2008 Hays Award

Presented to: Mr. Leo Eldredge

Citation: For leading the development and implementation of the Wide Area Augmentation System and the Local Area


Mr. Leo Eldredge is the group manager for the FAA's satellite navigation programs including the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS). Previously, he has served as the manager for the LAAS and WAAS programs. His efforts to deploy the WAAS and LAAS systems, in the United States and internationally, have greatly advanced the role of satellite navigation in aviation. As WAAS manager, Mr. Eldredge built and led the team of engineering and scientific experts to redesign the integrity monitoring algorithms for WAAS. Under his leadership, this team reached technical agreement on a comprehensive set of threat models, integrity monitoring algorithms and analytical proofs necessary to meet safety certification requirements. Simultaneously, Mr. Eldredge also managed the logistics, training and program management activities for WAAS, and served as the contracting officer's technical representative for the prime development contract. He also led an SBAS international working group that included members from Europe, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Due to Mr. Eldredge's hard work, the FAA commissioned WAAS in July of 2003 and today over 40,000 aircraft carry WAAS equipment with coverage over most of North America. Similar systems are being deployed in Europe, Japan, India, and Russia.

Mr. Eldredge's leadership has had an equally important impact on the development of the Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS). LAAS is a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) designed to provide precise three-dimensional navigation service within a 23-mile radius of an airport where the ground-based equipment is installed. LAAS also improves system capacity, efficiency, and safety. Importantly, it will enable aircraft to execute a safe landing when weather conditions limit the pilot's visibility to zero. LAAS is being developed to internationally accepted standards and the U.S. is leading the development of this technology.

Mr. Eldredge led three critical activities that enabled the LAAS effort to succeed. First, he combined the integrity analysis team with the system safety group to ensure all safety and integrity requirements would be achieved consistent with safety engineering standards. Second, Mr. Eldredge led the effort to develop an independent benefits analysis for LAAS. Third, he worked with the prime contractor to develop a development plan that reflected a low/medium risk cost & schedule estimate. Due to his efforts, LAAS is now back on track for initial deployments in 2009.