Balancing available technology with the inevitable shifts in what governments will spend to achieve incremental gains, it’s tough to say what the air traffic management (ATM) environment of tomorrow will look like. Weren’t we all supposed to be living in a Free Flight utopia by now?
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Perhaps contrary to the impressions of outsiders, flying business aircraft into and within the Middle East is not difficult. At least that seems to be the consensus of those who arrange planning and handling for international flight operations in this part of the world.
While speakers at the Air Traffic Control Association’s annual convention in Washington in October discussed a wide range of ATC technologies, both current and future, several presentations touched on a common underlying theme: where will the money come from?
Pratt & Whitney has announced upgrades to both its venerable JT8D engine and the PW4000 high bypass ratio turbofan. Improvements to the JT8D are aimed at enabling the engine to meet the latest ICAO Chapter 4 noise rules, which took effect in January. A noise-reducing kit will, says the company, provide a solution to operators of MD-80s wishing to avoid landing charges levied because of excessive noise.
Lockheed Martin announced its bidding team for the FAA’s nationwide automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) program. The team includes ground station manufacturers Sensis and Rannoch, avionics integrator Honeywell and secure network communications specialist Harris. The FAA plans to award a “performance-based” contract next July, under which the winner will fund, build and operate some 500 ground stations.
AIN has learned that FAA officials are considering the introduction of TCAS-III to meet collision-avoidance needs when large unmanned aircraft start to operate in civil airspace.
The Airbus A380 Wake Vortex Steering Group recently issued new recommendations for A380 wake turbulence spacing. The group includes representatives from the FAA, JAA, Eurocontrol and Airbus. For a heavy aircraft following an A380 on approach and landing, add two nautical miles to the existing standard, for a total of six. Medium aircraft, add three, for a total of eight. And light aircraft, add four, for 10 total.
Although very light jets (VLJ) will be operating at the same altitudes (including RVSM airspace) as and mingling with airliners and larger business jets, there is no requirement that the small jets be equipped with TCAS or TAWS because they do not meet the minimum seat configuration as spelled out in Parts 91 and 135.
Snecma Services is looking forward to establishing a new CFM56 engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) shop in India. The expected rapid growth of the Indian air transport market is calling for setting up such a facility by 2008. Currently, there is no CFM shop in the country and the French-based company maintains its customers’ engines in Europe.