer, Ellen Shields, and Gregory Cate, executive deputy director of the DOT's Senior Procurement Executive Office – oversees 91 grants programs, awarding $600B annually within the DOT, and provides guidance and fiscal direction to the two Centers programs, the RITA University Transportation Centers and the FAA Centers of Excellence.


Recognizing Aviation and Aerospace Innovation in Science and Engineering Award

Open: Through April 15, 2014

The DOT Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, has announced the opening of his RAISE Award to recognize students with the ability to demonstrate unique, innovative thinking in aerospace, science and engineering. In its third year, the Secretary has created two divisions within the award: 1) a high school division, and a 2) university division (both undergraduate and graduate levels). The Secretary intends to use the awards to encourage students to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to aviation and aerospace issues, and to share those innovations with the broader transportation community.

See the 2014 Federal Register RAISE announcement for current application details.

Meet MIT student, Lt. Kyle Smith, our 2013 selected winner during his meeting with Secretary Foxx during the RAISE Award presentation held on March 7 in Washington, DC.