Ohio signs $1.6M research agreement with FAA

Staff Report

ATHENS — The Russ College of Engineering and Technology’s Avionics Engineering Center has signed a $1.6 million, five-year agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration’s flight inspection services to provide technical support to enhance the development, evaluation, and certification of airspace navigational systems, instrument flight procedures, and avionics equipment.

“I welcome the opportunity to apply our expertise, research facilities and aircraft to test, evaluate, measure and analyze the resulting data to research FAA issues and provide prompt solutions,” said Mike DiBenedetto, the center’s director. “The research by Avionics faculty, staff, and students will assist the FAA accomplish their safety, security and system efficiency goals, and our students will benefit from the education and training obtained by conducting theoretical studies and implementing practical solutions.”

DiBenedetto explained that part of the FAA’s thorough testing of equipment and instrument flight procedures includes flight inspections of new installations prior to use in the National Airspace System (NAS) and periodic inspection of existing equipment. These inspections help ensure that the equipment operates properly before being brought online and that it continues to operate properly during its service lifetime.

“The FAA flight inspections crews are really in that front-line role of ensuring that this element of the infrastructure is available and suitable for use by the flying public,” DiBenedetto said.

The FAA will rely on the expert research team at the Avionics Engineering Center to help develop the pass/fail parameters for the equipment and instrument procedures being inspected.

“We’ll help them determine the requirements in terms of the assessment, and in terms of what specialized equipment flight inspection aircraft may have to have in order to accomplish those assessments in an airborne environment,” DiBenedetto said.

Staff Report