The union representing air traffic controllers rejected the FAA’s request yesterday for federal mediation to help the agency reach a labor agreement with controllers, labeling it a “publicity stunt.” A 1998 contract expired on September 30, and the FAA suggests that little progress has been made since it and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association began negotiating on July 13.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Under an FAA proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids (LDA), microwave landing systems (MLS) and nondirectional beacons (NDB) at some 25 U.S. airports would become unmonitored by ATC or FSS facilities due to their low annual activity or the fact they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed.
The horizontal wake-turbulence avoidance distance currently required when a lighter aircraft is behind a heavier aircraft might have to be doubled when flying behind the new Airbus A380, according to preliminary recommendations by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Cessna Aircraft has selected the AirCell Axxess satcom system as a factory option on the Citation X, Sovereign and XLS. Axxess, introduced at the NBAA Convention last month, is a multi-channel, wireless broadband-ready satcom system designed for midsize to large business jets. The standard Axxess system includes two Iridium satellite communications channels for voice and narrowband data services. Two more channels are available as an option.
Federal agencies are asking for the public’s help to decide if there is a need to continue to operate or invest in the loran-C radio navigation system beyond Fiscal Year 2007 (which ends September 30). While the current loran-C system is based on technology developed in the 1960s, some of the stations have been updated to allow for an enhanced signal (eLoran).
The FAA is seeking comments on four potential plans intended to improve safety, reduce delays and handle growing air traffic in most of the nation’s northeastern airspace. The call comes as the FAA released its draft environmental impact statement on the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Redesign Project. The redesign involves a 31,000-square-mile, five-state area encompassing 21 major airports.
In a move that could prove a little embarrassing for the FAA, the agency quickly removed new requirements easing oxygen use in Part 121 operations upon learning that it apparently used inaccurate data to justify the rule.
The two companies that run ATC in Britain and Spain have launched a joint-venture company to develop a new air traffic management system for both countries. The new company, Sacta, will be owned jointly by the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Spanish counterpart Aena. Sacta ATC areas will be phased in starting with Canary Islands Center in 2007.
The FAA has published two general notices revising procedures for airports conducting taxi into position and hold (TIPH) operations. Both notices, which go into effect March 20, result from continued “operational errors” (read actual or potential runway incursions).
While ILS Cat I equivalency has been on FAA’s wide-area augmentation system agenda for many years, the agency’s recent announcement that it is lowering WAAS minimums was actually the starting gun for several activities required before private aircraft can execute 200-foot approaches beginning in mid-2007.