Chairman and Executive Director - Ray Adams
For over 31 years, he served with unwavering dedication in air traffic control roles. His service commenced in the U.S. Navy, where he was stationed at the US Naval Air Station Bermuda (TXKF) for two years, and at the US Naval Air Engineering Center Lakehurst New Jersey (NEL) for three years.
Transitioning to civilian life, he spent two decades at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), one of the nation's busiest airports. Further enhancing his skill set, he served six years at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZNY), managing extensive areas of airspace.
His FAA certifications include three Air Traffic Control Towers, Radar Approach Control, and Enroute Center, encompassing complex Oceanic operations. His efforts led to several innovations, such as the initiation and development of the GPS/RNAV X Rwy 29 approach at EWR, and a novel Converging Runway Display Aid (CRDA) application for EWR in collaboration with MITRE engineers.
As a retired Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Controller, he continued to contribute as a contract subject matter expert to NextGen on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operations. His portfolio includes UAM Engineering and Concept Development, UAM Demonstration, and other critical aspects such as Flight Deck Collaborative Decision Making (FD-CDM) Digital Taxi, and Flight Deck Data Exchange Requirements.
Previous key roles in the FAA include being a Core-team subject matter expert to the FAA DataComm program (CPDLC), NATCA National Training Lead for Terminal Flight Data Manager Program (TFDM), and the ATC subject matter expert on the Honeywell SLS-5000 GBAS CAT 3 system design approval. He has participated in National Transportation Safety Board investigations and also authored a significant technical white paper addressing deficient air traffic procedures at Newark Liberty International Airport and their impact on aircraft safety.
His leadership extended as NATCA President for EWR from 2009-2017, along with holding various NATCA positions over a 15-year period.
Beyond his technical roles, he's been actively involved in the Advanced Air Mobility industry as Chairman and Executive Director of the Urban Low Altitude Transport Association and serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations advocating for environmentally sound and economically smart aviation solutions.
His entrepreneurial ventures include the founding of Airde Elevated Thinking, LLC, a multi-offering aviation systems engineering company providing concepts and solutions to the Advanced Air mobility industry and government entities. The company also provides UAS COA management services and heliport/vertiport design services for engineering firms and developers alike.
His external affiliations are extensive, including membership in the Vertical Flight Society, Eastern Region Helicopter Council, Helicopter Association International, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), and serving as an Advisor to the National Aerospace Research and Technology Park (NARTP).
Vice Chairman – Ronald “Ron” Leach
Ron is the Principal of Leach Strategic Partners, LLC and a retired law enforcement professional where he served with the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) for 23 years.
Leach Strategic Partners provides Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS or drones) consulting services to public safety and security entities where the focus is on UAS technology and assists with project start-ups, policy development and response strategies including counter UAS issues. He also provides specialized training to UAS users. Ron has provided guidance to local law enforcement and fire departments in order to establish a working dialog to assist departments with UAS response and deployment.
Ron holds several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pilot Ratings including Private Pilot, Airline Transport Pilot, and Remote Pilot for UAS. Ron was the Chairman of the NJSP UAS Working Group which was tasked with developing a direction for the use of UAS technology as well as counter UAS technology.
He served as a member of the U.S. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement UAS Working Group, and Co-Chaired the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force - UAS Subcommittee. He has been published in NJ Cops magazine, presented to the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, and contributed to the ANSI UASSC Standardization Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
Ron has a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilmington University (Delaware), and a Master of Administrative Science degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University (New Jersey).
Ron served honorably in the United States Navy.
Trustee - VACANT