April 4th, 2016

By Mary Ellen Eagan


HMMH is pleased to announce that it has joined RTCA, which is a non-for-profit association that was founded in 1935 as a radio technical commission for aeronautics. RTCA is a Federal advisory committee that works in response to requests from the FAA to develop consensus among diverse, competing interests on critical aviation modernization issues in an increasingly global enterprise. Chartered by the FAA to operate Federal advisory committees, RTCA employs a consensus-driven process to generate minimum performance standards for Air Traffic Control systems and equipment; to forge recommendations on key aviation policies, and identifying and developing mitigation on issues affecting air traffic management operations. RTCA developed performance standards form the basis for FAA regulatory requirements while the policy advice informs the FAA’s prioritization and investment decisions.

HMMH has supported a number of RTCA task forces in the past. Diana Wasiuk is a member of the NextGen Integration Working Group (NIWG), which drives industry agreement on the prioritization and timing of investments in NextGen and thePBN Time, Speed, and Spacing Task Group, which prioritizes the waterfall of PBN implementation and evaluates opportunities to maximize PBN benefits in the near-and mid-term. Mary Ellen Eagan is on the PBN Blueprint Community Outreach Task Group, which identifies best practices in communication around PBN noise issues. Mary Ellen Eagan is on the PBN Blueprint Community Outreach Task Group, which is identifying best practices in communication around PBN noise issues.

“We are pleased to increase our engagement with RTCA”, said Mary Ellen Eagan. “We are excited to bring our extensive noise and airspace experience to an organization is seeking to develop consensus across a wide stakeholder group, much as we do in our practice daily.”

Report from CAEP 10

February 17th, 2016

by Mary Ellen Eagan




This is my first time representing ACI as an observer to the ICAO CAEP meeting. And what a meeting I picked!

At the meeting yesterday, CAEP approved a recommendation that will be forwarded to the ICAO General Assembly in September to adopt the first-ever carbon standard for aviation.

As discussed in the the New York Times, the standard will require a 4 percent reduction in fuel consumption of new aircraft starting in 2028 compared with 2015 deliveries.  It also sets new limits for airplanes in production that are delivered after 2023. Depending on the size of the aircraft, actual reductions would be from zero to 11 percent, with a bigger emphasis on larger commercial airplanes.

The White House Fact Sheet emphasizes the significance of the agreement, as aviation is the first global industry to adopt a climate standard since the Paris Climate Agreement in December.

The standard is expected to be formally adopted by the civil aviation council of 36 member states in June this year, and then endorsed by the council’s assembly in October.

In addition, CAEP also forwarded a recommendation for a new Non-Volatile Particulate Matter (nvPM) standard, and approved a Circular on best practices for Airport Community Engagement.

On the Way to Retirement

February 12th, 2016

By Bob Miller

I’m headed to the office tomorrow for a going-away luncheon for another staff member, but it’s different this time. I haven’t been there for weeks. My office has been taken over by someone else, I’m turning in my computer and I’m saying goodbye once again. It’s no surprise that I’ve dragged out the process a good seven months – some would say ad nauseum — since the first of my four retirement gatherings. But part of the job of consulting is getting to know people with whom and for whom you work; doing everything within your capabilities to help them with their problems; being creative, accurate and objective in developing your conclusions; maybe getting a follow-on project; and then what? After 40-some years of doing that, you’re just supposed to walk away?

For me, no, and especially not from Amy Hanson at FAA’s Airports District Office in Des Plaines. We won a large prominent job to re-evaluate the 2005 O’Hare Modernization Program EIS, which I was to manage. I’d worked with Amy on the original EIS and again, briefly, on the Midway RNAV EA. The re-eval would take me past my retirement date but that was only arbitrary. I could adjust. Then the start date was delayed. And then delayed again. And it kept getting delayed for almost a year, though of course, the due date never changed. All of us – our entire team, all the FAA folks — worked endless hours. At age 70, I pulled three all-nighters in five days; and we completed the 2+ year project in 11 months! At the end, I couldn’t have been happier or prouder to have worked with such a fine group of people. Amy and her colleagues at FAA made every bit of the effort worthwhile. We did it for them.

Could I really have walked away from that experience just to retire? From the profession, maybe, and even from the company which I helped found, but not to the people I’ve worked with for so long. Over the years, many have become my friends. What I wanted most when I left HMMH was my contact list, not because I wanted to keep finding work but because I wanted to keep finding friends. Last week, in fact, I made a trip to Breckenridge to ski with folks from our Sacramento office and client-friends from Denver and Centennial Airports. It’s true I’m retiring at last but I am never forgetting the truly fine people I’ve had the privilege of knowing all these years.




For 53 Years I’ve put up with it now, I must stop Christmas from coming, but how?

December 17th, 2015

By Mary Ellen Eagan

Several years ago, I invited my husband, David, to opine on the deeper meaning of Rudolph. This was during a time when he’d been spending a LOT of time with our then 7-year old, watching nearly nightly. The post was well received, and I’ve been asking him since to write another. And since he is the Grinch in our family, it seems only fitting that he should respond with this.




Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) as 53 when he wrote “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and he had a car with the personalized license plate: GRINCH. It’s not a stretch to think Ted Geisel saw a bit of himself in the Grinch. So if you occasionally get annoyed at Christmas, you’re in good company. If you don’t occasionally get annoyed at the shallowness, materialism, and consumerism of Christmas, you probably live on a mountain even farther from the rest of us than Mt. Crumpit is from Whoville.

Being an occasional Grinch does not mean you are an evil person; you aren’t even a bad person. Up there on your mountain of superior aloofness, staring down, hating all the Whos, you’re more of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch Zarathustra than Dicken’s greedy Scrooge. The Grinch, after all, has no interest in wrecking the Whos’ Christmas for personal gain; he takes all their goodies just to teach them a lesson. He’s the definition of a killjoy, with his heart two sizes too small. He’s a brother to Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and self-righteous atheist prigs who don’t want to let anyone have any fun or joy that they either can’t or won’t let themselves enjoy. Sam and Richard want to teach us a lesson, too, with no personal gain that I can see (unless, of course, you buy their books).

But sometimes the teacher is the one who gets schooled. The Grinch isn’t completely lost in his own superiority; when he finally does stop to listen to the Whos, he can actually still hear them. It takes him a while – ‘til his puzzler was sore – to work out Who is right and who is wrong (not bad, not evil, just wrong), but he’s not so lost that he can’t change his path. And he’s not so foolish that he doesn’t recognize that he needs to change, even though 53 years of hating Christmas may have left him set in some of his ways. Don’t expect to see the Grinch hanging around Cindy Lou Who’s house like the reformed Scrooge haunting the Cratchit’s. But I think you’ll see him and Max out on the sled a bit more.

The Grinch was right all along about our Christmas. Our Christmas is shallow, consumerist, and materialist. But he was wrong about the Whos’. Their Christmas is none of that; their Christmas means a little bit more. On this, my 53rd Christmas, I wish you the blessings of family, friends, and the Christmas of the Whos.



Figure 1: Why, Santy Claus? Why are you taking our Christmas tree? (Greta at 2)



ACC 30+ Year Membership

December 7th, 2015

by Mary Ellen Eagan


30+Year ACC Memberx500-2


This year, ACC undertook an initiative to recognize the many companies that have been long-term supporters of the organization. HMMH is pleased to be one of 15 firms in our industry who have been with ACC for more than 30 years. I believe ACC is unique among the professional organizations in our industry in that it not only provides outstanding technical programs, but is the only association that focuses exclusively on the business interests of firms with airport-related technical expertise. ACC provides strategic insight into the market and legislative affairs, extraordinary opportunities for networking, and a go-to resource for any challenge facing our industry. I am honored to have been elected incoming Secretary/Treasurer for 2016, and look forward to working even more closely with the ACC staff and members.