Frequently Asked Questions
An interactive Q&A webinar was held on November 15, 2023.
Documents and a video recording from the session can be found below.

Please check below to see if your question is included in our list of “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).”

Additional questions can be directed to FAA TFM-AID Challenge program staff will respond to questions presented by eligible student and faculty from accredited colleges and universities in the United States. 

Foreign students and foreign universities are not eligible to participate in this challenge.

Yes. For the purposes of this challenge, lawful permanent residents (“Green Card” holders) are treated as U.S. Citizens.

The FAA Traffic Flow Management – Application Integration Design Challenge is a student-led initiative. Faculty advisors should serve as mentors, allowing students to do the bulk of the work on projects.

For teams selected as finalists, faculty advisors will further be responsible for ensuring that their team gets adequate access to the university resources and labs they need to successfully complete their project as proposed.  Additionally, they’ll be responsible for helping students coordinate travel through the university, and for communicating with FAA TFM-AID Challenge Program Staff for travel reimbursement to the university for team travel. 

As long as the advisor is employed by the university to teach a class and/or perform research, and is either a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident, they qualify as a faculty advisor.

A panel of FAA experts will evaluate and score competition submissions. 

Yes, as long as they were a student during the Fall semester when they began working on the project.

Travel reimbursements will only be distributed to the university, so graduated team members should coordinate with their faculty advisor and university for travel and accomodations.

It is the responsibility of each team to appropriately handle copyright issues related to anything you choose to use in your presentation (including, but not limited to: music, images, graphics, and photos). Teams may use collateral created by the FAA or the Department of Transportation.

Neither the FAA nor NIA can grant permission for you to use other copyrighted material.

You can submit your design as an abstract to other conferences, as long as it is presented to the public at the FAA TFM-AID Forum first.

It’s also OK to present the work at your university (to other students / faculty / internal school events) before the FAA TFM-AID Forum.

Yes, as long as the team size limit of 10 total members is not exceeded.

Yes. However, submitting an EOI early is in your best interest.  Once we have contact information for the team lead and faculty advisor, we can ensure you are kept updated on any changes or provide you with helpful resources. Submitting an EOI also benefits the FAA: it helps us know how many PDRs to expect so that we have the appropriate number of reviewers lined up to judge the submissions.

Start asking professors if they are willing to serve as your team’s advisor. Each team MUST have an eligible U.S. Citizen/LPR faculty advisor listed at the time of the Preliminary Design Review Submission.

Role of Faculty Advisor: Faculty advisors take on the role as mentors, and if a team is selected as a finalist, help manage any university coordinated travel and monetary reimbursements, ensuring they are disbursed appropriately (according to your university’s protocols) to enable the team’s full participation in the FAA TFM-AID Forum. The student team leader and advisor will also jointly receive email updates and reminders about the competition to distribute to the rest of the team.

Yes. The primary advisor must be from your university and be able to handle financial awards on behalf of your team, according to university protocols. However, teams may also have additional faculty serve as mentors from other universities.

Yes, if student is enrolled in the team’s college/university. Participants under the age of 18 may not be able to attend the FAA TFM-AID Forum. If your team is selected as a finalist and has a team member who will be under the age of 18 by the end of June 2023, please contact the FAA TFM-AID Project Lead:

If possible, considering fitting multiple graphics on a page. Alternatively, the 2-minute video included in the submission is a good opportunity to share screens.

The Project Plan mentioned at the end of your PDR Technical Report should include details on your team’s project for the TFM-AID Challenge. This helps the judges understand how far along you are in your development/testing, and calls out any risks or issues. If you are selected as a finalist, this also tells us what future steps you plan to take to complete the project on time for the CDR due date and Forum presentation.

The quad chart provides an easy summary view of a team’s project, or a “project-at-a-glance.”  Generally, requirements are what are you attempting to achieve with the project or what problem to solve at the very highest level.  Next steps define what your project team plans to do next to complete the project, recognizing that the PDR submission is a checkpoint in the middle of an ongoing project.

Your Works Cited (References) section should be included in your Appendix. Appendices do not count toward your page limit, but we ask that you try to limit your appendix to no more than 5 total pages. Likewise, acknowledgements on the cover page or in the appendix would not count toward your page limit.

The mockup conveys some level of how the design works and how the interaction works.  The mockup may include a static image/screenshot of the design or be accompanied by a screenshot, all with the intention of giving the judges an understanding of how the design looks and works at PDR stage.

The Advanced Planning Webinars occur the day before using the PERTI process described in the documentation. The PERTI Team holds a telcon/webinar each day, late in the afternoon, for the next day. All traffic managers, airline representatives, and other decision-making representatives are invited so they can plan their operation for the next day(s). The PERTI Team then hands off the PERTI Plan to the Command Center planners, who use it as their road map looking ahead at the next 24-48 HRS. The Command Center Planners then hold the Strategic Planning webinars (also attended by those same parties list above), which begin each morning at 6AM and repeat every two hours throughout the day, updating the planned traffic initiatives as conditions change.

No, there are no section-specific limits. We hope teams will use this flexibility to their advantage and describe their work in detail.  

No, as long as the page contains only your ToC, and doesn’t have any other content on it.

Teams should refer to the same rules as the PDR submission: If needed, appendices are to be used for additional images, and evaluation details ONLY. Appendices do not count toward the maximum page limitations, however, please limit them to 5 pages. References must be formatted uniformly and correctly. Only listing a link to the source is not acceptable. Judges are not obligated to look at the appendices. Include important details in the body of your paper to ensure they are reviewed.

  • The “Planned Testing and Expected Results” section would become “Testing and Results,” as it has already been conducted.
  • The “Initial Wireframes” would become your “Wireframe and Mock-Up Illustrations”
  • The “Project Schedule” should be updated with actual events and dates.