Though it will take thousands working together, in addition to the entire aviation community, to make ADS-B happen, there’s a small group of hard-working people laying the foundation for things to come.? It’s this group that owns infrastructure planning and deployment, works with industry to build and deliver the products the aviation community needs, and energizes and informs the consumer who must invest and in turn benefit from the investments made by government and industry alike.

Though my short list will grow over time, these are some folks to watch today.? If you know of other shakers and movers in this area, send me their names and some information about them that others should know.? This is all about establishing our community of experts and influencers, and building momentum toward substantial ADS-B deployment in the not too distant future.


Vincent Capezzuto
FAA, Air Traffic Organization, Director,
Surveillance & Broadcast Services

As the Director of the FAA’s Surveillance and Broadcast Services program office, Vincent Capezzuto has coordinated and obtained funding to support, develop, implement and manage Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) program.

Previously as an FAA senior engineer, Capezzuto was integral in transitioning concepts and technologies from research to production on many FAA projects.

Capezzuto has been with the FAA for 12 years and prior to joining the FAA he worked for private sector companies including United Technologies, Westinghouse and Republic Electronics. He was involved in the design, integration, test, implementation, and manufacturing of electronic equipment for commercial, civil, and military applications.

Capezzuto is a graduate of George Washington University where he obtained a Master of Science Degree in Systems Engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree from New York Institute of Technology.

Statement of Vincent Capezzuto, before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation on Nextgen: The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Contract

AOPA Interview with Mr. Capezutto

Don Walker, FAA Avionics Systems Branch, AIR-130, Surveillance Team Lead

No picture, no LinkedIn, no bio, but definitely a good person to know if you’re a manufacturer trying to figure out the minimum performance standards for ADS-B gear you’re developing.? Here are a couple presentations Don delivered at the AEA ADS-B Regulatory Technology Forum in Missouri last February.

AEA ADS-B Installation Guidance.pdf

ADS-B Early Implementation Experiences.pdf

ADS-B is a complex system and it’s nice to know there are brilliant people like Don keeping the big picture in mind.


Doug Arbuckle is FAA’s Sr. Advisor for Surveillance and Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), NextGen JPDO

From Doug’s LinkedIn Profile: Serving in the dual role of Senior Advisor for Surveillance and Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT) in the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) and also as Chief Scientist in the FAA Surveillance and Broadcast Services (SBS) Program. For JPDO, advise the JPDO Director on required PNT and Surveillance activities to meet NextGen objectives — including identification of critical institutional, policy, and technology issues. For the SBS Program, advise SBS Program management in the development of future ADS-B applications, through the lifecycle of operational concept development, safety and performance analysis, field test validation, and avionics standards development via RTCA and ICAO. Oversee international outreach, harmonization and coordination activities for SBS Program.

Another VERY smart man on ‘our team’.


Next is Rocky Stone – Captain Rocky Stone is the Chief Technical Pilot for United Airlines. Rocky currently flies as a Boeing 777 Captain. He has previous experience at United flying the B727, B737, B757, and B767. Prior to joining United, Rocky was an experimental test pilot in the US Air Force, with pilot assignments in the F-15, T-38, A-7, and F-4. Rocky earned his B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. Rocky is the co-chair of RTCA Special Committee-186, responsible for developing technical and operational standards for Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B). Rocky is a member of the “ADS-B in” Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), and co-chairs the operations working group of the ARC. Rocky is also co-chair of RTCA Special Committee-206 on Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) Data Link.

An ADS-B History lesson from Rocky from Mar. 2009.


There’s the ADS-B powerhouse from MIT.


Prof. R. John Hansman, Jr.

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Head, Division of Humans and Automation

Director, International Center for Air Transportation

The bio I like best for R. John Hansman is this article in the FAA Safety Briefing magazine May/June 2011, pages 12-15 entitled ‘Pilot Professor Helps Chart a Safer Future’.? His passion and commitment to improve our safety in the skies is without equal, though you’ll see by visiting my ‘Academic’ Reading Room that he is mentoring a number of new leaders in the industry like

Ted Lester who has since moved to on to Avidyne (check out his upcoming ADS-B Webinars), and

Fabrice Kunzi who is young and brilliant will continue to be very influential in improving safety in the skies in years to come (his Masters thesis was an important starting point for me in my quest to better understand the big picture of ADS-B and its importance to the GA community).


And then there’s my Who’s Who aviation industry favorite, Tim Taylor.? Tim is Chief Executive Officer, owner, and member of the Board of Directors at FreeFlight Systems in Waco, Texas.? One of the things that is cool about Tim is that he is so upbeat about the potential of ADS-B in helping to improve overall safety in the skies for all pilots and aircraft types. Every time I hear him speak (here are two occasions – AVweb, Aero-TV1, Aero-TV2) I get the sense that he is both an advocate for general aviation as well as being well connected with activities such as the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) that recently published their ADS-B In Recommendations to the FAA.? With this kind of sincere commitment from industry to do the right thing for the consumer, I’m very encouraged.


Oh, and the other really cool thing about Tim is that he’s a musician and just released another album entitled ‘Back Home’.? How cool is that!? Check it out


A recent addition to my Who’s Who list is Tod R. Lanham.? Tod has 45 years flying experience (Commercial, SMEL, Instrument), is an aircraft owner, retired Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Controller 23 Years, and retired IBM Corporation Consulting Engineer for Automotive and Aerospace Engineering and Design.? I connected with Tod recently after reading some of his blog entries and after learning that he was going to present at the FAA FAAST seminar on ‘The ABCs of the ADS-B‘ in Ann Arbor on June 30.? As an ADS-B advocate, and one who has the experience to critique all aspects of the ADS-B roll-out and provide sound recommendations for adoption of ADS-B by the general aviation community, Tod is a great one to have on our team.? Tod’ presentation from Ann Arbor is available here:

Tod is planning to deliver this presentation again at the Great Lakes International Aviation Conference January 25 – 26, 2013, at Eastern Michigan University.


New to my Who’s Who list is Brad “RenderMan” Haines.? Brad recently came into the ADS-B spotlight when he delivered the presentation ‘Hackers + Airplanes: No Good Can Come Of This‘ at Decon 20 in Las Vegas.? Lending credence to Brad’s claims, Andrei Costin, a doctoral candidate at Eurecom, a graduate school and research institute in France, delivered a white paper that spoke to the same vulnerabilities in the ADS-B system.? This presentation (and white paper) resulted in media attention from Wired, ComputerWorld, FOX, CNN, Forbes, InformationWeek, NPR, and others.

Brad and Andrei have gone to a lot of effort to analyze the ADS-B system as currently designed and implemented, and believe there’s a need to implement security controls that ensure the integrity of air traffic information being transmitted to/from aircraft via the ADS-B system.? Improved safety in the skies is the goal of the NextGen program, and Brad and Andrei’s contribution to the ADS-B design discussion is important in helping us reach this goal without compromise.

Brad’s blog –