Insights from Small Business Innovations in Air Traffic Control Panel | ATCA Tech Symposium

Ashley Tolub, Vice President of Growth at Evans Consulting, participated in a captivating panel discussion at the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) Tech Symposium, focusing on “Small Business Innovations in Air Traffic Control”. Leaders representing small business and technology sectors gathered to delve into the crucial contributions small businesses make towards innovation in air traffic control. Here are some key takeaways:

Innovation & Culture:

  • Innovation is not just about responding to problems as they arise; it’s about dedicating time to think ahead and innovate.
  • Small businesses naturally embody an entrepreneurial spirit, fostering a culture inclined towards innovation and problem-solving.

Market Diversity & Innovation:

  • Diversifying the market of ideas encourages varied solutions and perspectives that enrich the air traffic control sector.
  • Specialized support and a deep understanding of niche challenges enable small businesses to offer tailored innovations.

Technology & Solutions:

  • Small businesses are adept at vetting new technologies, with the agility to develop and present innovative ideas that address specific problems.
  • There’s a significant advantage in anticipating needs and demonstrating capabilities ahead of demand, showcasing relevance and foresight.

Efficiency & Safety:

  • Building use cases for cost efficiencies in a regulated, safety-critical environment underscores the importance of practical innovation.
  • It’s crucial to balance the drive for innovation with the uncompromising need for safety in air traffic control operations.

Workforce Optimization:

  • Aligning the workforce skillset with organizational needs helps address the challenges of a resource-constrained environment, expanding capabilities and fostering growth.
  • Small businesses contribute by offering specialized personnel and support, optimizing the workforce in ways larger entities might overlook.

Collaboration with the FAA:

  • Understanding how technology meets the FAA’s needs and innovating in harmony with regulatory frameworks strengthens the sector’s overall innovation capacity.
  • Engaging in concept development to explore the bounds of what’s possible can reveal new pathways for advancement, without competing with regulatory bodies.

The panelists brought forward a clear message: Small businesses are not just participants but are essential drivers of innovation in air traffic control. They bring fresh ideas, nimble responses to technological needs, and a culture deeply rooted in entrepreneurial spirit.

Ashley Tolub, Vice President of Growth at Evans Consulting, sharing insights from Evans’s experience as a small business and government contractor.