Boeing’s delivery in May of a 737-800 airliner certified for the global navigation satellite landing system (GLS) marked the culmination of a 10-year development effort. It also served as a reminder that the ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) still has a future, despite a U.S.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Air traffic control students have had access to a broad range of simulators at the French national civil aviation school Enac for a year now. Based in Toulouse, Enac’s new ATC simulation facility operates two simulators that can each re-create a control tower with a 360-degree field of vision. Other sims on the property include en route (32 positions), approach (18 positions) and generic (10 positions).
Honeywell is warning lawmakers in Washington to stop stalling over plans for air traffic management (ATM) funding. By contrast, he said that their European counterparts have more quickly confronted the problem.
While safety is at the top of her list of priorities, new Transportation Secretary Mary Peters told the third annual FAA International Aviation Safety Forum early last month that President Bush has charged her with modernizing the U.S. ATC system, “including new approaches to funding to deal with our aging infrastructure.”
The two federal government labor unions that represent air traffic controllers and employees of the National Weather Service (NWS) have asked the FAA to reconsider a plan to eliminate on-site meteorologist positions at each of the ATC en route centers. The FAA plans to contract with a commercial weather company to provide forecasts from one remote centralized location.
The User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), a conflict-detection tool that automatically detects and advises air traffic controllers of predicted conflicts between aircraft or between aircraft and special activity in airspace within the National Airspace System, is now operating at all 20 FAA en route centers.
Like the proverbial cat with nine lives, loran has once more rebounded from attempts on its life. Loran has always been owned and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, which since the late 1990s has been trying to close down the system. Congress has consistently demurred and has each year put continuing operating funds for loran back into the agency’s budget.
Last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported a record 24.8-percent increase in traffic in the Middle East and a 50-percent growth in revenue passenger miles (rpm) since 2000.
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?
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.