The FAA last month chose Lockheed Martin from a field of five bidders to provide the services now offered by the agency’s 58 automated flight service stations in the continental U.S., Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Under a five-year contract that includes five additional option years, the agency expects to save $2.2 billion if it exercises all of the option years.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
In a letter to the Department of Transportation last month, AOPA renewed its support of loran as a possible low-cost, ideal backup to the future GPS-based ATC system. The letter went to the Coast Guard because it is responsible for operation and maintenance of loran.
In the ongoing saga of air traffic controller staffing, the FAA announced yesterday as part of its 10-year forecast that it is increasing controller hiring to better meet attrition and increasing system demand. The agency’s updated Air Traffic Control Workforce Plan now specifies the need for 15,000 new controllers over the next decade, up from previous plans for 12,500 new controllers over a similar period.
A European mandate calling for mode-S transponder upgrades in transport-category airplanes is causing confusion for some U.S. business jet operators as they struggle to interpret the rule’s fine print and decide whether it applies to them.
Landmark Aviation last month joined the ranks of installation centers that are busy turning around upgraded avionics systems for operators of Gulfstream IIIs and Falcon 50s. Landmark workers in Springfield, Mo., installed a Honeywell Primus Epic CDS/R display retrofit in a customer’s GIII, adding terrain and runway awareness while keeping the airplane’s original FMS and Pro Line II radios.
Boeing Business Jets said enhanced-vision system (EVS) capability is coming to the BBJ, but the technology will be offered as a retrofit both for new and in-service airplanes. In other words, buyers of new BBJs seeking to add EVS must first take delivery of their airplane before sending it to an installation center to add the EVS camera system at a cost of between $500,000 and $750,000 for the hardware alone.
Following last year’s NTSB recommendation that turbine-powered helicopters carry terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS), Air Logistics has decided to upgrade its newer medium and heavy twin-engine helicopters operating in the Gulf of Mexico with Honeywell’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS).
In a statement that surprised Western observers, China announced late last year that it will launch its own 35-satellite, GPS-like global navigation system over the next several years. Thirty of these satellites will fly in medium-earth orbits at around 12,000 miles altitude, similar to that of GPS, while the remaining five will be equally spaced around the equator in WAAS-like geostationary orbits and perform a similar service.
The investigation into the causes of the midair between a Gol Boeing 737 and an Embraer Legacy operated by Long Island-based ExcelAire last September 29 is likely to continue through the end of the year.
Beijing’s Capital International Airport, expanding to handle 2008 Olympics traffic, has opted not to use traditional radar monitoring of simultaneous approaches on its future parallel runway layout.