FAA Releases Key Enhanced Vision NPRM
The FAA has released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would allow many more operators to continue flying below decision altitude/decision height or minimum descent altitude (DA/DH or MDA) during IMC when equipped with enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS). Such systems generally use infrared sensors to deliver real-time images of the external view to cockpit displays, and the new rules would not apply to synthetic vision systems. Millimeter-wave radar could also be used for future EFVS operations. The proposed new rules would allow commercial operators flying EFVS-equipped aircraft to dispatch and depart then fly approaches even if the visibility at the destination is below authorized minimums. They would not permit landing in zero-zero conditions per se; but they would allow pilots flying EFVS-equipped aircraft to use that equipment to determine that visibility is at or above minimums to fly the approach and also to identify visual references to continue descending below DA/DH or MDA all the way to the ground, as long as the pilot can see visual references using EFVS. Currently, such aircraft can do so only under Part 91 to 100 feet above touchdown zone elevation. The FAA would also mandate specific training and recency of flight experience requirements for conducting EFVS operations. Additionally, EFVS would be permitted for use during Category II and III approaches. Comments are due by September 9.