Collateral damage, part 2

December 9, 2013

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Gary Crump

Gary Crump

  • Director, AOPA Medical Certification Services 
  • 25 years assisting AOPA members 
  • Former operating room technician and Emergency Medical Technician 
  • Pilot since 1973

During the tenure of a former FAA associate administrator for aviation safety, all of the FAA IT support was realigned into a new division based in Washington, D.C. Prior to that change, the IT employees in Oklahoma City, Okla., were pretty much dedicated to the DIWS project and weren’t distracted by other FAA tasks. That all changed when the new divisional arrangement was created, and the IT support was no longer devoted just to that project.

As a result of the centralization of the IT support structure, progress on the Digital Imaging Workflow System (DIWS) implementation slowed. You can think of the development of this long range project as an interstate highway with lots of on ramps. Along the way toward full implementation, there are milestones of attributes that contribute to the overall functionality of the system. Some of the eventual capabilities include the ability for an aviation medical examiner to view the entire airman history on file at the FAA, the ability of a supervisor to reassign a case to another reviewer to expedite action on the case, and, down the road, the ability for the pilot or the AME to scan records and electronically submit them to the FAA. Each of these enhancements, obviously, has a cost, and with the government’s current funding issues, and the umbrella of sequestration, there's no telling when, or if, we will ever see full implementation of all the functionality.

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