Last week, the air traffic control community came together in Atlantic City, NJ for the ATCA Tech Symposium to focus on the latest technology, research, and services driving innovation in the industry.

From bolstering the workforce by encouraging more women to join the aviation community, to providing a STEM day for students to excite them for a future career in the aviation industry, to exploring new research and sharing ideas on managing new entrants like drones other unmanned aircraft systems to secure the skies, the event was packed full of information .

If you were unable to attend, the editors of Connected Aviation Today, pulled together a few of our favorite moments:

To kick off ATCA Tech Symposium, the FAA hosted a STEM day for students with over 300 students joining from area schools. Efforts such as these helps build the next-generation of the aviation workforce.

Similarly, supporting women in aviation helps to bring diversity into the aviation workforce. Diversity opens the doors to new thinking which, in turn, spurs innovation. This year, ATCA Tech Symposium hosted a women in aviation networking breakfast to bring the community together.

The theme of innovation was threaded throughout the event, as sessions focused on new research and a new way of thinking about the airspace. Pete Dumont, CEO of ATCA, opened up the sessions and encouraged the community to think outside of the box.

Thinking out of the box not only applies to building the next-generation aviation workforce, but also to managing the new airspace. Today, more than ever, the air traffic control community needs to consider how to secure a crowded airspace that now includes new aircraft such as drones and UAS.

The landscape for the airspace is rapidly changing, and with it comes a connected aviation ecosystem that centers around data. Panelists looked at the impact of data, where it comes from, and how it can create efficiencies and a more secure airspace in the future.

NASA predicts there will be 250 petabytes of data by 2025, making it the biggest disrupter to the industry. The aviation industry, particularly the air traffic control community, is always looking for more effective ways to harness that data and put it to work to create a more seamless passenger journey.

There is no doubt that the industry is rapidly changing and that the next 5-10 years will require aviation leaders to think outside the norms to keep up and continue to innovate to create a safe airspace for all.

We look forward to seeing how these innovations continue to evolve.