Germany’s air navigation service provider (ANSP), Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), is working toward the national implementation of differential GPS-based precision approaches in a program expected to last about two years.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Corporate aircraft operators wanting to fly to Athens, Greece, for the summer Olympic Games have once again been urged to file slot requests sooner rather than later. The games will run from August 13 to 29, but slot restrictions will be imposed throughout Greece from July 15 until September 30.
The biggest question remaining about Europe’s homegrown satellite navigation project appears to be not whether the satnav network will ever be built but rather who will run the multibillion-dollar Galileo system after the first of its 30 satellites are launched later this year.
The FAA’s Annual Aerospace Forecast always tries to paint the most optimistic picture of the industry that the agency’s statistics will support, and this year proved to be no exception. On the airline side of the house, the agency said that the number of passengers will return to pre-2001 levels this year.
Hoping to stave off a shortage of air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA intends to hire 12,500 new controllers during the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified professional controllers more quickly.
Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) want to require pilots to respond to resolution advisories (RAs) from airborne collision avoidance systems (ACAS) in all circumstances. On March 1, the regulator issued a notice of proposed amendment (NPA) for JAR-OPS 1.398 rules covering ACAS operations.
Traditionally, air traffic controller training has been a dry-as-dust classroom learning process, with piles of documents to study, rules to absorb and procedures to learn, interspersed with occasional breaks to watch the professionals at work in Centers, Tracons and towers.
After 10 frustrating years of technical delays, escalating costs and contractor changes, the FAA’s GPS wide area augmentation system (WAAS) is approaching the level of performance the agency originally envisioned for it back in the late 1980s. With the system’s initial operational capability declared in 2003 and 18 months of satisfactory performance now behind them, WAAS advocates can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Whether pilots notice any difference remains open to debate, but anyone cruising in the upper flight levels over North America should at least be aware that they are passing much closer to other airplanes now that the mandate for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) is in force.
The FAA is taking what the Transportation Department inspector general (IG) calls a “long overdue step” with regard to its standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), trying to decide how best to salvage a program begun in 1996 and still not fully deployed.